QGC makes Surat Basin drone deal with Boeing co. Insitu

An InSitu ScanEagle UAS. (Image: Insitu)

QGC has made a deal with unmanned systems provider Insitu Pacific to supply remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) for the former’s Queensland operations.

(QGC is a subsidiary of Shell and Insitu is a subsidiary of Boeing.)

The RPAS will be used for automated inspection of infrastructure and management services in the Surat Basin, representing a new step for the use of autonomous air vehicles for infrastructure and maintenance analysis. The system is also approved for use in the region by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Andrew Duggan, commercial and general manager of Insitu Pacific, said the contract came from the results of two years of testing and evaluation.

“Insitu’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,” he explained.

The RPAS uses ‘beyond visual line of sight’ (BVLOS) systems for the purpose of advanced ground analytics. Use of the automated system is expected to save hundreds of thousands of kilometres of driving for QGC safety inspectors.

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,” said QGC upstream general manager Bill Langin.