Insitu Pacific signs contract to support QGC coal seam gas operations

QGC is using RPAS from Insitu Pacific to inspect its coal seam gas operations.(Insitu Pacific)
QGC is using RPAS from Insitu Pacific to inspect its coal seam gas operations.(Insitu Pacific)

Unmanned systems company Insitu says it has signed a contract to support Royal Dutch Shell company QGC’s coal seam gas extraction business in Queensland.

As part of the contract, QGC will use remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) to inspect wells, tanks, pipes and other infrastructure in Queensland’s Surat Basin.

This would help cut down staff travel across an area of spanning some 700,000Ha by about 800,000km a year, QGC general manager for upstream Bill Langin said in a statement on Wednesday.

Further, this would allow the company to more quickly respond to any issues picked up during the assessment.

“This project is a global first for Beyond Visual Line of Site (BVLOS) Remotely Piloted Aerial System operations,” Langin said.

A file image of an Insitu ScanEagle. (Insitu Pacific)
A file image of an Insitu ScanEagle. (Insitu Pacific)

“The partnership will allow QGC to drive improvements in our safety performance, more efficiently and effectively survey our infrastructure and reduce our footprint on the environment.”

Insitu is wholly-owned by Boeing and offers RPAS systems, also known as drones, such as its ScanEagle, Blackjack and Integrator platforms, to both commercial and military clients. The company also makes unattended ground sensors (UGS) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), according to its website.

Its Australian division Insitu Pacific is based in Brisbane.

Insitu Pacific general manager Andrew Duggan said two years of testing with QGC showed the company’s “robust systems consistently excel in rugged environments, and have the range to cover broad areas to provide vital analysis and alerts to site managers, safety experts and surveyors”.

“We’re excited to continue our partnership with QGC to provide tailored solutions that are changing how onshore gas fields are managed, operated and explored today,” Duggan said in a statement.

Comments

  1. David says

    “This project is a global first for Beyond Visual Line of Site (BVLOS) Remotely Piloted Aerial System operations,” Langin said.

    So what is this? Heron sized RPAVs flying end to end of pipe routes? or out and back for just a couple of km?
    I get that this is (or seem likely to be) a professional outfit but it would have been nice to see a bit of a story on how this is going to work in areas where there is a lot of (lets say) ‘informal’ visual operations by local landholders with Ultra-lights and small helo’s where UHF CB is the comms of choice.