OGTC, ACE Launch New UAVs

New UAVs are said to offer a 'step change' in capability and functionality.

The UK’s Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) and Air Control Entech (ACE) have launched a set of new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which aim to reduce offshore oil and gas inspection costs by up to 50 percent.

The new UAVs are said to offer a ‘step change’ in capability and functionality, delivering ‘faster, more accurate and cost-efficient inspection’.

Early-stage trials for the new technology have already been secured with a number of major operators in the North Sea, the OGTC said. It was not revealed exactly when the trials would begin, but an OGTC spokesperson confirmed that they would start this year.

“We’re pleased with the progress of our project with Air Control Entech and it’s great to see three new UAVs ready to be deployed. Our goal is to eliminate the impact of asset integrity on operational uptime by 2026 and developing advanced UAVs is vital,” Rebecca Allison, OGTC asset integrity solution centre manager, said in an organization statement.

“The feedback and support of our industry partners has been instrumental, so it’s no surprise that there is already wide-spread interest in trialling the technology,” she added.

ACE Managing Director, Kieran Hope, said the company was delighted to have completed the milestone with OGTC.

“We now have three cutting-edge UAVs which are ready to be deployed. The support from the Centre has been excellent and it’s helped us deliver technology that makes essential inspection work smarter, faster and safer,” Hope said in a company statement.

“We look forward to continuing our UAV development with the Centre and delivering technology that adds value to the industry and reduces costs for operators,” he added.

The OGTC is a not-for-profit, industry-led, technology research and development organization based in Aberdeen.


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