To explain how drone based imaging technologies can be effectively deployed for monitoring and survey of pipeline & Right of Use/Way.

Methods, Procedures & Process

The safety of pipelines, especially those which are cross-country, spanning hundreds or thousands of kilometers, is very critical for the whole midstream operations. Any damage to pipeline results in financial and operational losses, environmental damage and may result in catastrophic damage to life. In some cases, the areas it crosses are difficult to access because they are located in rural areas or in the uninhabited areas which can make any type of inspection extremely difficult for operators of the pipeline. The use of UAVs or Drones with Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Analytics, and other hardware and software tools on top of it may help to overcome this handicap.

Pipeline Inspection Using Drone
  • Thermal Leak Detection : Carried out by deploying high-resolution digital, infrared and thermal imaging with GPS for location mark-up on map.

  • Methane & Ethane Gas Leak Detection : By deploying Methane/Ethane gas analyzer, combined with high-resolution digital imaging. The report comprises of logs which shows the accurate flight-path, along with GPS coordinates and levels of methane or ethane gas detected.

  • Condition Of Right of Use (RoU) : By deploying high-resolution digital cameras, LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) for ortho-photography to produce a 2D and 3D model of the pipeline corridor (RoU). The data processing software provides reports for exceptions such as: Erosion, Exposed Pipeline, Vegetation overgrowth, Encroachments, Missing/Damaged Signboards & Markers.

Sharing the UAV Data

Key people that receive these reports are:

  • Surveyors (Internal Use)

  • Engineering

  • Environmental

  • Land / Right Of Way

  • Security

  • Project Managers

Results, Observations & Conclusion

Using a UAV to conduct inspections and assessments yields benefits such as:

  • Safe, efficient & high-quality visual survey

  • Monitoring of pipelines

  • Non-invasive damage assessment tool

  • Reduction in lost time accidents during surveys

  • Cost savings

  • Smart reports

Novel / Additive Information

Further, Drones can also be deployed for:

  • Tank Inspection

  • Flare / Stack Survey

  • Environmental Survey

  • Surveillance

  • Search & Rescue Operations

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