In our previous post, we discuss the many ways you can begin using drones to improve inspections in the oil and gas sector. In this post, we take a look at the impact drones have on operations—and why it’s time you should consider investing in a drone program.
Drones provide O&G companies many benefits, including cost savings, improved communication, a safer work environment, and more accurate data. Read on to explore the key ways drones can transform your workflows.
See why Bruin E&P Partners uses drones to improve oil well inspections.
Inspecting O&G infrastructure and gathering critical data with drones cost substantially less than traditional inspection methods that require ground crews or manned flights. Drones are tough birds and can withstand harsh temperatures and other conditions. They get much closer to infrastructure than a helicopter or airplane, providing better visuals and data. Drones also minimize downtime by avoiding the need to shut down operations for inspections and by catching leaks and other maintenance issues early, lowering remediation costs.
Drones enable employees to conduct inspection and monitoring tasks without exposing themselves to the typical dangers of O&G operations. As a result, work hours lost due to injuries decline, medical expenses and insurance costs shrink, and the number of workplace events reported to OSHA and other regulatory agencies drop.
Safer Work Environments
Manual infrastructure inspections are often dangerous. For example, inspectors at wells and offshore rigs must climb up and down ladders and along catwalks — and even use cranes or harnesses and rappelling equipment to reach equipment. Inspectors sometimes must work in close proximity to harmful chemicals and dangerous machinery.
Drones perform inspections without risking employee safety. They’re particularly useful for inspections after blowouts or natural disasters — or when sending a ground crew to a site may be difficult, costly or unsafe.
Better, More Accurate Data
Drones provide a flexible platform for a wide range of cameras and sensors. They can collect data needed for situations requiring real-time solutions or store data for later analysis. Businesses can easily integrate digitized mapping information and other data from drone flights into analytical and AI solutions for advanced processing. For example, software solutions use topographical and geological data gathered by drones to create models that help identify promising oil and gas drill sites.
Not only do drones gather information more efficiently than human inspectors, the digital data enables employees to make better, data-driven decisions. This drastically reduces downtime, catches conflicts and issues faster, and helps keep your operation running like the well-oiled machine that it is.
The remote nature of oil and gas work often requires operators to communicate with workers on sites around the world. This can present a challenge to managers and engineers working from the headquarters and collaborating with the boots on the ground. But drones can make things easier. Workers on the ground can fly drones on their site and upload the data to the cloud where back office managers can review and coordinate further inspection or follow ups — all without leaving the desk chair. Using software such as DroneDeploy makes it easy for the back office to markup maps or drop in annotations in real time so that inspectors can check on pressure points, leaks, or other potential issues.
Where to Learn More
The latest drone technology — like aerial mapping, thermal imaging, and digital terrain modeling — gives you a rich set of data to streamline your workflows and generate real-time insights.
- Read our free eBook comprehensive look at drones in the oil and gas industry.
- Learn how DroneDeploy was used to map the largest oil storage facility in North America.
- Find out why solar power companies use drones to cut costs and drive adoption of clean power across America.