iSight uses drones to assess well pad remediation

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 4:57 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Drone-technology is making it easier for oil companies to assess the land where well pad remediation is taking place.

When production companies are done extracting oil at a location, they need to get the ground as close as possible to the way it was before they were there.

iSight Drone Services in Watford City is doing assessments for Whiting Oil & Gas, and say unmanned aircraft systems are definitely the future of the oil industry.

Pilots have been flying drones to take pictures from 400 feet in the air in locations spanning from Medora to Minot. Those pictures are then edited together to create a large map of each site.

“We’ll take that imagery, and run it through software that allows us to see vegetation health, and compare it to pictures… basically before pictures of before the pad was installed or shortly after they removed everything,” said iSight Drone Services Pilot & Small UAS Operator Zachary Daly.

Drones are now replacing other surveying methods, including walking the area with a camera on a pole to take one-square-foot pictures, and testing various soil samples. It’s quicker, too.

“We started the project right at the end of June. And it’s been just about a month to get all 101 well pads done all across western North Dakota,” added iSight Drone Services Intern Connor Propp.

Zachary Daly and Conner Propp say they’ve found that the vegetation at old well pad locations is typically healthier than it was before companies began the extraction process.

Drone technology is just in its infancy. As it improves, the oil and gas industry will be able to do more with drones than humans could safely do alone.

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