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Terra Drone expands leak detection offering in North America

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Japanese drone company Terra Drone is expanding its footprint in North America through a partnership with US-based Ventus Geospatial, a provider of oil and gas inspection solutions and mapping services.

The combined entity will be known as Terra Drone Ventus and will provide inspection and survey solutions in the oil and gas, power, renewables, and mining sectors through its three North American branches in Houston, Texas; Calgary, Alberta; and Lethbridge, Alberta.

Terra Drone Ventus will offer beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) inspection services using Terra Drone company C-Astral’s drones. The new company will employ Ventus’ patented gas detection sensors to provide solutions for gas leak detection and inspection of oil and gas assets, including pipelines, flare-stacks, well pads and storage tanks.

Commenting on the partnership, Terra Drone CEO Toru Tokushige said: “As the world leader in oil production, the United States is a lucrative market for Terra Drone’s international business expansion. The oil production in Texas is topped only by Russia and Saudi Arabia. So, the demand for inspection of oil and gas facilities is also quite high here.”

Recognising markets beyond oil and gas, he added: “Moreover, the US is the second-largest producer of wind energy in the world. Texas leads the country in wind power capacity as well. This is again a lucrative market for us.”

Ventus has eight years of experience in the oil and gas sector, and has worked with clients including Exxon, TC Energy and more. It was the first company in North America to obtain permission to fly BVLOS drone missions.

Paul Mitcham, chairman of Terra Drone Venus, added: “Implementing new technologies from Terra Drone Group and leveraging their expertise will allow us to increase the capacity of our inspection solutions significantly.”

“Combining the technology and expertise we have developed with a partner like Terra Drone will give us a distinct advantage,” noted Steve Myshak, COO of the new company. “This partnership is a natural progression for Ventus Geospatial and we are looking forward to providing a wider range of solutions to both current and prospective clients.”