Bumi Armada, a FPSO operator, has employed drone technology to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its oil and gas operations in the UK North Sea. One major source of emissions is methane, which is 25-80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. Methane leaks can occur from natural gas flaring and from tiny leaks in pipe connections, valves and processing equipment. The IEA estimates that the energy industry emits around 135 million tonnes of methane a year, equivalent to 3.4 to 10.8 billion tonnes of CO2.
The drone surveillance company IKM Testing scanned the Kraken FPSO to detect and control methane emissions. The location and size of “hot spots” were identified and the efficiency of the FPSO’s flare was assessed, determining how much unburned methane escapes from the flame. The results form part of an overall emissions reduction plan for the facility. Reducing methane leaks improves the emissions intensity profile of the platform for compliance and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) purposes.
By controlling methane leaks Bumi Armada also keeps valuable and hard-earned natural gas in the pipelines, saving products available for customers to sell. The energy industry is one of the largest emitters of methane and has made a concerted effort to monitor and reduce its production in line with net-zero targets. Governments have begun to ban natural gas in new construction due to the potential for leakage during production, transportation, and use. The removal of natural gas connections from new builds is a swift, though politically controversial, new control measure.
Overall, the use of drone technology for surveillance could help to reduce methane emissions from FPSOs and other oil and gas facilities. This will improve compliance and ESG performance, and protect against the loss of valuable natural gas products. Governments and industries are taking increasing steps to reduce methane emissions from various sources, in line with net-zero commitments.
Tags: Bumi fleet