Aerial Monitoring of Extraction Industry

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The use of autonomous drones is expected to take off for the oil and gas industry

The oil and gas industry is benefiting from the use of drones without pilots for critical inspection and monitoring tasks

American Robotics has received a purchase order from Chevron for its fully autonomous, FAA-approved, Scout Systems for use in the oil and gas industry.

This application will benefit from recent advancements in autonomous drone technology as earlier non-autonomous drones needed to employ pilots and visual observers to fly the systems manually to monitor oil and gas fields and then manually convert the data into actionable insights. With the Scout System, oil and gas operators have a dramatically more efficient and effective way to manage, monitor and inspect their assets, according to AR.

“Analytics that were previously unattainable due to high costs of operation are now available through the Scout System, allowing users to make informed decisions in real-time that will drive their business requirements,” says Reese Mozer, CEO and co-founder of American Robotics

Working in and maintaining oil and gas infrastructure is time-consuming, labour-intensive. Millions of acres of assets must be continually monitored to check for oil leaks, methane emissions and damaged equipment. American Robotics’ fully-automated drone systems each conduct up to 20 autonomous missions per day without having a pilot or visual observer on the ground. The adoption of this technology in the industry will allow for automated inspections, regular site monitoring, and enhanced safety for employees, all at a lower cost with increased accuracy.

The use of autonomous drones in this application is expected to continue and expand significantly in the coming years, as they are a crucial component when it comes to ensuring site safety and conducting regular facility inspections. Automating high-frequency inspections is critical for oil and gas companies to comply with global climate change mitigation commitments and regulations such as the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Clean Air Act rule, intended to reduce methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

Jonathan Newell
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