GE Develops Drones to Help Advance Oil, Gas Exploration

As part of an effort to help oil and natural gas explorers save money, General Electric has begun development of a helicopter drone named Raven to search for methane emissions at well sites, which would help workers to triple the time it takes to detect and stop leaks.

GE tested Raven during a trial run back in July, which showed that Raven could smell methane emissions from a pair of well sites a half mile away from each other in the Arkansas Fayetteville Shale.

In an industry that has dealt with billions of dollars’ worth of spending cuts, layoffs, and bankruptcies in recent years, advanced technology like Project Raven will help oil and gas companies move forward and drive productivity, according to Lorenzo Simonelli, CEO of GE Oil & Gas.

Along with smelling for methane leaks, other applications for GE’s drone projects could include checking for mechanical wear and corrosion or inspecting flare stacks at refineries, according to information from Hartford Courant.

Hartford Courant