Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) in collaboration with France’s Total, is to deploy drones and unmanned vehicles to collect 3D seismic data as it expands its search for new oil and gas resources throughout the emirate of Abu Dhabi — the first time such technology will be used in the region.

Announcing a pilot project using Total’s Multiphysics Exploration Technologies Integrated System (METIS), the world’s first automated seismic acquisition system, Adnoc said thousands of sensors would be deployed by air using a fleet of drones. The sensors would later be retrieved by unmanned ground vehicles.

“METIS is a ground-breaking automated technology with the potential to conduct seismic surveys in harsh environments, such as the desert, which are tough on people and equipment,” said Dr Alan Nelson, chief technology officer at Adnoc.

“The technology has been identified by us during RDPETRO 2018 and this collaboration demonstrates our commitment to using groundbreaking technologies, throughout our operations, to unlock the opportunities of the 4th industrial age,” he added.

Following successful trials of METIS conducted by Total in 2017 in Papua New Guinea, this new pilot project will be undertaken by Adnoc Onshore to test the versatility and upscaling ability of the system in a 36 square kilometre desert environment.