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6 Best Oil and Gas Project Management Software

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In the petroleum and chemical industry, projects typically involve exploration, drilling, and increasing facility capacities onshore and offshore. Project management plays a crucial role in ensuring these operations go smoothly and achieving profitable execution. Efficient oil and gas project management software needs to specifically cater to the industry’s complex operational requirements because failure to manage projects in this field can cause massive risks to its stakeholders. Read on to find out our picks for the best tools for the job.

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Our Picks

ecosys logo.

Best Portfolio Management Solution

EcoSys is an enterprise project management tool that gained popularity among industries such as construction, engineering, oil and gas, and utilities because of its comprehensive portfolio management, project control, and project management capabilities. It allows organizations to plan, manage, and execute large-scale projects efficiently through features and modules that support cost control, scheduling, and resource management.

EcoSys portfolio management overview.
EcoSys portfolio management overview. Source: EcoSys accessed December 2023.

Key Features

Portfolio Management

EcoSys maximizes portfolio management capabilities as it has both project management systems and portfolio management systems embedded in the same platform. By seamlessly connecting estimating to the entire budget lifecycle, EcoSys helps teams predict project outcomes more accurately using forecasting methods that adhere to industry best practices. This allows organizations to have a full view of all the projects they’re handling in terms of status and profitability.

With EcoSys, organizations can effectively manage both long- and short-term capital investment budgets and plans. Additionally, EcoSys allows for better control and management of annual spending, helping to avoid unplanned expenses.

Fully Scalable

EcoSys is designed to seamlessly adapt and cater to the needs of projects of all sizes. 

One of the key advantages of this tool is its ability to be customized to match specific workflows. This means that businesses can tailor the platform to their unique requirements, ensuring that it aligns perfectly with their existing processes. 

Unlike other software solutions, EcoSys does not require any programming or IT resources to configure various elements such as screens, spreadsheets, forms, workflows, and more. This not only simplifies the process of setting up and maintaining the platform but also reduces costs associated with programming and IT support.

Powerful Analytics and Data Visualization

EcoSys is equipped with a highly efficient reporting engine that enables users to generate reports on different types of data within the application. These reports provide a snapshot of the financial situation at a specific moment, which is essential for analysis, review, and financial control.

The platform also boasts a dynamic charting engine that supports various chart types including bubble charts, multi-series bar charts, gauge charts, and pie charts. This comprehensive suite of reporting and charting tools empowers users to gain valuable insights and effectively communicate financial information.

Pros & Cons

EcoSys Pros

  • Quick implementation
  • No-code use
  • Role-based security
  • Graphical interface for expected monetary value (EMV)

EcoSys Cons

  • No free trial
  • Deployed only on SaaS, web-based cloud
  • Limited capacity as enterprise resource planning (ERP)

Why We Picked EcoSys

EcoSys offers a comprehensive solution for organizations managing multiple large-scale projects. One of its key strengths is its portfolio management capabilities that enable organizations to effectively prioritize and allocate resources across different projects. With EcoSys, organizations can track the progress of each project, analyze their overall performance, and make informed decisions based on real-time data. 

Additionally, the software’s globally scalable nature ensures that organizations can efficiently manage projects regardless of their size and workflows. The powerful analytics and data visualization features of EcoSys further enhance decision-making by providing meaningful insights into project performance, risks, and opportunities.

Petrofly logo.

Most Specialized Project Management Software for the Industry

Petrofly provides a comprehensive solution for streamlining various processes within the petroleum and chemical sector and is specifically designed to address the unique challenges faced by companies involved in energy exploration, production, and distribution.

With its wide range of features and functionalities, Petrofly enables organizations to efficiently manage their operations, from monitoring drilling activities to optimizing production and distribution. The software’s user-friendly interface ensures ease of use, while its advanced analytics capabilities allow for data-driven decision-making and improved performance,

Petrofly dashboard overview.
Petrofly dashboard overview.

Key Features

Industry-Specific

Petrofly offers a range of solutions that are specific to the oil and gas industry with useful features for every part of the process—from accounting and production, owner relations, inventory and projects to fixed asset management and advanced data analytics. This software allows companies to track and monitor production volumes, performance, and costs, enabling them to make informed decisions and drive operational excellence.

Unlike general project management tools, Petrofly’s oil and gas project management solutions are designed to address the unique challenges faced by the industry. Whether it is facility mapping, managing resource allocations, or tracking accounts, vendors, billings, and payrolls, Petrofly provides the necessary tools and expertise to help companies succeed in the competitive market.

