Benefits of Drone-Based Inspections of Offshore Oil & Gas Facilities

by Measure Australia

Inspections and preventive maintenance operations are imperative in many facilities, particularly those in the oil and gas industry. They assist in reducing the risk of tragedies involving spills and leaks that may result in grave consequences affecting not only employees but also members of the general public. Drones have significantly replaced traditional inspection methods due to the valuable impact they have on oil and gas facilities, known to be among the harshest industrial work environments. In fact, in offshore drilling, both aerial and submerged drones have been employed to guarantee a thorough inspection process. The drone-based advantage stems from the fact that these aerial vehicles are cost-efficient, safe, accurate and incredibly fast.

In regards to cost efficiency, workforce expenses are minimised following the reduced need for human resources to supplement drone operations. Drone services negate the cost of training specialist workers in inspecting offshore oil and gas facilities. Since Measure Australia’s drones have extensive coverage capabilities, their adoption substantially reduces the investment on equipment and vessels required to survey a vast offshore facility. Being able to avoid losses also improves cost efficiency.  In this regard, the use of drones does not need the shutdown of operations to conduct an assessment; this eliminates any disruptions in the production process that are bound to result in financial losses.

Drone operations are safe since they remove the necessity of deploying inspectors to the remote regions let alone hazardous oil and gas facilities. Dangerous activities such as climbing up stacks in an attempt to detect leaks and other damages are eradicated entirely. In so doing, the safety risks and the chance of human fatality are minimised. 

The fact that these aerial vehicles can spot defects promptly prevents the occurrence of internal inconsistencies that may result in further safety hazards to workers. Drones can provide continuous vigilance of facility assets and infrastructure, particularly in isolated offshore locations where access is difficult or where pirates may present a significant safety risk.

Drone-based inspections of offshore oil and gas facilities are not only thorough but also very fast and accurate. Measure Australia drones have the capability of detecting all manner of leaks and spills, due to the vast number of software and hardware available. In fact, some drones are installed with sensors which can identify methane. Other drones have infrared and thermal imaging capabilities that can assist in detecting energy inefficiencies and structural weaknesses that may not be distinguished using conventional means. The drone infrastructure guarantees a secure and robust communication network between operators; this further heightens the speed and comprehensiveness of operations. As a result, Measure Australia’s drone services improve the quality of surveillance while at the same time enabling the formulation of quick responses before a situation gets out of hand.

Drones are used in many industries, and the oil and gas facilities are no exemption. The benefits range from the reduction of costs and catastrophic risks to enhanced speed and accuracy, and these have drastically improved inspection as well as facility maintenance operations. The abilities of drones coupled with secure communication systems are working to guarantee safety and efficiency in the oil and gas industry.

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