How DroneDeploy Helps Perform Site Inspections in the Oil and Gas Industry

Learn how drone technology is transforming site inspections across energy sectors

Fri Jan 31 2020 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Whether you’re upstream, midstream, or downstream, oil and gas inspections require a significant amount of manual effort from all parties involved. Multiple teams must arrive on-site and work in potentially dangerous conditions to verify equipment is working properly and is in compliance with government regulation. This can cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity and equipment rentals, and, oftentimes, can put workers at risk. By using drones operated with DroneDeploy, these inspections can save both time and money.

Real-World Applications

Some of the most common inspection points are tanks, pipelines, well pads, and flare stacks. Historically, this equipment is shut off so that workers can go in and perform an inspection. Without this site in operation, money is lost on halted production and insurance premiums. For a large oil and gas company, this can mean millions of dollars in lost revenue. DroneDeploy’s advanced technology can make these operations easier, faster, and safer for all involved. 

One of the most practical applications for inspections is DroneDeploy’s Thermal Live Map. This allows the user to detect temperature range variability for a selected area. For organizations with hundreds or thousands of miles of pipelines to inspect, this makes it easy to identify hot spots, leaks, and blockages on-site. Gone unchecked, these issues could lead to equipment damage, lost product, or large-scale environmental damage. While these kinds of inspections typically take weeks to complete, using DroneDeploy can cut this down to just hours or days.

In conjunction with this, the Radiometric Thermal feature on DroneDeploy shows users specific temperature data for a selected area or temperature range. After processing the data set, workers can use calibrated temperature data to identify these problem areas. This is helpful in practicing preventative measures because it allows the user to monitor hot spots and prevent them from escalating. 

DroneDeploy’s Inspection Workflow is another useful tool when collaborating across teams. Seamlessly share, tag, and @mention coworkers all within the DroneDeploy app. When compiling reports or analyzing a job site, these features are best utilized to flag issues on a map and assign them to a supervisor to review. From here, a reviewer can comment back or close out the issue in real-time. The same is true for the Annotations feature, in which users can also quantify the size or scale of an issue with area and distance measurements.

For spot-checking, Manual Flight is the best option. Without having to create a flight plan, pilots can fly their drones over specific areas requiring additional inspection. This provides an in-depth look at problem areas without deploying a crew into potentially unsafe situations.

Improved Inspections

With DroneDeploy, organizations can optimize their inspections by streamlining operations and improving safety and efficiency company-wide. Drones eliminate the need for helicopter imagery and produce same-day maps of the chosen job site, making them easily shareable across offices. This also promotes safety in a heavily-regulated industry and keeps workers away from dangerous inspection sites. While traditional methods are time-consuming and costly, drone technology is quick and autonomous.


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