The advent of Internet of Things (IoT) technology in the petroleum industry enables operators to harness, analyze and act on large data sets from the myriad physical assets employed for the extraction and transportation of fossil fuels. By unlocking and aggregating previously disparate data from the modern oil field, operators can leverage the information now available to identify patterns indicative of a potential mechanical failure or safety hazard via predictive analytics and employ proactive measures (preventative maintenance, initiate supply chain, early warning system, etc.) to alleviate a Tier 1 Process Safety Event or costly unplanned downtime before a negative situation ever occurs, much less escalates. In order to improve financial performance while also maintaining critical uptime, petroleum industry operators are turning to IoT technology as a means to improve business outcomes.
Mechanical failure in the transportation and extraction of fossil fuels is one of the leading causes of unplanned downtime and Loss of Primary Containment (LOPC), presenting hazards of almost unrivaled scale in terms of cost and negative publicity annually for the petroleum industry. Reducing the occurrence of mechanical failure and prolonging equipment lifecycles becomes an increasingly critical factor in the efficient management of the modern data-driven oil field. Visibility into and optimization of equipment parameters are paramount to ensuring proper working conditions and healthy long-term asset utilization. The inability to analyze and act on data related to settings, environmental conditions and any other parameter that factors into mechanical failure exposes the operation to limitless vulnerabilities.
Many petroleum operations already have embedded sensor technology enabling the collection of operating data from a range of critical points within their operating environments. To date, the primary purpose of this data collection system has been to feed real-time and historic data to the equipment operator so that they can make more informed decisions concerning maintenance requirements.