Automated Workflows

Petrofly revolutionizes the oil and gas industry by automating and streamlining operational workflows. Some of its notable automations include royalty management automation and JIB management workflow. For royalty management, users get to automate royalty disbursement calculations and payment tracking. Meanwhile, overhead for joint interest billing can be reduced by processing JIBs and operating invoices in a seamless workflow.

Automations minimize the need for manual data entry and reduce the risk of errors and delays.

Integrated Accounting Suite

Petrofly prides itself on its sophisticated financial management system, which encompasses various essential features, including royalty management that allows the company to effectively track and manage the payments and obligations associated with royalties and a joint interest billing functionality that facilitates the accurate and efficient billing process for joint venture operations. 

Petrofly also boasts an integrated accounting suite that makes integration and consolidation of financial data across various modules and departments seamless. This allows users to evaluate the performance of assets based on sales, production, and expenses through expenditure and profit analysis.

Pros & Cons

Petrofly Pros

  • Free demo available
  • Seamless data migration
  • User-friendly interface
  • One-day onboarding
  • Unlimited free training
  • Customized software
  • 24/7 Support

Petrofly Cons

  • Files take time to generate depending on size
  • Custom pricing requires contact with vendor

Why We Picked Petrofly

Petrofly is a  reliable project management tool designed specifically for the petrol and chemical industry. With Petrofly, users can benefit from workflow automation that helps teams streamline processes and increase efficiency. Additionally, the tool offers sophisticated financial management capabilities, allowing organizations to effectively manage their finances and make informed decisions.

To get a better understanding of its capabilities, Petrofly offers a free demo to provide users with an opportunity to explore its features before making a purchase.

Celoxis logo.

Best for Projection and Project Monitoring

Celoxis is a comprehensive tool for oil and gas project management that offers a wide range of tools to support various aspects of project planning and execution. With its features for project scheduling, resource management, budgeting, and risk assessment, Celoxis provides users with the necessary tools to effectively plan and manage their projects.

The software’s real-time dashboards and reports allow project managers to monitor the progress and performance of their projects at any given time. This enables them to make informed decisions and take necessary actions to keep the project on track. 

Moreover, Celoxis has a user-friendly interface and customizable workflows, making it suitable for teams of all sizes and industries. Whether you are a small team or a large enterprise, Celoxis can cater to your project management needs.


Read our review of Celoxis


Celoxis real-time project tracking dashboard.
Celoxis real-time project tracking dashboard. Source: Celoxis accessed December 2023.

Key Features

Portfolio Management and What-If Analysis

Celoxys offers rich portfolio management features and a sophisticated project selection pipeline. With its easy input capabilities, users can quickly enter project details and track their progress. It also provides customizable dashboards so relevant KPIs are easily viewable and projects can be evaluated and selected efficiently.

Oil and gas projects always come with massive risks, so it’s crucial to foresee and manage them effectively. Celoxis provides a what-if feasibility analysis feature that allows users to assess the potential outcomes of different project scenarios to arrive at their desired portfolio balance based on custom metrics and resource availability.

Automatic Scheduling

The Celoxis system provides teams the ability to calculate task dates based on various factors such as work timings, holidays, exceptions, dependencies, effort, and constraints to generate accurate and realistic task schedules. By considering these factors, Celoxis ensures that project managers have a clear understanding of when tasks will be completed and can effectively plan and allocate resources. This functionality is particularly useful in complex projects where multiple tasks are interdependent and need to be synchronized for successful delivery.

Inter-Project Dependencies

One of the unique features of Celoxis is its ability to manage inter-project dependencies. Celoxis allows project managers to easily track and manage these dependencies and plot them in Gantt charts. This helps ensure that projects are completed in the most efficient and timely manner.

Baseline vs Actual Metrics

Celoxis offers comprehensive support for tracking deviations and productivity through its data on baseline and actual planning. This feature is particularly useful for project managers and teams who need to monitor the progress of their projects and identify any deviations from the original plan. By comparing the baseline with the actual progress of the project, users will be able to quickly identify any gaps or discrepancies and take necessary actions to address them. This also helps managers make informed decisions about resource allocation, budget adjustments, and timeline revisions, ensuring that projects stay on track and meet their objectives.

Pros & Cons

Celoxis Pros

  • Good integration with Microsoft Projects for imports
  • Customized project states
  • Easy export to different formats
  • Easy task input interface
  • Free trial available

Celoxis Cons

  • No billing or invoicing features
  • No free version
  • Learning curve

Why We Picked Celoxis

Celoxis, a cloud-based project management tool, offers an extensive solution for managing large-scale projects in the oil and gas industry. One of its key features is portfolio management, which allows businesses to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously. Celoxis also supports inter-project dependencies, enabling teams to identify critical paths and potential bottlenecks early on. Furthermore, its support for baseline vs actual metrics provides valuable insights into project performance, helping teams to plan more effectively and make data-driven decisions.

