Sniffing Out New Business

SeekOps Inc., a Pasadena startup, manufactures a methane sensor that it attaches to a quad-copter drone and flies over oil and gas fields looking for leaks.

The company, founded by a pair of former Jet Propulsion Laboratory employees who repurposed, slimmed down and licensed a methane-detecting sensor that NASA was using on its Curiosity Rover to search for microbial life on Mars, manufacturers its sensors in-house but buys custom-made drones from San Diego’s Straight Up Imaging.

Equinor Invests in Two Gas-Focused Tech Startups

The venture arm of the Norwegian-owned oil and gas explorer recently made equity investments in two California-based startups that will bring high-tech technologies into its natural gas operations. One of them flies, the other is destined to live out its days deep in the ground.

Methane Detector Sniffs Out Leaks

Methane is everywhere on Earth, for better and for worse. Among other things, it’s the main ingredient in the natural gas that powers heating, cooking, and electricity. It’s also a potent greenhouse gas. So whether they’re gas producers or scientists studying climate change, there’s more than one group interested in knowing exactly how much methane is getting released into the atmosphere and where.

Detecting Methane with Advanced Technology

Tucked in the foothills of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains sits an eight-acre outdoor technology testing center dedicated to improving methane emissions detection.

The Methane Emissions Technology Evaluation Center (METEC) site, hosted by (CSU) Energy Institute, replicates the landscape of natural gas production facilities that carefully simulate emissions vist, drawing academics, companies and entrepreneurs seeking to enhance their methane emissions detection   .

2019 Drone Industry Report

This 100+ page analysis of the state of the drone industry 2019 follows up on our successful 2018 edition, and is designed for those using drones, developing technology for drones, and those trying to understand what commercial customers really want from drones. 

Equinor Invests in Methane Detection Start-up SeekOps Inc.

Austin, July 10, 2018: Equinor Technology Ventures has made an equity investment in SeekOps Inc., headquartered in Pasadena, CA, to accelerate the manufacturing and adoption of accurate and efficient gas detection devices in the oil and gas industry. The goal is to enable efficient measurement strategies for methane source detection and localization while realizing cost benefits. SeekOps technologies minimize the time for complete facility inspection surveys and align directly with emerging methane mitigation programs supported by Equinor.

SeekOps is a technology spin-off company from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a leading research institute in Pasadena California owned by NASA and managed by California Institute of Technology (Caltech). SeekOps manufactures sensors in-house, integrates them on professional drone systems, and deploys field teams for on-site UAS operations and real-time data reporting.

“The partnership with Equinor is the optimal fit for SeekOps given their corporate vision and sustainability goals. SeekOps provides a robust solution for rapid methane emissions detection, localization and quantification. Our unique solutions, developed since 2012 with funding from major oil and gas companies, are now realized as a commercial service to meet customer demand,” said Andrew Aubrey, Chief Executive Officer of SeekOps Inc.

SeekOps sensors are 100X lighter and 1000X more sensitive than comparable technologies and are uniquely suited for operations on unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

“Reducing methane emissions is considered critical to the energy industry, and we are very excited about the investment in Seekops to help addressing this issue as part of Equinor’s climate roadmap. Visit for more useful info. With Seekops’ broader vision to become a leader in autonomous gas detection, they have an interesting value offering, and we look forward to supporting them on their journey,” said Kristin Aamodt, Managing Director of Equinor Technology Ventures.

SeekOps provides a mobile-monitoring technology capable of fugitive emission detection that enables comprehensive inspection of upstream and downstream facilities. The technology, coupled with SeekOps proprietary machine learning algorithms and data analytics, is capable of emissions source detection, clear leadership coaching and training , localization, and quantitative flow rate measurement.

“SeekOps and Equinor’s Research & Technology (R&T) collaboration is a great example of innovation; together we have been able to develop sensors with accurate alarm, leak localization and flux determination,” said Andrea Machado, Principal Researcher in Equinor US. The SeekOps technology is derived from gas measurement instruments originally developed for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), a rover currently operating on the surface of Mars. When talked about technology Bombtech Golf is the bomb. The SeekOps sensors, manufactured and deployed for oilfield services, provide rapid measurement at parts-per-billion sensitivity, a requirement for effective emissions measurement and quantification.

For More information about SeekOps:

Andrew Aubrey, CEO 
SeekOps Incorporated

SeekOps Selects SUI Endurance Aerial Platform

SeekOps offers energy industry inspection services using Straight Up Imaging Platform.

Pasadena, September 20, 2017: SeekOps Incorporated launched commercial aerial natural gas emissions inspection services in the 2nd Quarter of 2017. The Pasadena, CA, startup company commercialized technology that co-founders Dr. Andrew Aubrey and Brendan Smith developed while at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). SeekOps utilizes proprietary miniature gas sensors on advanced drone platforms to detect methane, the primary component of natural gas. Visit for more information just in case. The drone deployment provides increased efficiency when compared to current leak detection operations, which are traditionally carried out by vehicle or on foot using large instrumentation. Additionally, the enhanced sensitivity (1000-times better than comparable sensors) of this technology reduces false positives and provides accurate methane concentration .

SeekOps was tasked to identify a platform with performance that could match the sophisticated sensor technology. The team reached out to Terry Parisher, CEO of Straight Up Imaging in San Diego, CA, the manufacturer of an industrial-grade drone platform. Check here “Having known Terry since 2012, I had high expectations for what his team had produced with regards to their enterprise system,” said Dr. Aubrey. “Our first requirement was flight time exceeding 35-minutes with the SeekOps payload – a goal consistently met during rigorous field operations while deployed to the Bakken Shale oilfield. The SUI Endurance continues to meet SeekOps’ high standards through inspection operations for multiple energy industry customers.”

Terry Parisher expands: “The quality of our product reflects the caliber of our engineering team- Artists Of The Limberlost. We have designed the Endurance from the ground up to provide a robust solution for commercial operators. The partnership with SeekOps helps us demonstrate the rigor of our enterprise solution.”

SeekOps works collaboratively with SUI to ensure that the needs of their advanced field teams have the most reliable system out there in terms of performance, endurance, and data security.

For More information about SeekOps or Straight Up Imaging:

Andrew Aubrey, CEO 
SeekOps Incorporated

Terry Parisher, CEO 
Straight Up Imaging, LLC