Repsol planning offshore inspection application for aerial drones

Offshore staff

MADRID, SpainRepsol is considering the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for inspection of its offshore platforms and as repeaters to transmit data during exploration campaigns.

The company has completed its first trial with an unmanned aircraft for inspection of a flare at its Sines complex in Portugal, the aim being to obtain high-resolution images and evaluate the state of structures more than 100 m (328 ft) tall. Repsol is evaluating use of the drones to avoid risks to workers and save costs during planned maintenance shutdowns.

Its Information Technology Team is researching the offshore applications for the UAVs, which the company says will feature increasingly in oil and gas field activity.  Airborne robots, it claims, can make it easier to map potential fields, detect leaks, and oversee infrastructure.

UAVs can be equipped with gas sensors, thermal imaging cameras or HD video equipment, and can automatically process information, recognizing patterns and unforeseen incidents.

Integration with other developments such as Big Data and Geo-referenced Information Systems (GIS) should lead to improved geological studies of the subsoil and monitoring of incidents.

Drones are cheaper than helicopters or light aircraft for mapping the seabed and other hard to reach locations. Researchers from the CIPR (Centre for Integrated Petroleum Research) of the University of Bergen in Norway are already using unmanned aerial vehicles carrying laser scanners to create 3D maps of the terrain, providing valuable information for exploration of new fields, Repsol says.

Another area of development is the combined use of drones and autonomous underwater vehicles. Spain’s Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (UPTC) is leading the European project Urready4Os (Underwater Robotics ready for Oil Spills), to create a fleet of drones and underwater vehicles to increase the safety of installations.

08/06/2015

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

Logistics Risk Management in the Transformer Industry

Transformers often are shipped thousands of miles, involving multiple handoffs,and more than a do...

Secrets of Barco UniSee Mount Revealed

Last year Barco introduced UniSee, a revolutionary large-scale visualization platform designed to...

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...