On: 23 August 2019 In: Oil & Gas

Surveillance drones safeguard oil fields against security threats and revenue loss

Some of the biggest conventional onshore reserve discoveries are in remote and hostile areas, creating a need to improve security methodologies and safety procedures. The challenge however, is that any disruption to these vast facilities could equate to significant loss of revenue and likewise risk the safety of the people on the ground and damage the environment.

Sabotage, theft and kidnapping are still persistent threats for the majority companies operating in countries like Nigeria, Niger or in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited Joint Venture’s (SPDC JV) security report, in Nigeria 11,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) on average were stolen in 2018. Furthermore, the SPDC JV reported that 90% of major oil spills were caused by third party interference, causing environmental contamination and unplanned costs.

The mitigation of security risks and the safety of staff, contractors and the environment remains a top priority for local and international companies operating in Africa. High-end technologies such as drones, cloud computing, IoT and virtual reality empower oil and gas producers to secure operations while improving their performance, allowing them to be better prepared for navigating this complex and competitive market.

Drone solutions are the new toolset being integrated into these facilities’ daily activities, enabling security managers to increase visibility and safety across their sites. Through real-time video and actionable data, security managers are able to make informed decisions.

A long range UAV: The solution for monitoring oil and gas physical assets

An end-to-end drone solution empowers oil companies to more frequently and thoroughly monitor oil fields for real-time detection of trespassing, sabotage and potential hazards, ensuring all infrastructures are safely in operation, reducing incidents and unplanned downtime.

Delair’s UAV solution for oil field security includes the DT26X fixed-wing drone (equipped with an EO/IR gimbal) and advanced image on-board analytics, which delivers real-time video – allowing you to respond efficiently.

The DT26X’s communication radio allows the drone to fly over a radius of up to 50 km in order to cover the wells and equipment within the zone. With the DT26X, there is no need to be close to the area you want to monitor – you can easily deploy the drone in an area that is safer, and benefit from its long endurance and long range capabilities.

The DT26X has a quick deploy time and can be operated by a team of only two operators, and it can be re-launched for another flight in less than 3 minutes. It’s robustness and endurance makes it the ideal tool for routine security initiatives and continuous surveillance.

Concretely,  what can a surveillance drone do in terms of securing oil and gas companies assets?

Overwatch wellheads and drilling rigs from the sky in real-time, night and day

The DT26X Surveillance enables the security operational team to fly over wellheads and drilling rigs to detect unauthorized people and vehicles on the field, or any other visual anomaly,  allowing for quick decision making. Thanks to the on-board HD video recording, the flights can be analyzed from the comfort of your office.

Screenshot of the DT26X real-time video of an oil field. The wellhead is functioning normally and there are no threats to report.

Screenshot of the DT26X infrared real-time video. Unauthorized people with a vehicle are detected at night near a wellhead.

Aerial surveillance of oil field access roads

The DT26X monitors access roads, day and night, to detect and follow suspicious vehicles and react in real time. The advanced on-board video algorithms allows the security team to track the vehicle. The electrical motor of the DT26X is silent, making this surveillance drone undetectable.

Screenshot of the DT26X infrared real-time video. An unauthorized vehicle is detected at night, driving along an oil field access road, near a sensitive infrastructure.

Prevent trespassing and vandalism

A complete view from the sky of your facilities provides immediate and complete visibility. Detect hazards and alert the right team of potential events before they occur. The powerful 36x optical zoom of the EO camera, along with the long distance flight capabilities, allow the security team to fly over remote and difficult to access areas.

Screenshot of a DT26X real-time video of a tank battery to monitor the infrastructures and surrounding areas against threats.

Start reducing unplanned downtime and improve your productivity with drone surveillance

By conducting more frequent and thorough surveillance with drones, oil companies can improve their productivity by preventing incidents and reacting faster when these incidents occur.

Ready to take the next step to reduce incidents and create a safer working environment on your site?