Back to news

Human Process Latency in the Energy Industry

When it comes to discussions around data, decision-making support, and automation, the focus is often on their benefits, yet the underlying reason for their value is not frequently explored. I believe these solutions are crucial because they address what I term “Human Process Latency.” This refers to the cumulative time spent on the numerous small processes involved in human decision-making.

Consider an example of transitioning from a regular thermostat to a smart thermostat. The Human Process Latency associated with the regular thermostat is inherently higher than that of the Smart Thermostat. This is because we no longer need to physically go to the thermostat to adjust the heating/AC; now, we can do it directly from our phones, which are always with us.

In the midstream sector, an example of human process latency involves the push of accurate millisecond time series pressure data with minimal latency to the engineering team responsible for reviewing pressures and authorizing the restart of a pipeline.

Let’s assume, as is usually the case, that the pipeline shutdown was not the result of a leak but of a robust safety system that responds by bringing the system to zero energy, then each second between the team’s review of pressures to authorize the restart, and the moment of a shutdown, represents potential lost revenue or additional costs, depending on whether the pipeline is apportioned or not.

Minimizing this lost revenue or additional costs is of utmost importance, especially in today’s climate of reduced investment in oil and gas infrastructure and simultaneously increasing global energy demands.

In the unfortunate event of an overpressure, safety consequences may be at risk in this particular example in the event of human process latency or engineering teams not having timely access to review the data – resulting in extending the duration of the leak.

Back to drawing parallels to the Smart Thermostat at home: it is connected to your phone, where you can control it and receive notifications. Imagine if the engineering team above had push notifications to review pressures for the on-call engineer. That would be handy.

I acknowledge the serious cybersecurity concerns related to data sharing and the risks of not being completely air-gapped. However, I propose looking at our global banking systems as a model. Our banking operations are now heavily reliant on modern technology, and if we trust the security of our personal finances in this environment, can we not assume a similar or higher level of cybersecurity for the operation of our industry?

There are many examples like this across our industry, and that is where the concept of human process latency comes in. It’s the time between action and the ability to execute re-action in human-driven processes (things that we need people to make a decision on, like the example above). In cases where a human decision has already been made or does not need to be made, these processes can often be easily automated.

To summarize, just as we need real-time control over our pipelines, pipeline operators need real-time control over their business. Eliminating human process latency will play a significant role in achieving this goal.

Below I invite everyone to get familiar with our case study and witness how we help to achieve this goal today.

Follow us on our social media channels!
Download RIPATM Platform

You will receive the study in your inbox.

Download leanOPTTM Solution

You will receive the study in your inbox.

Download powerOPTTM Solution

You will receive the study in your inbox.

Download gatherBOTTM Solution

You will receive the study in your inbox.

Download maxOPTTM Solution

You will receive the study in your inbox.

Download Case Study

You will receive the study in your inbox.

Book a Demo

We will get in touch with you shortly!