Flare inspection in Saudi Arabia

Case Study

Flare inspection in Saudi Arabia

Cyberhawk completed the inspection of a live flare stack at a major onshore refinery in Saudi Arabia, without the need to shut down operations.

The rationale behind the operator’s use of UAVs was to reduce human exposure to potential hazards, including working at height and in gas-rich environments, as well as remaining a safe distance from the operational assets. Traditionally, this inspection would require a shutdown, however the operator wanted to significantly reduce costs by maximising uptime of the processing equipment.

Thanks to our international track record and extensive experience in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, Cyberhawk was chosen as the preferred UAV inspection company to provide accurate data on the condition of the assets.

The inspection team, including a flare inspection engineer and a CAA qualified pilot, completed the project in just two days. On day one, the team familiarised itself with the asset and the health and safety procedures of the refinery, completing the inspection in only four hours on the second day.

Regional operational challenges in Middle East include heat, which affects the battery life of the drones, as well as sandstorms that cause low visibility. This meant that our experienced team had to work very quickly, efficiently and with a high level of skill.

Furthermore, due to challenging customs restrictions in Saudi Arabia, Cyberhawk had to demonstrate a strong track record and high level of knowledge of UAV regulations in order to secure the necessary flight permissions from the aviation authority, as well as additional approvals from the local airforce.

Together with quicker inspection times, reduced cost of inspection and avoidance of unplanned shutdowns, Cyberhawk’s UAV solution once again proved its worth in the oil and gas sector.

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