please enter please select

Methane emissions accurately measured by fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

Project Summary

The UK oil and gas industry is committed to halving operational emissions by 2030.

Eliminating methane leakage is crucial to achieving this target. However, there is currently limited capability to measure methane emissions from individual offshore assets with reporting based on estimates, creating significant measurement uncertainty.

Flylogix and SeekOps have successfully delivered accurate quantification of methane emissions from offshore facilities by flying a miniaturised laser spectrometer on a fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Industry value:
The technology and method of deployment now enables routine measurement of methane emissions from a facility and demonstrates a lower detection limit of 2.5kg/hr.

Key results:
The pairing of an accurate methane spectrometer sensor with a UAV allowed deployment from land to nine offshore platforms in the North Sea. Innovative flight patterns and novel algorithms developed to calculate mass flux around each asset in this study allowed for rapid processing time. The study also demonstrated the use of this technology to derive accurate facility level emission rates to verify current industry performance and data. The project developed a helix mass flux methodology and flight patterns. A subsequent controlled release experiment was also designed and executed to validate and better understand uncertainties.

Key project milestones:

  • 12,500km flown, unmanned
  • Trial measurements taken from 9 assets
  • Over 2.5m atmospheric methane data points recorded and analysed
  • Data collected at just 250 metres from assets – the closest a fixed wing UAV has flown to an offshore platform

Lessons learned:
This project was a perfect example of ‘learning by doing’ to accelerate the innovation journey. By deploying unfinished solutions into the field in a safe and controlled manner it was possible to identify and address technology developments at a much faster rate. In essence, it meant learning lessons in parallel rather than in series. The critical component of this was an exceptionally high level of safety management which ensured that this in no way impinged on safety of operations, people, or equipment.

Industry collaboration and more specifically, the willingness to share and discuss emissions data, led to significant gains in understanding, identification of trends and opportunities for improvement.


Let's work together

"Required" indicates required fields

My name isRequired
My name is
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.