Iraq plans to use drones to protect its oil pipelines beginning next year, Reuters reports.

“We will use drones and advanced surveillance systems to protect oil pipelines from any attacks or deliberate sabotage acts. The minister ordered the use of the drone system as of the first quarter of the coming year,” Asim Jihad, a Ministry Spokesperson, stated, according to Reuters.

The Iraqi Oil Minister, Jabbar El Luaibi, has instructed his ministry to begin the process of searching for drones to carry out the mission, the news agency reports.

Iraq’s oil pipeline network has seriously deteriorated. At present, the only functional pipeline is the one under the control of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), which is locked in a dispute with the central government over oil revenues.

The government has, however, announced plans to rebuild its pipeline network, as previously reported by Reuters. No timeline for the construction of the new pipelines has been released.