UNMANNED aerial vehicles (UAVs) are the next step towards delivering a safer, more efficient way of working on oil and gas projects according to aerospace engineering company Nova Systems chief executive Jim Whalley.
Mr Whalley presented the case for increased investment in UAV, or drone, technology during a talk at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA)’s annual conference, held in Brisbane in June.
Using this technology in the field on oil and gas projects greatly reduces the chances of workers venturing into unsafe conditions, allowing companies to be more efficient about the maintenance aspect of their LNG projects, he said.
“There will be no need to drive millions of kilometres in the field, as this expensive and dangerous activity will be replaced by smart sensors including UAV vision and satellite imagery tasked in real-time from air-conditioned control centres,” he said, adding that monitoring and asset management would increasingly be carried out using advances in technology.
Mr Whalley also placed the investment in and use of drones in the context of the long historical association between the aerospace and oil and gas industries, encouraging conference delegates to pursue collaborations with companies in the aerospace sector in the use of both the analysis of big data and the new innovations in airborne remotely commanded technology.
“Technology, logistics support process and maintenance philosophy from the aerospace industry, can be applied to drive improvements in reliability and efficiency”, he said.