Constant monitoring and surveillance are essential to assess production, environmental compliance, safety, and other factors in the oil and gas industry. But employing human or financial resources to such can be complicated, costly, and risky. In the past, workers would have to put their life on the line trying to locate damages and detect leaks in oil refineries, leading to production outages and lengthy activity shutdowns. The advent of drone technology enables oil and gas companies to efficiently perform monitoring, inspection, prospecting, and exploration activities without the involvement of humans.
What Industry Activities can a Drone be Used for?
Drone technology is versatile and can be used in a range of activities within the oil and gas industry. Their compact size, flexibility, simple flight interfaces, accessibility, and ease of adding sensors makes them invaluable to the oil and gas industry. They can be used for activities ranging from monitoring and inspection of onshore and offshore structures to detecting signs of problems to avert disasters. For instance, they can be used for accurately analyzing confined spaces such as storage tanks. Other applications of drone technology include topside, under deck, and splash zone inspection along with flare stack inspection.
How Will Drone Technology Help in Data Analytics for Oil and Gas Industry?
Data is quintessential in the oil and gas industry as a significant amount of data needs to be collected regarding model images of Earth’s surfaces, machinery performances, oil flows, pipeline damages, and real-time videos of nearby activities. Such data can be analyzed by specialists to take corrective action in time or act to improve overall well productivity. The advantage of using drone technology over humans is that drones can provide real-time data by offering a wider scope of information to the user.
How Can Drone Technology Perform Cost-Effective Surveys?
Apart from exploration activities in a high-risk environment, drones can provide high-resolution images and videos of oil wells along with more accurate spatial data with fitted sensors. This technology hugely reduces the human resource cost in addition to providing valuable data and alerts, which can lead to indirect cost-savings with improved efficiency and risk-aversion. It can also efficiently detect oil spills and alert users to fix the issue, saving companies millions of dollars in oil spill lawsuits.
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