Drones Becoming Integral To Oil And Gas Operations – Report
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones are becoming integral to the oil and gas industry due to their increasing usability across the value chain to drive operational efficiency, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
In its latest thematic report, ‘Drones in Oil & Gas Thematic Research’, the data and analytics company noted that drone adoption in the oil and gas industry was initially used for strategic deployments such as remote monitoring and surveillance of assets during regular operations, as well as emergency situations.
It stated that that recent advancements in sensing and imaging technologies are enabling drones to be deployed in a wide range of settings to carry out predictive maintenance of critical infrastructure. The further stated that drone manufacturers are also collaborating with oil and gas companies to develop custom drone platforms that can be equipped with different types of data collection technologies for obtaining real-time insights.
The reported stated that the oil and gas industry’s steady transition towards digital transformation using sensors, Cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) is providing an added impetus to drone usage. This is bolstered further by falling hardware costs and easing government regulations.
in the words of an Oil & Gas Analyst at GlobalData, Ravindra Puranik, “Drone technologies are easy to deploy, giving them an edge over conventional aircraft as their rotors are configured for operating in compact geometries and hovering at fixed spots to collect data.
“Their design allows them to survey a variety of installations, including oil and gas platforms, processing plants, pipelines and refining units. Naturally, drones are becoming essential for oil and gas operations.”
Regarding some associated risks in drone use, the report says that the increased adoption of the modern technology in the oil and gas industry will heighten the possibility of drone-related accidents either due to technical malfunctions or bad judgment from drone operators.
However, it noted that such incidents can be avoided with a new set of expertise emerging within the oilfield services space, dedicated specifically to pilot drones, which will enable service providers to make optimum usage of drones to gather relevant data for their customers.