Defining Crib Management and Its Impact on Oil & Gas Industry


The term crib management may be an unfamiliar one, so let’s start by defining it. It’s often preceded by the word “tool,” as in tool crib management, or simply the tracking and management of the tools you rely upon to run your business.

State of the Industry

The oil and gas industry is powered by a huge volume of tools that, along with technological innovation, have continued to increase in their sophistication and capabilities. Texas International Oilfield Tools, LTD published its Top 2020 Tools in the Oil and Gas Industry, including power tongs (categorized as casing, tubing, drill pipe or riser tongs), elevators, top drive systems and rig tongs. These four were highlighted for their ease of use, efficiency and ability to meet demand. That demand, of course, has waned; however, Jude Clemente, a contributor to, is “bullish on U.S. gas production: domestic demand will clearly be there. Gas is a rising 45 percent of U.S. power generation capacity and will set another record for power burn this summer, as coal and nuclear units continue to retire. In fact, it is such low prices themselves that are giving gas a competitive advantage over still intermittent and more expensive renewables and their needed battery storage systems.”

Crib Management: A Cost-Saving Measure

For the oil and gas industry, then, tool crib management very much remains a relevant topic. At a time in which organizations are likely to be seeking cost-saving measures, crib management is a smart strategy for ensuring the adequate care of expensive tools. Careful tracking and monitoring, in turn, can help maximize the lifecycle of those tools, eliminating theft and loss, saving oil and gas companies both money and time and keeping projects on schedule.

So how does crib management work? When implemented as part of a formal fixed asset tracking platform, crib management involves assigning a unique barcode to each of your tools. Those barcodes are then scanned and entered into a system in which users may add comprehensive data for each tool – for example, its lease or purchase information, warranty information, insurance policy, inspection and/or maintenance history, check-in/check-out status, and/or depreciation.

Keeping Projects on Track

Crib management empowers crew members to do their jobs with minimal interruptions. Projects rarely go according to plan and can present any number of surprises. A crew member who determines that he needs a different tool would typically need to stop work and then attempt to hunt down the item, perhaps by getting on the phone or accessing a spreadsheet in which tools, their respective quantities and current locations have been logged. A crib management system, however, provides the crew member with instant visibility into where an available tool should be located and its condition. And, if any tool requires servicing, users may create a work order and review the item’s maintenance history to determine if the issue at hand has been a recurring one.

At a more macro level, crib management helps oil and gas companies analyze their tool inventory across the board and better predict shortages, so they can make preparations before it's too late. If an item is lost, the system allows it to be tracked down quickly. Subsequently, oil and gas companies eliminate the traditional expense of replacing tools that have mysteriously fallen through the cracks. Additionally, a good crib management system identifies the presence of any ghost assets.

Asset Panda’s approach to crib management is streamlined, yet powerful with a fully customizable mobile app that lets oil and gas companies track and manage their tools any way they want.


Courtney Roush

Courtney Roush is a freelance writer, editor, and communications strategist with 25 years of experience. Her favorite discipline is crisis communications – and it’s a highly relevant one in our present times.

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