• Chris Jones

Drone UAV inspections oil and gas industry

Regular inspection of oil and gas installations is vital for production, maintenance, safety and environmental impact assessment.

The requirements for this inspection are basically the same on most oil fields, refineries and pipelines, but the scale of operations can be quite large and complex.

To avoid undesirable plant shutdown or oil spillage, expensive inspection operations must be conducted periodically. But the conventional methods used by oil and gas companies for monitoring pipelines, pumps, valves and other equipment have been quite expensive and inefficient. Oil workers also have to put themselves at risk their lives any time they want to detect oil leaks located at height.

However, using drones for oil facility inspections offers a more cost effective and efficient way to detect faults in oil installations. Here is a brief description of the benefits of drone use in the oil and gas industry.

Fast and Efficient Data Collection

Drone inspections offer oil and gas companies a faster and easier method of collecting critical data. Instead of performing a time-consuming manual operation, drones can easily perform leak detection, assess oil spillage, analyse cracks, and detect corroded pipes and equipment. For instance, the commercial quality drones designed for industrial and commercial use by Global Drone Surveys perform these operations efficiently and they are extremely valuable for gathering accurate data for maintenance and planning.

Cost Effective Surveys

Drone surveys on oil fields are not only more affordable, they provide high definition images and more accurate spatial data. Instead of the expensive and unsafe manual inspection of off-shore and on-shore oil installations, drones can use the difference in temperature of soil and fluid to quickly detect oil leaks.

Also, the powerful cameras and allow them to fly beyond hazardous environments and capture a large volume of data and images for future review and analysis including geo-referenced UAV mapping.

Efficient Oil Spill Detection and Cleaning

Oil and gas companies invest a substantial amount of funds to prevent, detect and clean up oil spills because of their adverse effect on humans and the natural environment. When there is an oil spill, advanced drone technology helps energy companies to quickly discover the source and direction of oil movement and prevent further pollution of the ground and water.

The information provided by drone surveys also makes it easier to deploy engineers and technicians to minimise the extent of damage caused by the oil spill. UAVs are also the perfect platform to gather data for environmental impact assessments for onshore and offshore developments.

Quick and Precise Leakage Detection

The multi-rotor drones used in the oil and gas industry have specially designed optical sensors. These sensors can easily detect the source of oil leakage in thick forests, swampy areas and portions of land where the natural eyes cannot easily detect the source of the oil spill. Drones can inspect and discover the leakages faster and more accurately. In most cases, they reduce the time used for inspection by at least 50 percent through efficient 3D mapping of oil exploration fields and pipelines.

Global Drone Surveys

At Global Drone Surveys, we have specially trained pilots who have the expertise and experience to fly in complex industrial environments.

In addition to obtaining CAA permission number 922 for commercial drone operations, we have amassed a high number of commercial flying hours in the inspection of industrial sites, and we have the necessary insurance cover for all our operations.

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UAV inspection


All our pilots are trained to the highest UK standards by Resource-UAS and all have a minimum of RPQ-Small qualification allowing us to operate ROAV's / UAV's safely and competently. CAA licenced operator number: 922


Full Public Liability insurance specific to aerial work to £10million


Global Drone Surveys Ltd

London Office

Company number 9226262

Office One

1 Coldbath Square





Global Drone Surveys Ltd

Cardiff Office

Company number 9226262

Capital Tower Business Centre

3rd Floor



CF10 3AG



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C.A.A licensed, aerial filming & photography specialists, using remote-controlled, multi-rotor UAVs (drones)