Celoxis provides the necessary functionality to streamline project management and improve overall efficiency, making it an excellent tool for the petrol and chemical industry.

excel logo.

Most Versatile Tool

Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool that enables project managers to effectively plan and manage their projects. Its features allow project managers to create detailed timelines, set milestones, and allocate resources efficiently. It’s a flexible tool for adapting to changes and ensuring that the project stays on track.

Furthermore, Excel’s data analysis capabilities provide project managers with the ability to analyze large sets of data using formulas and functions. This allows them to perform calculations, generate reports, and gain valuable insights into the project’s progress and overall performance.

A quick look at Microsoft Excel’s interface. Source: Microsoft accessed December 2023.

Key Features

Flexibility

Microsoft Excel is a highly flexible tool that offers a wide range of functionalities. Excel users can easily create and maintain project plans, track progress, and generate reports to keep stakeholders informed. The software’s customizable fields allow users to tailor their spreadsheets and data entry to their specific needs, enhancing efficiency and accuracy. This versatility makes it a reliable tool for many aspects of a project, whether it is task tracking, financial management, scheduling, and more.

Powerful Analytics

Microsoft Excel offers a plethora of functions that help users analyze and manipulate data effectively. From simple computations to complex statistical analysis, Excel makes performing calculations on large datasets quickly and accurately possible.

Data Visualization

Microsoft Excel enables users to create charts, graphs, and other visual representations of data, which is an important function in industries like petrol and chemical where large amounts of data need to be analyzed and presented clearly and concisely. With Excel’s data visualization capabilities, project managers can easily track progress, identify trends, and make informed decisions. This not only enhances efficiency and productivity but also improves communication and collaboration within the team.

Pros & Cons

Microsoft Excel Pros

  • Cost-effective (especially with a Microsoft 360 subscription)
  • Flexible
  • Sophisticated data analysis functions

Microsoft Excel Cons

  • Learning curve
  • Prone to human error
  • Low security

Why We Picked Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel has long been a go-to tool for project managers across the globe. While there are now more advanced applications available specifically designed for project management in the petrol and chemical industry, Excel still holds its own due to its sturdiness and flexibility.

Excel allows project managers to easily organize and track project data, create dynamic charts and graphs, and perform complex calculations. Its familiar interface and wide range of functions make it a reliable choice for project management professionals. Although it may not be the most cutting-edge option, Excel remains a valuable tool in the project manager’s toolkit.

ms project logo.

Best Ecosystem Support

MS Projects makes for a valuable project management tool for the petrol and chemical industry, especially when combined with Microsoft’s vast ecosystem of software and services. This tool enables users to create detailed project plans, assign resources, manage budgets, and monitor progress.

Additionally, the integration with other Microsoft applications such as Excel and SharePoint provides seamless collaboration and data sharing among team members.

MS Project scheduling interface.
MS Project scheduling interface.

Key Features

Microsoft Cloud Infrastructure (Azure)

MS Projects integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Azure, a cloud platform saturated with computing and storage capabilities. With Azure, users can easily create, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. This cloud platform provides virtually unlimited computing and storage resources, allowing users to scale their projects as needed. 

Microsoft Azure also boasts an impressive customer base, supporting over 1 billion customers across more than 140 countries. It is also worth noting that Azure has received numerous compliance certifications, making it a trusted choice for organizations that require adherence to global, national, regional, and industry standards and regulations. It also supports a fully hybrid architecture that allows users to seamlessly integrate on-premises and cloud environments.

Microsoft’s Connected Operations

In today’s digital age, organizations that oversee physical operations are leveraging the power of digital technology to connect their assets to the cloud. By doing so, they are transforming their operations into what is known as Connected Operations. This revolutionary approach provides organizations with real-time visibility into their assets, enabling them to operate more safely, efficiently, and sustainably. 

Microsoft established five key partnership types to meet the necessary standards and drive value. In addition to collaborating with system integrators and independent software vendors, Microsoft also partners with semiconductor developers, network companies, network telecommunication companies, and network hardware companies. These partnerships allow Microsoft to harness the expertise of various industry players and deliver comprehensive solutions that empower organizations to thrive in the digital era.

