The Azerbaijan State News Agency

ECONOMY

bp pioneers use of drones in its operations in Caspian Sea

Baku, June 20, AZERTAC

bp has started to use cutting-edge drone technology to carry out tank inspections on its assets in the Caspian Sea. For the first time, the company has utilized the Elios 3 drone to conduct an empty tank inspection on the Shah Deniz Alpha platform, bp Azerbaijan told AZERTAC.

This is a groundbreaking move towards enhancing safety and efficiency in bp’s operations in the region. It also brings a number of other advantages such as speed and reliability as it eliminates the need for human involvement, makes the process quick and adds agile maneuverability to it. In addition, this innovative technology application will provide consistent and more accurate inspection data aiding operational decisions.

“Inspection of empty storage tanks on the Shah Deniz Alfa platform with drones marks the first-ever application of this innovative technology to bp's assets in the Caspian. The Elios 3 drones are able to complete tank inspections in the merest fraction of the time traditionally spent on the same activity. In fact, they can complete the task in just 45 minutes compared to up to four weeks required for human-performed inspections and this means a minimal disruption to operations. Most importantly, this is a transformative leap forward in safety, which is always our number one focus. In a wider sense, the use of drones in offshore operations sets a new standard for safety and operational excellence in our industry,” said Elkhan Mammadov, bp’s vice president, production.

Building on the success of this initiative, bp is planning to transition from a pilot project to a wide, suitable and compliant use of the Elios 3 drone for the visual inspection of non-hydrocarbon vessels or tanks in its operations in this region.

This is not bp’s first technology application to tank inspection and cleaning activities in its regional operations. In 2019, bp initiated the use of robotic crawlers for inspecting crude oil storage tanks at the Sangachal terminal. Since then, this innovation has not only significantly reduced human involvement in the cleaning of massive crude oil tanks but also ensured uninterrupted maintenance service resulting in substantial cost savings.

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