GE Working on New Drone for Oil and Gas Inspections
Providing what the company calls a present and future glimpse of promising new technologies for the oil and gas industry, General Electric (GE) on 5 October held the grand opening of its new Oil and Gas Technology Center in Oklahoma City, where the company revealed a peek at its smart-sensing drone prototype to detect emissions at oilfields.
At the opening ceremony, GE unveiled the prototype Raven drone, which has been engineered to detect emissions precisely and cost-effectively in order to help customers reduce environmental impact and improve operational efficiency in the oil and gas industry, according to the company.
GE says Southwestern Energy successfully piloted the technology to detect emissions from oilfield equipment at well sites in Arkansas in July.
In a video describing the new drone, John Westerheide, technology leader for the Oil and Gas Technology Center, said, “The goal of Raven is to help our customers inspect their upstream assets in a faster, better way.”
Ashraf El-Messidi, energy systems engineer at the new center, adds that the drone was designed to be used with a mobile app, where a user can draw a flight path “with the swipe of a finger” so that the aircraft can autonomously follow waypoints and conduct an inspection.
Westerheide added, “The benefit of programmable flight path capability allows us to enable anyone, regardless of background, to use advanced technology.”