Powerful Integrations

The Microsoft ecosystem offers a comprehensive set of solutions that cater to the diverse needs of businesses. From data access, high-performance computing, and advanced analytics to visualization and business process automation, Microsoft solutions cover a wide range of business requirements. These solutions seamlessly integrate with other Microsoft products like Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions by consolidating information from all departments. 

Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, also offers seamless integration with the OSDU™ Data Platform, which is a groundbreaking initiative in the energy industry, bringing together competitors, suppliers, and customers to collaborate on solving common challenges. Azure’s integration with this platform allows organizations to harness the power of cloud computing and advanced data analytics to drive innovation and efficiency in the industry.

Self-Service Dashboards

Microsoft’s self-service business intelligence tools are an essential component of their powerful ecosystem. These tools empower users to create custom dashboards and reports without having to constantly depend on the IT department. This self-service capability enables users to access and analyze data in real time, providing them with valuable insights for decision-making. Furthermore, generating substantial reports directly from the self-service BI tools allows stakeholders to stay up-to-date with relevant information and make informed decisions.

Pros & Cons

MS Project Pros

  • Free trial for 1 month available
  • Scalable pricing
  • Cloud-based and on-premise support

MS Project Cons

  • Not user-friendly
  • Dedicated project manager is ideal to maximize the ecosystem
  • Doesn’t integrate with many apps outside of Microsoft

Why We Picked MS Project

MS Project is a highly advanced project management tool that offers a wide range of features and capabilities. However, its true power lies in its integration with the entire Microsoft ecosystem. When used in conjunction with other Microsoft tools and software, MS Project becomes an invaluable asset for businesses.

Companies in the oil and gas industry often have operations spread across multiple locations, making coordination and management a complex task. With its on-premise and cloud support, MS Project can effectively streamline operations, allowing for seamless coordination across various locations and ensuring efficient project management.

Smartsheet logo.

Best Spreadsheet Alternative

Smartsheet is a powerful project management tool that combines the familiar interface of a spreadsheet with a range of project management features. This allows for easier data consolidation, visualization, management, monitoring, and reporting, making it an ideal solution for teams working on complex projects. 

One of the key advantages of Smartsheet is its ability to facilitate collaboration among team members. With features like file sharing and work automation, it enables seamless communication and coordination, ultimately improving productivity and efficiency. As a result, Smartsheet has gained popularity as a highly functional business productivity app that helps teams streamline their project management processes.

An overview of the Smartsheet interface.
An overview of the Smartsheet interface. Source: Smartsheet accessed December 2023.

Key Features

Multiple Views

Smartsheet offers users a variety of data visualization options, making it a superior alternative to traditional spreadsheets. In addition to the standard spreadsheet view, users can choose to display their data in a Gantt chart, kanban board, or calendar format. This flexibility allows for a more dynamic and visual representation of information, ensuring that users can easily understand and analyze their data. 

Whether it’s tracking project timelines with a Gantt chart or managing tasks with a kanban board, Smartsheet provides the tools necessary to visualize data in a way that is most effective for each user’s specific needs. By offering these additional visualization options, Smartsheet empowers users to make more informed decisions and effectively communicate their data to stakeholders.

Smartform

Smartform from Smartsheets is a valuable tool that simplifies the process of data collection from clients and stakeholders. This feature allows users to create and distribute customized forms that can be filled out by individuals outside of the organization. 

With Smartform, data collection becomes effortless as clients and stakeholders can easily input their information directly into the form. This eliminates the need for manual data entry and reduces the chances of errors or misinterpretations. The collected data is then automatically organized and stored in a centralized location that is easily accessible for analysis and reporting.

Manpower Assignment and Resource Management

Smartsheets offers a range of functionalities for manpower assignment and resource management. These features are particularly beneficial for industries like petrol and chemical where efficient allocation of manpower and resources is crucial. Being able to track and allocate resources results in optimal utilization and reduced wastage.

Secure File Sharing

Smartsheet offers a secure file-sharing feature that allows for seamless collaboration and communication with external contractors. With Smartsheet, project managers can easily share files and documents with contractors, ensuring that sensitive information is kept secure. Users can also add comments on shared files, allowing contractors to provide feedback and suggestions directly on the documents.

Pros & Cons

Smartsheet Pros

  • Free testing available
  • Scalable prices
  • Familiar spreadsheet-like interface

Smartsheet Cons

  • No integrations with specialized oil and gas management software

Why We Picked Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a versatile project management tool that is suitable for various industries. As its interface is similar to a spreadsheet, it is easy to use for individuals familiar with the tool. This makes the transition to Smartsheet from spreadsheets seamless and effortless.

