With increased scrutiny from both federal and state regulatory bodies surrounding fugitive
methane releases, companies are looking for solutions to meet compliance standards.
Whether the company functions in the upstream or midstream environment, fugitive methane
leaks must be addressed. Part of the new regulatory framework calls for the reduction of this
greenhouse gas through increased scans of oilfield infrastructure. Inspections must be
conducted more regularly and must include new and existing equipment at-risk of large leaks
including storage vessels and flares. Natural gas processing facilities, compressors, and
pneumatic equipment are also affected.
Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior recently
proposed methane rules that would require operators to maintain a leak detection and repair
program as well as more frequent inspections of all equipment on the lease site.
The Environmental Protection Agency has said that reducing methane emissions is a top
priority. The Agency believes that immediate methane abatement is essential to addressing
climate change and is focused on preventing unnecessary emissions from the oil and gas
industry. The rule proposed by the EPA provides for “industry flexibility to use innovative and
cost-effective methane detection technologies” for leak identification and repair. Likewise, the
Department of Interior’s proposed rule calls for the reduction of methane waste on federal and
Tribal land through methods including the repair of faulty equipment.
Additionally, the PIPES Act of 2020 tasked the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration with regulating an estimated 425,000 miles of existing gathering lines and
developing the first-ever restrictions on methane leaks. The Agency has also been tasked with
writing rules requiring companies to find and fix leaks. This new rule ordered companies to
update inspections and maintenance plans in order to find ways to eliminate hazardous leaks
and minimize releases of natural gas from pipeline facilities.
Likewise, states such as New Mexico and Colorado have enacted regulations requiring leak
detection inspections in intervals ranging from monthly to bimonthly to annually. Other states
are proposing similar requirements in an effort to reduce emissions in their areas.
Flogistix’s AirMethane program provides options to oil and gas producers and midstream
companies looking for help in meeting these regulatory requirements. Our team uses advanced
technology to detect fugitive methane leaks utilizing optical gas imaging via handheld and
drone methods. The aerial inspections also deploy methane sniffers and laser detection
systems. Our FAA Part 107 licensed drone pilots have oil and gas knowledge and can scan for
emissions up to 328 feet away. Utilizing these innovative techniques, we are able to pinpoint
leaks with precise accuracy, in less time, and from the safety of the ground.
Two types of drones are utilized for inspections: rotary and fixed-wing. The DJI Matrice 300
RTK rotary-wing drone can fly for up to 55 minutes and has a six-directional sensing and
positioning system. The unit can fly in temperatures ranging from -20 degrees Celsius to 50
The Commaris Seeker is a fixed-wing drone with a large payload-carrying capacity that is
customizable. This industry-leading UAV is capable of ultra-low noise output, fast and precise
vertical takeoff and landing, and is equipped with dual GPS systems capable of automated route
The OGI camera used is the Ventus IR midrange camera that has the ability to see 20+ gases
such as methane, H2S, and SO2 with a 640x512 focal plane array. This camera can be used for
handheld inspections or attached to a drone. While the handheld method is more cost-
effective, it does require on-site staffing.
For laser needs, we use the U-10 UAV Based Laser that is capable of detecting methane 5 ppm
from 300 feet away. This lightweight, high-sensitivity gas detector based on Turnable Diode
Laser Absorption Spectroscopy, enables rapid identification of methane using a 3-axis
The AirMethane team utilizes the sniffer 4Dv2, a methane, H2S, VOC, and hydrocarbon sniffer
system with a detection limit of 0.01% of methane in air samples and 0-50 ppm of H2S. This
unit has built-in cellular connectivity and can be charged via a power cable.
Our aerial system produces 2D and 3D maps that provide enhanced visual depictions allowing
engineers to work on a laptop from the comfort of an office saving time and money. These
scans eliminate reliance on out-of-date drawings and costly site visits, and they are available
through AirMethane’s customer portal which can be accessed by multiple users. The scans are
compiled by technology that captures a photo every 0.7 seconds during the flight.
What makes AirMethane different is Flux, our company’s performance dashboard that provides
real-time data for immediate leak resolution. By automating the reporting function with Flux,
the team at Flogistix offers companies a cost-effective, efficient tool to view and manage an
entire fleet of compressors and vapor recovery units. The program can analyze runtime
calculations and up to 300 other data points providing greater visibility into the field
performance of the fleet.
Using AirMethane as your due diligence tool for detecting emissions allows for ease in data
submission. The program provides detailed analysis of on-site emissions, mapping and
gathering data on wells sites and pipelines, as well as quick reporting to meet tight deadlines
during the due diligence process. Regulatory exposures are minimized while some operations
can be automated to improve safety.
Customers can view the detection process as it happens via live stream capabilities. Within at
least 24 hours of inspection, customer reports are received that include leak rates and locations
for use in repair work and regulatory compliance reporting.
Drones can be deployed at every level of the upstream oil and gas process to help companies lower
costs, collect better data, and improve safety.