BP Ventures Invests in Drone Firm Flylogix
The company uses unmanned aerial vehicles to measure methane offshore.
BP Ventures has made a £3 million equity investment in Flylogix, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) business that uses drones to aid methane detection.
The investment is part of a funding round led by Amati Global Investors that totaled £6 million. Flylogix combines its UAV with artificial intelligence, satellite communications, and methane-sensor technology from partner SeekOps to monitor and measure methane in some of the most remote locations.
“We are investing in companies that can help us with our net-zero ambition and aims, and Flylogix has been instrumental in how we undertake measurements of methane emissions in the North Sea,” said David Hayes, managing partner with BP Ventures. “Accurate emissions measurements are the basis upon which mitigation plans are based.”
Flylogix, which holds the UK record for the longest commercial drone flight, has worked with BP since 2018 to monitor assets across the UK North Sea. Its unmanned aircrafts take measurements that verify emissions and help validate accurate reporting of emissions data.
The investment supports BP’s goals of installing methane measurement on all existing major oil and gas processing sites by 2023 and delivering a 50% reduction in methane intensity across its operations.
During flight, the aircraft manages itself autonomously with pilot oversight from shore. It can fly as close as 250 m to installations. Flylogix live streams data collected by a SeekOps sensor on its wingtip to the onshore support crew. The sensor technology was originally designed by NASA for the Mars Curiosity Rover.
This technique provides BP and other operators with accurate and quantifiable emission data that can improve how that data is assessed and collated.
“This latest investment will help Flylogix bring our proven UAV technology to new regions and develop applications to realize the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles,” said Charles Tavner, the CEO of Flylogix. “It is a significant moment for the business. We see endorsement from BP as a vote of confidence and are proud to build on our existing partnership in pursuit of net zero.”
Flylogix said it plans to use the latest funding round to expand to new areas, including the US, Norway, and Trinidad and Tobago. It also said it plans to cross over into the biodiversity and renewable energy industries, conducting wind turbine blade inspections for offshore sites.