Russian LNG producer Novatek has launched a project for methane leak monitoring as part of the company’s plans to reduce its methane intensity.
The initiative forms part of the comprehensive environmental and climate change targets program as well as development of a multi-level leak detection system, according to a Novatek statement.
The company’s unit Novatek-Yurkharovneftegas is using unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, for the project.
Using UAVs for methane leak monitoring enables more accurate and faster measurements as well as lower costs compared to other monitoring methods, Novatek said.
The project involves using domestically-sourced UAVs to inspect the facilities of the Yurkharovskoye field, one of the largest in Novatek’s portfolio.
It also includes the West-Yaroyakhinskiy license area, spanning almost 100 hectares as well as a 50-km long section of Novatek’s gas pipeline.
Designed with hypersensitive gas analyzers, UAVs are equipped to operate in remote areas and deliver real-time video feed within a range of up to 50 km.
The UAVs are an important element of the multi-level methane leak detection system, which includes satellite imaging and ground monitoring during site tours, Novatek said.
By 2030, Novatek aims to reduce its methane intensity by 4 percent to 9.96 tons/mmboe from the 2019 baseline.
In 2021, Novatek reduced its methane intensity by 11 percent year-on-year to 12.9 tons/mmboe, it said.