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BP invests £3M in unmanned aviation tech Flylogix to help reduce its emissions

Flylogix Aerospace

Flylogix, a pioneering unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) business that uses drones to aid methane detection, has attracted and secured a £6M equity investment, in a round led by Amati Global Investors.

BP quite notably took part, exclusively investing £3M in Flylogix, following successful trials in the North Sea. 

The growing need for unmanned air operations

Thousands of kilometres are flown every day to conduct work which ranges from transporting time-critical goods, surveying pipelines, tracking livestock, monitoring waterways and performing environmental studies.

It, unfortunately, takes a huge amount of fuel to fly a person safely, which is expensive and degrading to the environment, thus proving to be unsustainable. 

Solutions to this have emerged, with the interest and investment in electric planes and very capable battery-powered drones. The pacey developments in computing, communications, electronics and regulation are reshaping the aerospace business.

Flylogix and its methane detecting drone

Situated at Lee-on-the-Solent, in the UK, Flylogix leverages unmanned drones to measure methane offshore. The company combines its UAV technology, satellite communications and methane sensor technology, from partner SeekOps, to monitor and measure methane in some of the most remote and hostile locations in the world.

Flylogix’s Condor drone holds the record for the longest commercial drone flight, after flying for 88 kilometres on a round trip that saw it gather detailed infrared imagery. It has since gathered a list of powerful partners like Shell, Total, BP and Harbour Energy, just to mention a few, in a list that’s expected to grow.

Flylogix’s special relationship with BP

Flylogix drone not only boasts long-range capabilities and infrared sensors to monitor methane emissions but also can get as close as 250m away from the desired object to be observed. The drone is also capable of live-streaming data to the onshore support team using SeekOps sensors, originally designed for NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover, placed on their wingtip.

This technique has provided BP and other rig operators with accurate and quantifiable emission data which can improve how the data is collated and assessed.

This method of methane monitoring supports BP and the wider petroleum industry in its efforts to monitor and drive down emissions from its operations. It reduces the need for additional people offshore and the cost and carbon emissions that come with their logistics.

David Hayes, managing partner of BP ventures said, “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. Accurate emissions measurements are the basis upon which mitigation plans are based – we look forward to continuing our partnership with Flylogix as it expands into new regions.”

Flylogix will leverage the funding to expand into new geographies, including the US, Norway and Trinidad & Tobago. It will also crossover into the biodiversity and renewable energy industries, conducting wind turbine blade inspections for offshore sites using its unmanned drones.

“This latest investment will help Flylogix bring our proven UAV technology to new regions and develop applications to realise the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles. It is a significant moment for the business. We see the endorsement from bp as a vote of confidence and are proud to build on our existing partnership, in pursuit of net-zero,” said Charles Tavner, CEO of Flylogix.

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