Tomskneft VNK has begun using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) in monitoring its pipeline routes and oil and gas production facilities. Testing of domestically produced “drones” has been initiated at the Sovetsky and Vakhsky fields, located in the Strezhevsky region.
Given the extent of the territory covered by the company, the use of UAVs addresses a number of tasks: improving the monitoring of pipeline condition and status, and allowing the identification of trespassers within the buffer zone.
In order to fulfil these functions the UAVs are specially adapted for photo and video-recording. Apart from video surveillance, infrared (thermal) imaging will also be used in patrolling. A drone can cover an area of 30 square kilometres in one hour. Flight duration averages two and a half hours, and cruising speed 70 kilometres per hour. Equipment has been adapted for usage in Siberia, and can be used in temperatures as low as minus 30 and as high as 40 degrees.
Data obtained will be transmitted from the UAV in real time, and also recorded on a memory card. Operators can change the flight trajectory, return the drone to a desired point, and photograph any object again.
Tomskneft specialists will decide on the further use of the machines on the basis of initial testing. Unmanned aerial vehicles are already in use at one of the most significant E&P enterprises of Gazprom Neft, Gazpromneft Noyabrskneftegaz.
OJSC Tomskneft is engaged in oil and gas production throughout the Tomsk Oblast and the Khanty Mansiysk Autonomous Region. The company holds licences for the development of more than 30 oil and gas fields, the most significant of which is the Sovetskoye. Other key fields include the Nizhnevartovskoe, Strezhevskoe, Chkalovskoe, Olenye, Sovetskoe, Krapivinskoe, Dvurechenskoe, West-Moiseevskoe, Igolsko-Talovoe. Tomskneft is a joint enterprise between Gazprom Neft and Rosneft.