QGC implements world-first drone technology to maintain onshore natural gas infrastructure

We use remotely piloted small-scale aircraft systems (RPAS) or drones to inspect our gas wells, pipelines and processing facilities in our gas fields in the Surat Basin. Following the success of drone trials over a few years, we signed a contract with Insitu Pacific, a subsidiary of the Boeing Group.

This partnership provides a first-of-its-kind program in Australia and represents a significant move towards the use of autonomous drones and advanced analytics around broad acre infrastructure operations and maintenance.

How it works

The drones take still images and video of the infrastructure which will help us drive improvements in our safety performance whilst more efficiently and effectively surveying our infrastructure and reducing our footprint on the environment.

The data collected by the RPAS will automatically be processed and analysed in near real-time with actionable information (including equipment check lists and operational status) before being delivered directly to our field operators, supervisors, and management staff in Brisbane.

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

Call out quote: The inclusion of Beyond Visual Line of Site (BVLOS) Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems in our overall Smart CSG suite of technology means we will potentially avoid travelling up to 300,000km/year.  

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Shell’s QGC business is located in Queensland in Eastern Australia. We are one of Australia’s leading natural gas producers, focused on developing Queensland’s world-class onshore gas reserves.


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