These accidents have cost the country roughly $6 billion in damages and killed or injured 1,660 people.
The toll in both human lives and financial damages is severe and something that can be avoided in many cases if operators had better understanding of where their transmission systems were breaking down, according to the new technology startup, Enview.
The company has developed tools for geospatial analytics that oil and gas companies and utilities are beginning to use to monitor and manage their networks.
“Society depends on a vast network of power lines, pipes, and cables. Damage to this infrastructure results in explosions, fires, blackouts, and ecological contamination. This new round of capital will help us scale deployment of our technology to meet demand from some of North America’s largest pipeline and power line operators to enhance safety and reliability,” San Gunawardana, the co-founder and chief executive at Enview said in a statement.
There are 7.2 million miles of electric power lines and 2.6 million miles of oil and natural gas pipelines in the U.S., according to a 2017 report from the U.S. Department of Energy — and that infrastructure is failing.
A report from the American Society of Civil Engineers noted that a large percentage of the oil and gas network in the U.S. had been built in the 1950s, with a 50-year life expectancy. That means these assets are in dire need of upgrades, and utilities need to be aware of how these pipes and power lines are degrading.
According to Enview, its software can help energy operators address these issues. The company’s software processes national data sets to create reports on the infrastructure assets of major oil and gas and utility companies.
While these companies have had access to two-dimensional maps, those depictions aren’t as robust and useful as the three-dimensional images that can now be produced with high-frequency laser scans, called light detection and ranging sensors. However, the massive amounts of data that these scans generate are hard to process using traditional methods.
“The geospatial analytics market is projected to grow from $31 billion in 2016 to $74 billion by 2021,” said Bigge, in a statement.