SPE Kicks Off New Technical Section for Unmanned Systems
The newly launched Unmanned Systems Technical Section will provide a central hub for questions, answers, discussion, collaboration, and networking around unmanned marine, air, and land vehicle systems, software solutions, and power systems for the oil and gas industry. Unmanned systems include remotely operated, autonomous surface, autonomous underwater, unmanned underwater, unmanned aerial, and autonomous aerial vehicles.
Remotely operated vehicles have been used by the oil and gas industry for approximately 40 years for subsea operations. Over the last several years, drones are just starting to be used for a number of applications such as surveying and inspections. In the near future, autonomous cars, trucks, ships, and aircraft will change the logistics landscape in ways we can only begin to imagine. Ultimately, it’s not the hardware or software, but the solution that these existing and new technologies bring to the oil and gas industry to improve safety and the efficiency of operations.
Unmanned systems are used in subsea well construction and support, terrain mapping, inspection of rigs and facilities, nondestructive evaluation of pipelines, transportation, surveillance and security, and facility planning and monitoring. Hisham Saadawi, SPE Production and Facilities Technical Director, wrote about the latest developments and applications of these technologies in his column, “Unmanned Vehicles and Robotics Gain Momentum.”
The technical section officers include Daniel De Clute-Melancon, Weatherford, first Chair and Community Webmaster; Susan Nash, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Program Chair; Chris Mentzer, Southwest Research Institute, Administrative Chair; Trey Mebane, Chasm Visions, Membership Chair; and Ed Tovar, InTechSys, Treasurer and Sponsorship Chair. Balaji Ramachandran, Nicholls State University, serves as Academic Director.
Equinor Plans Extension of Statfjord Field
The plan will extend production of the largest field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf to 2040, while also deferring plans to decommission the Statfjord A platform. Statfjord A was originally scheduled to be decommissioned in 2022.
New Innovations Enable Autonomous Pipeline Inspections
As companies look to reduce the time it takes to inspect a subsea pipeline, as well as the costs involved in the operation, autonomous systems have become a more desirable option. How close are they to becoming the norm?
ISO Approves First Safety Standards for Commercial Drone Operation
The organization said the new standard, which focuses on air safety and data protection, is the first step in a wider move to promote the use of drones within a framework of approved regulatory compliance.
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