Energy 8 March, 2018 12:00 pm   
Editorial staff

Drones help PGNiG look for hydrocarbons (REPORT)

PGNiG wants to use drones to look for hydrocarbons and protect gas pipelines. A discussion on this subject took place in Warsaw.

Infrastructure security is already there. Now it’s time to search with drones

– BZB UAS is one of the startups who amazed us with its solutions – said the vice-president of PGNiG, Łukasz Kroplewski. In his opinion, drones can be used in a variety of activities. In the hydrocarbon extraction sector, they are used for exploration through ortho and photographic maps.

– It’s about activity in the country, but not only. It’s critical infrastructure. Threat prevention and event analysis are extremely important. We detect defects today before they happen. It is possible today. The vast amount of data we have at our disposal means that we are able to predict a lot – summarized the PGNiG vice president of existing solutions. BZB UAS technology is to allow more.

In Kroplewski’s opinion, the open innovation formula used by the InnVento incubator guaranteed synergy allowing the use of the potential of solutions, as promoted during the meeting.

– Business must pay off. There is no point in implementing innovations that will raise costs – said Maciej Szota, director of innovation and development at PGNiG. The representative of Polskie Sieci Gazownictwa (PSG) argued that drones can help in monitoring gas pipelines. – The regulations require an annual review of the situation. We have used helicopters so far. The substitute method that gives the economic benefit and increases the security of the network are drones – said Mariusz Konieczny, deputy director of development of PSG. – Drones can also be used to observe network objects – he added.

Innovations from InnVento are to give technology that allows effective implementation of such solutions. A representative of BZB UAS declared that the technology of this company allows for an effective “integration of the drone with a sensor”. – Safety is the most important aspect for us – assured Kacper Budnik, the startup leader of BZB UAS. The drone in the moment of flight is controlled autonomously and the signal allowing for contact with it remains encrypted. In the event of a problem, the system of automatic return to the landing field is started. – Thanks to the photos we create ortho and photomaps. It is possible to connect other sensors, but this will be the next stage – he concluded.

PGNiG is already using drones for exploration and extraction. The terrains where the exploration is going on are often forests and mountains. At the first stage, it is necessary to perform geophysical surveys in three dimensions. – It all starts with the design of maps – said Krzysztof Potera, director of the geology and operation department of PGNiG. – We need to find the optimal point at which the drilling device will stand. The drone can also help here – he said.

Kroplewski for The customer will benefit in the end

In an interview with the journalist, the vice-president of PGNiG, Łukasz Kroplewski, said that at the moment the innovative activity of PGNiG is beginning to materialize. – There was a period of incubation, under which the third edition of the workshop of innovative ideas, MIT acceleration as part of the ScaleUp Start in Poland program took place, and additionally the INGA program – innovative gas industry – he said.

– New details soon – implementation after piloting, in a moment commercialization, which will effect in building a portfolio of PGNiG in favor of our company and start-ups that work with us. This shows that we are a reliable business partner. Customers will also gain access to all this – said the vice president of PGNiG.