November 20, 2019

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Drone Completes 115-Mile Trial for Offshore Methane Detection

Last week, British Petroleum’s (BP) North Sea business completed its pilot project to remotely monitor methane emissions of its offshore assets by using an unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone). BP used a fixed-wing UAS with sensor technology originally designed by NASA for the Mars Curiosity Rover. The UAS circled one of BP’s offshore platforms at a radius of 1,800 feet for 90 minutes and traveled a total of approximately 115 miles. The drone was managed autonomously once it was airborne and was remotely tracked by a team of three pilots using satellite communications and radio link from an onshore base on the remote island. During the flight, the drone live-streamed the data collected by its SeekOps methane sensor.

BP’s North Sea regional president, Ariel Flores, said, “Improving our knowledge, understanding and performance by testing new technologies and working closely with suppliers is central to the North Sea’s carbon-reduction plan, which aims to limit greenhouse emissions in our North Sea business. This pilot project represents a significant step forward in our ability to do that.”

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About this Author

Kathryn Rattigan Attorney Cybersecurity Data Privacy
Associate

Kathryn Rattigan is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. She advises clients on data privacy and security, cybersecurity, and compliance with related state and federal laws. Kathryn also provides legal advice regarding the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS, or drones) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. She represents clients across all industries, such as insurance, health care, education, energy, and construction.

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