Energy Voice – In a first, methane-detecting drone flies out to BP rig off Shetland
Technology used to detect life on Mars has been adapted to help reduce an oil company’s impact on the environment.
A drone has flown a 185km round trip from Papa Stour in Shetland to BP’s Clair platform.
BP said the UK record for the longest commercial drone flight had been broken in the process – surpassing the previous best of 100km.
And the company said the technology would be deployed on all of its North Sea installations, including Glen Lyon and Etap, next year.
The drone from UK firm Flylogix was mounted with sensors designed by SeekOps.
The sensors were originally developed for the NASA Curiosity Rover’s Mars expedition.
”For gas to play its fullest role, we have to keep it in the pipe. This new technology will help us do that by detecting methane emissions in real time.
Gordon Birrell, BP’s chief operating officer for production, transformation and carbon, said: “This programme represents an industry first and reflects our commitment to be a leader in advancing the energy transition by maximising the benefits of natural gas.
“For gas to play its fullest role, we have to keep it in the pipe. This new technology will help us do that by detecting methane emissions in real time.
“The faster and more accurately we can identify and measure leaks, the better we can respond and, informed by the data collected, work to prevent them.”