Drones are being used by more than just militaries and spy agencies, companies are seeing additional value as tools in the oil and gas industry, Bloomberg reported.
As technology advances quickly in the unmanned aircraft field, more and more companies are turning to the tiny aircraft to take on dangerous and dirty jobs.
Rig inspections are typically, expensive, dangerous affairs—especially for offshore platforms.
“These are large metal structures in a big pond of seawater. They will rust a lot, particularly in the North Sea where rigs designed to last 20 years are lasting more than 40. They are continually getting cracks and physical damage from the waves and need to be refurbished and fixed,” says Chris Blackford, COO of Sky Futures—a drone inspection service.
Energy Fuse has also recently noted the growing importance of drones on the market, highlighting a recent interview with BP officials who had a drone inspect a platform in Alaska’s frigid Prudhoe Bay. “That’s more data in 45 minutes than we’ve gotten in the last 30 years,” Curtis Smith, a technology director with BP.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently relaxed rules allowing the proliferation of drones in many industries. Signs show that the industry will experience extreme growth within the next few years.