Group company of energy giant bp, bp ventures, has made a £3m equity investment in a pioneering unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) business that uses drones and artificial intelligence (AI) to detection methane.

The business, named Flylogix, combines its UAV with AI, satellite communications and methane sensor technology, from partner SeekOps, to monitor and measure methane across the globe. 

Holder of the UK record for the longest commercial drone flight, Flylogix – which has worked with bp since 2018 – is uniquely positioned to measure methane in remote locations. 

With a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 28-36 over 100 years, methane warms the planet by 86 times as much as carbon dioxide (CO2), according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 

At the COP26 Summit last year (2021), more than 100 countries pledged to cut methane emissions by 30%. 

Bp’s new investment supports the company’s ‘Aim 4’ 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. 

Commenting on the investment, David Hayes, Managing Partner, bp ventures, said, “Flylogix has been instrumental in how we undertake measurements of methane emissions in the North Sea.” 

The aircraft – which uses sensor technology designed by NASA for the Mars Curiosity Rover – can fly as close as 250m away from installations before livestreaming data collected by the sensor in its wingtip to the onshore support crew. 

“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,” said Charles Tavner, CEO, Flylogix.