Operating oil and gas facilities present considerable safety concerns. Considering just how detrimental one recordable incident can be for the safety of industry personnel, as well as to the business, minimizing risks are of concern to industry professionals. The regularity of maintenance inspections to prevent and avoid leaks, explosions, and other potentially fatal errors, requires extensive readiness and preparedness by site managers, engineers and maintenance personnel.
Drone technology has the potential to become the primary method of facility inspection and monitoring, as well as a rapid response and assessment tool for incidents both offshore and onshore. The business impact and long-lasting benefits drones have to offer, put drones on clear path to becoming an industry standard.
Data is a key business enabler, and an asset to any industry professional focused on safety, cost and driving productivity enhancements. Digital strategies including the use of drone data and robotics can make projects more efficient and speed up processes, as well as alleviate profound challenges faced by the industry. However, digital transformation is not a technology-led solution, but rather a business transformation, which leverages technology. As organizations continue to digitize, drones are expected to become one of the most important sources of data and insights and an integral part of any intelligent digital strategy, according to a report by PwC.
Digital maturity magnifies the opportunities that can be taken advantage of by professionals in minimizing risk. Research by Gartner shows that the maturity level of digitalization in oil and gas has grown, and the capacity of digital innovation to enable business outcomes is now widely recognized.
Capable of carrying a variety of sensors, drones provide a source of data and digital information. And as such, the multiplying possibilities of drone enabled data can add value to almost any site. Drones serve as a unique, cost-effective and safe, industry tool to collect data in hard-to-access areas, thus putting humans out of harms way, as well as reducing overall asset downtime in upstream, midstream and downstream operations. For example, using a drone to collect visual data on the condition of an asset, enable industry personnel to ensure proper maintenance of a facility’s assets, as well as improved cost savings, safety and enhanced analytics.
Leaders and decision makers have the choice to increase competitive edge by capitalizing on high frequency aerial data, which has the potential to reduce capital expenditure and drive their business forward. Additionally, drone data collection capabilities have the potential to radically alter the competitive dynamics of the information landscape for oil and gas professionals.
As organizations embark on their own digital business journey, and integrate drones into their daily workflows, it is important to measure progress as well as the business value it creates. Although no single list of digital key performance indicators (KPIs), which can work across all organizations exists, leaders would be wise not to simply copy & paste KPIs from another organization. Rather, decision makers are encouraged to develop a list that is unique to their context and situation. However, exploring examples from different industries for similarities across business model and context may be useful.
As the industry continues towards increased adoption of digital strategies, professionals are also encouraged to heed to the advantages of automation. Airobotics’ automated aerial data and pilotless drone system is purpose built to simplify drone operations. The Airobotics system eliminates the need for drone pilots to be available and manage flights on site.
Airobotics’ robotic airbase, multi-tool, industrial drone and analytics automate high-frequency data collection, processing, visualization and analysis to reveal critical business insights. With its ease of use and cost-efficiency, the Airobotics drone system is making unlimited aerial data a standard business tool for the oil and gas industry.
The fully automated system allows for major safety benefits such as continuous inspection, survey and mapping, and compliance management in industrial settings, without exposing personnel to potential hazards in the work environment. With Airobotics’ ability to deliver regular aerial visuals and data, physical risk to employees can be minimized without the need for them to climb up facility assets, such as tanks or flare stacks. Activities do not have to be halted as personnel are not physically required to inspect and take measurements of critical assets. The frequency of measurements and inspections can be significantly increased whilst human risks are minimized to the absolute lowest possible rate.
Airobotics’ system can support a diverse set of applications specific to the customer’s needs: