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RSK Group conducts unmanned aerial surveys take off in Southern Iraq

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Oilfield Technology,

RSK Group Plc, the UK’s largest privately owned environmental consultancy, has taken to the skies to complete its first aerial survey in southern Iraq using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

This is a first-of-a-kind service, of particular use for oil company clients in Iraq, and enables safer and more cost effective mapping and surveying of projects. Using unmanned aerial drones is the latest tool in RSK’s resource portfolio, enabling it to offer engineering, science and technical support services to a wide range of clients including multinational oil and gas companies and leading international consultants.

RSK’s aerial surveying team has more than 15 years of UAV experience and offers a turnkey service for aerial surveying, which includes obtaining permissions, providing kit and personnel, undertaking the survey and delivering the results via its own Visivi software.

The key benefits of UAV technology are that it reduces the risk to staff by limiting the need to work at height, often in dangerous and difficult to access locations, enables improved inspection techniques, is quick to deploy and very cost-effective. This is because it can safely survey live assets such as flare stacks and thus prevent costly shutdowns.

The proof-of-concept drone currently being used is a heavily modified DJI system that was constructed in country. The weight is between 3 - 6 kg depending on the task and configuration, with flight times vary between 10 and 20 minutes (with payload weight and weather influencing this).

RSK is planning to bring in new task specific equipment for jobs such as flare stack inspection, infrastructure assessments and site surveying.

Dr. Alan Ryder, founder and CEO of RSK, said:

“During the flight, we produced wonderful quality images of a flare and a survey grade 3-D point cloud of oil field facilities for one of our oil company clients.

“This first UAV flight is an important and exciting milestone for RSK in Iraq. We expect to see a big growth in this area of our business in Iraq after having proven its success worldwide, including elsewhere in the Middle East. The improved safety and associated cost savings that UAVs offer is remarkable.”

Adapted from a press release by David Bizley

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