Gazprom Neft using drones to extend environmental monitoring

Gazprom Neft subsidiary Gazpromneft-Khantos has launched a drone-based system to monitor pipelines and production facilities in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug.

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or “drone”) is being used to monitor the status and condition of more than 250 kilometres of oilfield pipelines at fields in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug-Yugra, with drones being used to monitor the integrity of major pipelines and production facilities. This makes it possible to minimise environmental risks and detect potential fire hazards during the fire-risk season, as well as controlling flood risks in spring. Modern high-tech equipment improves safety in the company’s infrastructure usage, as well as significantly reducing response times in emergency situations.

The domestically produced drone, equipped with photographic and video recording systems, is designed for remote monitoring and to determine facilities’ coordinates at any time of day, at distances of up to 50 kilometres, transferring images online. A specially modified drone has been monitoring the condition of pipelines at the Yuzhno-Priobskoye, Zimnoye and Alexander Zhagrin fields, among others, since April 2019. The Orekhovo-Yermakovskoye and Yuzhnoye fields are also expected to be covered, using the drone, by the end of 2019. The aerial monitoring system is expected to cover all Gazpromneft-Khantos production facilities in the future.

«The oil and gas industry is, today, one of the key customers and developers of high-tech products. Innovations are making it possible for us to successfully solve production problems and strengthen the company’s technological market leadership, while remaining in harmony with the environment. High standards in industrial and environmental safety are a priority for us. And the latest Russian drones are helping us address this problem, facilitating timely monitoring of the status and condition of production infrastructure, even at the most remote facilities.»
Алексей Кан
Alexei Kan CEO, Gazpromneft-Khantos

Solutions using unmanned technologies already form an integral part of Gazprom Neft’s production process, with more than 60 percent of the company’s total pipelines (around 7,000 kilometres) being partly or completely monitored using drones. These craft were first tested in 2014 to monitor the technical condition of Gazprom Neft-Noyabrskneftegaz pipelines. Tests having proved the considerable effectiveness of this technology, drones were then put into commercial operation. The total distance covered by drones in monitoring this enterprise’s facilities now stands at more than 500,000 thousand kilometres. Gazprom Neft-Orenburg is also using drones to monitor production infrastructure, while pilot testing of the aerial surveillance system has also been initiated at Messoyakhaneftegaz facilities.