Drones in Energy: Firm Improves Safety, Efficiency and Bottom Line

In order to support its energy client base, Keystone Consultants Inc. is bringing in drones. Specifically, it has selected Identified Technologies, a provider of automatic commercial drone mapping and tracking for industrial job sites.

Established in 1991, Keystone is a multidisciplinary consulting firm serving Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The firm’s services include civil engineering, environmental permitting, surveying, right-of-way acquisition and mapping/GIS.

Historically, according to the companies, it would take a survey team about half a day to survey one well pad (typically, a cleared area used for oil or gas drilling). By using Identified Technologies’ drone services, Keystone was able to survey six well pads in a single day and receive the data in near real time. In turn, the drone work increased employee productivity by over 70%, the companies say.

Currently, Keystone says it is working for a number of major energy companies that will use Identified Technologies’ fully integrated mapping and measuring systems to survey energy sites quickly, reduce capital expenditures and avoid technological obsolescence.

“We had been investigating commercial done solutions for some time, and Identified provided the quickest and most cost-effective point of entry into the market,” states David Stewart, vice president of Keystone. “We considered doing this in-house, but we would have had to hire people who were used to processing this kind of data and legally set ourselves up to do the work. Identified provided a very attractive mechanism to be up and running in a short period of time.”

“In a highly regulated industry like energy, drone mapping can significantly reduce injuries, as the drone can go places your crew cannot,” notes Dick Zhang, CEO of Identified Technologies. “Generally, clients see survey savings of 70 percent to 90 percent on their projects, and when you factor in avoided personnel injuries and early detection of problems, the value per job is often in the millions of dollars.”

Identified Technologies’ eeDaaS (end-to-end Drone as a Service) solution tracks and optimizes project progress by automatically capturing 3D job site updates at the push of a button.

The Pittsburgh-based company claims its integrated hardware and software system provides aerial volumetric mapping updates 60 times faster than traditional methods can. In addition, the system automatically gathers processes, stores and measures industrial projects for progress analysis and secure sharing with stakeholders for real-time action and collaboration.

Recently, Identified Technologies was selected by Bentley Development to support a large surface mining project in western Pennsylvania. Last year, Identified Technologies said it closed a seven-figure funding round led by Birchmere Ventures.

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