Sometimes to innovate, you need to go to places you’ve never been before.

  • Innovation with Shell and iShale

    Innovation

    Surveillance drones are used across Shell’s global portfolio. Historically, there have been some unique challenges to operationalising drones in our shale assets, especially in the U.S., primarily because U.S. regulations require drones to stay within range of the pilot’s vision, limiting their geographic reach and operational scope. Shell-Avitas Systems drone development program, piloted in the Permian Basin, has overcome some of these challenges. In September 2018, the FAA granted Avitas Systems first approval to fly drones for civil use Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) with the assistance of radar in Loving County, Texas.

  • New Ways of Working

    New Ways of Working

    After hundreds of flight hours, our drone pilot program in the Permian has demonstrated the potential for multi-mission surveillance drones operated beyond visual line of sight and supported by advanced analytics to be an integral part of our operations, not only in the Permian Basin, but across our shale portfolio. In July 2020, we expanded the use of drones to enhance our existing methane leak detection and repair (LDAR) program in the Permian Basin.

  • Work Smarter, not Harder

    Smarter, Not Harder

    Surveillance drones can enable automated detection of oil and gas leaks, corrosion, abnormal heat sources, presence of wildlife, road conditions, and more. They also give our field operations teams better insight into the overall condition of the assets, and how the conditions change over time. This could enable teams to identify issues sooner and fix them faster.

  • Working safer

    Safer

    Shell operators in the Permian Basin travel from site to site across hundreds of miles to conduct surveillance tasks. Extensive road travel takes valuable manhours away from core maintenance and operational tasks. Drones will reduce the number of operators on the roads, increasing the efficiency of Shell’s workforce, reducing road safety-related risks and roadway impacts from cumulative use.

  • Permian is the place

    Permian

    Drones have the potential to give us unmatched reach across our area of interest in the Permian Basin – 500,000 acres (about 260,000 net acres) – and superior visibility over our 1,300 operated and non-operated wells. This, among other key technologies, will enable accelerated development activities in the Basin.

Royal Dutch Shell plc and its various subsidiaries and affiliates (the “Shell Group”) are separate legal entities. In this announcement the expression “Shell” is sometimes used for convenience where references are made to those entities individually or collectively. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer to companies in the Shell Group in general or those who work for them, and these references do not reflect the operational or corporate structure of, or the relationship between, entities in the Shell Group. Nothing in this announcement is intended to suggest that any entity in the Shell Group, including Royal Dutch Shell plc, directs or is responsible for the day-to-day operations of any other entity in the Shell Group.