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BP has recorded Britain’s longest commercial drone flight amid a drive to measure methane leakage from its operations around the world.

The oil group said that the drone had flown a 185km (115-mile) round trip from Papa Stour in the Shetland Islands to its Clair platform, where it circled, measuring methane using sensors designed by Nasa for use on Mars.

The drone used in the Clair flight was made by Flylogix, a British start-up that adapted a fixed-wing drone originally developed for use as an aerial target in the defence industry. It uses a sensor developed by Seek Ops, an American company that licensed technology from Nasa.  BP said that, as well as improving its climate credentials, reducing methane leaks also improved safety and enabled it to retain more gas to sell.

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