UAS Oil and Gas Emergency Inspection Service by Sky-Futures

14. January 2015

Case study 1: Emergency offshore inspection in extreme weather.

Sky-Futures are the global leaders for offering oil and gas inspections using UAS. On Christmas Eve, Sky-Futures received a call for the deployment of a UAS inspection team for an emergency inspection offshore due to a damaged access hatch on a flare tower. It was posing a risk of falling onto workers below due to the high winds and poor weather.

A helicopter had tried to get imagery of the hatch but could not and due to safety there was no chance of a second attempt. Within 24 hours the team was deployed and offshore.

A risk assessment onsite, approved by the client and by Sky-Futures head office, allowed the team to fly in above normal wind limits for the UAS. The assessment under these conditions was critical, due to the hatch’s potential to cause injury, and in order for production to continue on the platform. Few weather windows meant that the UAS ability to fly quickly and efficiently during weather lulls was crucial for the client gathering data. During a weather lull, the winds dropped to 51 km/h (28 knots), allowing flights to be made. The imagery captured allowed the safety authorities on the platform to make the decision to keep all workers inside and shut production down. Workers were kept safe until a further lull in the weather allowed repairs to be made. Thee emergency response from Sky-Futures proved invaluable to keeping the platform and workers safe and was completed within 48 hours of the initial request despite the stormy UK North Sea conditions.

Sky-Futures offer a proven and reliable UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) emergency inspection service to the global Oil and Gas industry using the AscTec Falcon 8. Sky-Futures are the global leaders in UAS inspections to the oil and gas industry. Aligned with their core service is the ability to quickly deploy a UAS inspection team meaning that emergencies, both offshore and onshore, can be dealt with in a safe and effective manner. The information collected can be analysed in-house by experts to make fact-based decisions, crucial in safety and time-critical situations. Sky-Futures’ expertise in providing successful inspections means that they are able to deploy teams world-wide at short notice.

© Sky-Futures: The images from the AscTec Falcon 8 providing clear examples of the dangerous state of the access hatch.

Case study 2: Expert assessment of a major fault during a shutdown within 3 hours

Sky-Futures received a request for urgent help on a UK bank holiday Monday. During a shutdown an O&G super major had discovered a major crack on their flare system. Not having a specialist they immediately contacted Sky-Futures for assistance. David English, Sky-Futures in house flare expert provided his assessment of the crack, evaluating the dropped object risk or whether production would halt. Within 3 hours of the request the O&G major had the information at hand to deal with the issue fast. Without the emergency inspection service, the client would have faced a major operational decision without all of the necessary facts, potentially elongating an expensive shutdown and increasing shutdown costs by millions of pounds.

About Sky-Futures: Sky-Futures are the global leaders for providing Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) inspections in Oil and Gas. They provide High Definition video, still and thermal imagery and technical reports written by industry experts. Sky-Futures have over 26 clients globally, and work in over 10 countries across 5 regions of the world. The company has over 8,500 hours’ worth of flying experience, providing live flare, structural and under-deck inspections onshore and offshore for oil and gas clients. It is a member of the Small UAV Coalition.

Please note: Ascending Technologies develop and produce multirotor and autopilot technology, but provide no service. For further information and in case of emergency, please directly contact Sky-Futures:

Tel.: +44 (0)207 148 7002 /// mail: ///