Concept: Canada-based UAV solution offering startup SkyX has offered an AI-integrated aerial pipeline inspection solution. The solution comes with unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) SkyOne integrated with AI for computer vision analysis. The startup aims to provide a safer environment and efficient midstream assets by leveraging AI and aerial systems.

Nature of Disruption: SkyX offers a drone-as-a-service model. The SkyOne is an autonomous vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAV. It travels up to 100 km in a single charge. It has remote stations for automated recharging and can travel thousands of kilometers. As the drone flies over its programmed routes it takes precisely timed high resolution overlapping images. Each image has a reference as to when and where it is taken in time and space. The visual data collected is then analyzed by SkyX’s AI system to identify the anomalies on pipelines, their right-of-way (ROW), and surrounding areas. It then makes data available on GIS (geographic information system) application. The visual data provided by the solution allows the enterprise to see the status of all projects, review any critical issues, access visual data for verification before deployment of maintenance crews. It also allows monitoring trends over time with advance notifications for problematic areas along with the enterprise’s assets. The main application of SkyX’s solutions in midstream is pipeline failure and spills, geotechnical anomalies, unauthorized third-party activities, environment health, and in pipeline product theft. Moreover, the data collected overflight is leveraged by AI to provide midstream pipeline preventive maintenance.

Outlook: Oil & gas pipelines are getting old and as they are aging, they become susceptible to hazards. This can culminate into damages that can affect the environment during oil leakages or asset failure. Thereby it directly affects enterprises’ operational efficiency and revenue. SkyX’s DaaS model help oil & gas enterprise to tap technology of aerial system and AI for rigorous inspection and preventive maintenance. This automated service delivers the required insight to maintain asset integrity and extract precise visual insights to monitor the pipeline. Recently, SkyX has entered into a multi-year asset monitoring agreement with Denbury to monitor portions of Denbury’s oil recovery (EOR) asset base and carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) pipeline infrastructure in the Gulf Coast. The UAVs will collect high-quality aerial data, to be processed and analyzed by SkyX’s proprietary SkyVision software to offer a clear, and detail.

This article was originally published in