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Gazprom Neft tests an ultra-long-range drone for exploration geophysics

Gazprom Neft tests an ultra-long-range drone for exploration geophysics

St.Petersburg, August 18 - Neftegaz.RU. Gazprom Neft, together with Russia’s DIAM-AERO, has successfully tested a new-generation extended-range unmanned aerial vehicle (drone), to be used for geophysical works, in the Leningrad Oblast. This device can cover a distance of 1,200 m - which is 10 times more than models currently used in multi-level magnetic surveying at oil and gas fields. That distance and duration means operations can be undertaken, highly effectively, in remote areas with no surface infrastructure.

Gazprom Neft successfully utilised drons with a range of up to 150 km for non-seismic geological exploration. Using these, the company has been able to obtain initial information on bedrock structure, which facilitates further planning for subsequent stages of field exploration. The developers of this new aerial device have been able to offer brand new technological capabilities for the industrial use of drons consistent with the requirements of Gazprom Neft’s UAV Technology Centre and the company’s Science & Technology Centre.

This ultra-long-range drone is made of special composite materials, which do not give rise to any disturbance during investigations. The device can carry a payload of up to 5 kg, meaning various technological operations and various kinds of measurements can be undertaken, simultaneously. Added to which, this new development can be used under the challenging climatic conditions of the Arcticand other regions of the Russian Far North.

The developers plan to equip a new model of this drone with a vertical take-off and landing system, which will allow the device to be made compatible with any take-off and landing areas, including the roofs of cross-country vehicles.

Using unmanned aircraft comes out about 2.5 to 3 times cheaper than similar operations using manned aircraft. Gazprom Neft plans to use these to further improve the efficiency of its investigations, both offshore and in other inaccessible locations, over the next few years.

Gazprom Neft has identified more than 70 different scenarios for using drone systems, altogether, including in airborne territorial laser-scanning, cargo transportation, and in monitoring construction and infrastructure status. Two thirds of the company’s pipelines, in fact (more than 7,000 km) are now partially or completely controlled using aircraft-type drones.

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