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Drone oil-sample deliveries successfully tested at Gazprom Neft’s Yuzhno-Priobskoye field in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug

In a first for Russia’s oil industry Gazprom Neft has successfully tested an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or drone) for transporting oil samples at its Yuzhno-Priobskoye field in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug-Yugra.

This Russian-produced drone completed several container deliveries from field cluster pads to a chemical-analysis laboratory. Non-stop flights between sites exceeded 40 km, with the maximum height reached being 200 m. The drone, which can carry up to seven kilos, is equipped with an emergency landing system and, thanks to its parachute, can make a smooth landing in the event of engine failure. This equipment is fully compliant with all industrial and environmental safety requirements.

Using drones like this will make it possible to halve delivery times in comparison with land transport, as well as ensuring stability in transporting oil samples, at any time of year. The drone can remain in the air for at least one hour and can withstand the climate of the Russian Far North.

Gazprom Neft has been testing robotic technologies and drones in logistics operations since early 2020, with the driverless Gazelle NEXT vehicle having been tested at the Yuzhno-Priobskoye field earlier this spring, successfully completing pilot operations in October. This electric vehicle’s software uses AI algorithms which mean it can travel safely on various road surfaces, even without road markings. Its technical capabilities mean the vehicle can be used round-the-clock. It can cover a distance of up to 120 km without recharging.

“Digital technologies mean we can optimise production processes at every stage. Cutting-edge equipment, including involving artificial intelligence (AI), is exponentially improving environmental friendliness and safety, as well as improving efficiency in oil production, throughout our fields.”
Sergey Fedorov Director General, Gazpromneft-Khantos