BP's North Sea business launched a pilot project testing innovative ways to remotely monitor methane emissions on its offshore assets, the company announced on Tuesday.
The pilot project collected emission data by using a drone to fly over the Clair oilfield platform, an offshore oil field in Scottish territorial waters, effectively avoiding the need to send people or equipment offshore.
"It demonstrates the feasibility of this unique approach to monitoring methane," BP said.
BP's drone test broke the U.K.'s record for the longest commercial drone flight by flying for more than 185 kilometers for 90 minutes.
Following the successful results, the specialist drone will be deployed to all of BP's North Sea assets in 2020.
"Improving our knowledge, understanding and performance by testing new technologies and working closely with suppliers is central to the North Sea's carbon reduction plan, which aims to limit greenhouse emissions in our North Sea business," said Ariel Flores, North Sea regional president.
BP is a founding member of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which brings together 13 of the world's largest energy companies and has set up a $1 billion investment fund to address methane emissions and invest in complementary technology, including carbon capture, use and storage.
BP also uses drones to detect leaks in its U.S. operations.
By Zeynep Beyza Kilic