PetroFeed

PetroFeed, a free app developed by a Calgary entrepreneur, allows oil patch industry members to see the status of drilling rigs across Western Canada. (PetroFeed )

A Calgary company has developed a new product that is flying off the virtual shelves in the iTunes app store.

The PetroFeed app allows people in the oilpatch to see the status of drilling rigs across Western Canada, said the company’s founder and CEO Ashley Dunfield.

He won't reveal how many copies of the app have been downloaded, but the free application is very popular at the Apple store.

"This information was only available via desk top applications and it was really expensive. And we've made it free and we've made it mobile,” Dunfield said.

“We have very deep penetration already into the oil and gas industry and we want to see that get maxed out as fast as possible, and we're well on that track.”

Professor Bob Schultz with the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business says PetroFeed is using a tried-and-true business model among internet startups.

"It's always good to see people who are optimistic about building a business. They've obviously convinced investors that they are a company that is going to be worth a lot of money,” he said.

Schultz says at some point PetroFeed will have to provide a service they can charge for — and the success of that business model will determine the company's long-term viability.