Years back, when people heard the term “Drone”, an evil looking robotic plane capable of reading minds would come to mind. Nowadays, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), better known as drones, are being used by some of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world. Maneuvering effortlessly around flare stacks, oil rigs, under decks, and along miles of pipeline, these rugged, remote-operated “birds” are saving organizations millions of dollars and make field inspections safer than ever before.
Drones for Oil Rig Inspections
Whether scheduled inspections or alarm responses, field visits are costly, both in time, resources, and money. Drones take oil and gas workers/field inspectors into remote places that once were off-limits, to perform inspections, patrol pipelines, detect leaks, assess spill damage, as well as security.
Back in the days, when something happened on a rig or routine maintenance was scheduled, the process was to shut everything down, put up scaffolding, have people climb around to see what was going on. Now, as it was then, shutdowns are still as costly but, with the capabilities of drones equipped with small cameras, field personnel can look for problems while the stack is still operating to determine what needs to be fixed, before shutting down operations.
Drones for Pipeline Inspections
Inspection of pipelines can be a difficult task depending on locations and size of the project(s), especially considering the pipelines can span for thousands of miles and are subject to the variances of nature and climates. Ultimately, lines face the risk of undetected leaks which could lead to damaging fires and explosions, may cause loss of life, damage to the environment and economic losses for the operator.
To curtail instances like the above, pipeline networks undergo regular inspection and monitoring. Monitoring of over the ground pipelines requires the use of sensors to detect rust or corrosion. If the pipeline is under the ground, there is a need to detect the existence of methane or alteration in the surrounding vegetation that could indicate a potential damage.
Drones are increasingly being used by pipeline operators for mapping of pipelines and surveying of the lines as well as a right of way monitoring, etc. They are extremely useful in hard-to-reach/remote places and areas affected by natural disasters. They conduct as-built surveys to show the current state of a project as well as thermal inspections of pipelines to detect and alert to oil and gas leaks, pitting caused by corrosion (definitely risky). Drones are extremely beneficial to in leak detection, plant growth, and other problems on the pipelines.
Innovapptive: Drones & Mobile Workforce Management Solutions
Innovapptive is at the forefront of empowering the Oil & Gas industry with technologies to improve productivity. This includes exploring drone-support for our suite of Mobile Workforce Management Solutions. Our vision is for a field service tech to efficiently and safely complete inspections without requiring additional software.
Our solution will support:
- Triggering & controlling of the drone flight
- Capturing & previewing images/video
- Selecting & attaching relevant media directly to your Service Order, Work Order, etc.
- Defining automated flight paths for Routine Inspections
Innovapptive understands the many challenges the oil and gas industry faces on a daily basis. As a leading mobility solutions provider, we provide a suite of services for Supply Chain, Asset Management, and Field Service Operations, with focus on achieving "Instant Mobilization" for enterprises, through our bundled SAP/ERP certified mobile solutions.