The Role of Drones in the Oil Industry

As drones are becoming more and more within reach of consumers, and largely moving away from the exclusive domain of the military, their applications are likewise growing especially in relation to their commercial usages.

One emerging application of drones is in the oil industry, as the following excerpt says:

Self-piloting drones like the Boomerang are leading a small but fundamental change in the industry. In oil and gas, equipment doesn’t move without data—where to drill, how deep to go, and so on. With the traffic bottleneck removed, suddenly equipment can move more nimbly and exploration startups can get in the drilling game for a fraction of the traditional entry cost. The impact of selfpiloted drones comes in the form of speed and savings.” — Read more here:

Self-Piloting Mapping Drone

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The real good thing about the Boomerang is when it takes photographs of job sites 24 hours a day in high definition, oil and gas principals get an up-to-the-minute view of how their resources are deployed—even when conditions are too dangerous for manned aviation.

This is precisely the lure for many a hobbyists and drone professionals alike – that of using drones for aerial photography services, for one’s personal enjoyment or for  more commercial benefit.

Drone photography services indeed can be invaluable even in the oil and gas industry, not only for real estate marketing, film-making, weddings and other commercial areas.

Another article says: “ more oil and gas companies research and explore the possibilities UAS can bring to their businesses, a significant percentage of expected market share is now shifting to this promising industry. Subsequently, UAS manufacturers are now tailoring their strategies to focus on the opportunities within oil and gas.”

Last year, the oil giant company, BP, became the first company to have been granted the use of commercial drones, as reported in this article:

BP, the international oil and energy giant, will now routinely use drones to patrol their Alaskan oil fields. This morning, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that BP and unmanned aircraft manufacturer AeroVironment received permission to use drones for flyovers of the Prudhoe Bay oil field. AeroVironment’s primary product, a four-foot-long vehicle called the Puma, resembles an overgrown model aircraft and contains sophisticated electro-optical and infrared sensors for ground surveillance.

With the FAA becoming more open now towards paving the way for commercial drone applications be used more widely, the drone industry will certainly grow more robust and energetic in the next few years or so.


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