Saturday, April 21, 2018

Cairn Vedanta deploys drones to monitor pipelines

New Delhi: The use of drones in India seems to finally be moving past the recreational uses by individuals and surveillance by law enforcers and towards real business applications, such as Cairn Vedanta’s use of unmanned drones to survey its hard-to-reach oil and gas pipelines.

In an interview to The Hindu, Cairn Vedanta Oil and Gas’s Chief Operating Officer Suniti Bhat said the company was moving towards using drones as they were much cheaper, more effective, safer and saved more time than using helicopters or foot patrols.

“Ensuring safety and security of the pipeline has always been the biggest challenge for pipeline operators,” Ms. Bhat said. “Statistics suggest that approximately 60-70% of pipeline incidents are caused by third-party intrusion activities and so, a continuous or periodic surveillance of the right of use is the most effective deterrent for such activities.”
“[With drones] technology has offered an opportunity for a quantum jump in the quality and effectiveness of surveillance,” Ms. Bhat added. “We are perhaps the first company in India in the upstream sector to shift from a conventional approach for pipeline surveillance like foot patrols or line walks, periodic helicopter surveys, etc, to technology-driven drone... systems.

“In recent times, with the growing need for automation and technology, various industries have explored ways in which UAV technology can be implemented for operational excellence,” she explained. “In various forums, many oil and gas companies… requested the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for their help in obtaining approvals and guidelines from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.”
21/04/18 T.C.A. Sharad Raghavan/The Hindu