Shell expands drone-based methane inspection program after two-year pilot

October 06, 2020
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As part of Shell's commitment to keep the methane emission intensity of its assets below 0.2%, it partnered with Avitas Systems in 2018 to perform drone-based inspections. The startup uses DJI drones equipped with an optical gas imaging (OGI) camera to detect fugitive methane emissions. Avitas also uses a range of other sensors in tandem with computer vision algorithms to detect and predict corrosion. Shell said it will expand the program to more than 500 sites in the Permian Basin. Although Avitas has been granted limited beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) waivers in the past, the current deployment in the Permian Basin will require human operators. Oil and gas clients should engage with Avitas Systems to assist in inspection tasks.

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