One of its key strengths is its flexibility, as it combines the functionalities of a spreadsheet with project management features. This allows for efficient collaboration among team members, effective task management, and much more. Smartsheet is a robust tool that offers a comprehensive solution for project management needs across industries.

Our Top Pick: Petrofly

Petrofly is a standout project management tool in the petrol and chemical industry due to its industry-specific design. Unlike other tools that are more generic, Petrofly was developed with the unique needs and requirements of the industry in mind. This means that its solutions are tailored specifically for oil and gas projects, ensuring that users have access to features and functionalities that are most relevant to their work.

One of the notable advantages of Petrofly is its exceptional customer service. The team behind Petrofly understands the importance of providing timely and effective support to their clients, whether it is addressing technical issues or providing guidance on how to maximize the tool’s capabilities.

Another key feature of Petrofly is its flexibility in terms of infrastructure. It supports both on-premise and cloud infrastructures, allowing users to choose the option that best suits their organization’s needs and preferences. This versatility ensures that Petrofly seamlessly integrates into existing systems and workflows, making it a convenient and efficient addition to any project management toolkit in the petrol and chemical industry.

Methodology

To evaluate the best project management tools, we sifted over 20 tools and featured five that we consider the best candidates for project management software solution in the oil and gas industry.

To create this shortlist, we looked into petroleum and chemical industry project objectives, risks, challenges, and success factors, and the vital pieces of information key stakeholders and project managers keep track of. Then we consolidated the key features the best project management software for the petrol and chemical industry would need, and compared over 20 candidates against them.

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Key Features in Project Management Tools for the Petroleum and Chemical Industry

It is rare for a company in the petroleum and chemical industry to handle just one project at a time. Instead, firms often have portfolios consisting of numerous complex projects. These projects are prioritized not only based on financial goals and risks but also on the availability of scarce resources such as engineering talent. 

Managing these portfolios effectively requires a deep understanding of the industry’s dynamics and tools that allow its users to make informed decisions that optimize resource allocation and mitigate risks.

Visualization tools and dashboards have become essential considerations for selecting the top choices for project management. Among the commonly used visualization tools in the petroleum and chemical industry are Gantt Charts, PERT view, S-curves, and histograms. These tools provide a graphical representation of the project’s progress, schedules, timelines, and resources. 

With a PERT view, project managers can compare baseline, updated, recovery, and revised schedules, which is a bonus feature. They help project managers track the performance of their projects in real time and identify areas that require improvement. They also enable data-driven decision-making, which can help manage risks.

The ability to track running costs and projected costs is essential for effective planning and troubleshooting. An ideal project management system should enable continuous review of value and risk in real time. This allows stakeholders to monitor the progress of the project, identify any potential risks, and make informed decisions to mitigate these risks.

The nature of projects in the petrol and chemical industry involves handling vast amounts of data, documents, and files. Information on environmental, safety, or local policy guidelines, aside from the regular project information you can find in other industries, is crucial. Therefore, having a robust file management system is important to ensure seamless organization and accessibility of information. 

Additionally, effective documentation capabilities are necessary to maintain accurate records and keep important information at hand.

Sharing and access capabilities, along with robust security measures, are also important considerations when picking project management tools for the petrol and chemical industry. 

Projects often involve complex EPCM contracts, requiring effective collaboration and data sharing among multiple stakeholders. The ability to securely share information and provide appropriate access to relevant parties is essential for the successful execution of such projects. 

Additionally, the petroleum and chemical industry deals with sensitive data and requires stringent security measures to protect intellectual property, trade secrets, and critical project information. This is why project management solutions that excel in sharing, access, and security capabilities are highly valued in this industry.

As in any industry, workflow setup and automation capabilities play a big part. In the petroleum and chemical industry, this plays an even more crucial role because clear decision checkpoints and approvals are paramount. 

The complex nature of projects in the petroleum and chemical sector requires a streamlined workflow and efficient automation capabilities to ensure smooth operations. In addition to this, clear accountability and formalized phases are also essential for effective portfolio management. 

With numerous projects running simultaneously, having clear accountability helps assign responsibilities, track progress, and ensure everyone is aligned toward achieving project goals.

With complex and large-scale projects, the ability to generate detailed reports and automate repetitive tasks significantly improves efficiency and saves time. Effective project management also entails engaging stakeholders throughout the project’s lifecycle. By involving stakeholders from architecture and design through execution, organizations can ensure that their objectives are understood, requirements are met, and potential issues are addressed in a timely manner. This collaborative approach fosters effective communication and alignment, leading to successful project outcomes.

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