Last week Reuters reported on the trial of a pilot-less miniature aircraft, guided by a ground engineer, which has been used to inspect oil pipelines in Alaska.  This tiny craft could provide a glimpse of the future for the oil and gas industry it said.

Drones will offer companies the ability to detect pipeline faults at a fraction of the cost of a traditional piloted helicopter, paying for themselves in just 29 hours of flying.  Technical shortcomings and air traffic regulations may limit their use in the near future but BP Pipelines plans to deploy its first drones in Alaska North Slope within 3 years.

Patrick Phelan, Managing Director of Aquaterra Energy said: “The oil and gas industry is fuelled by outstanding innovation and this is just one example of how it can be practically applied to real-life challenges which drive efficiencies for the industry.  Throughout the supply chain, companies are innovating and, through its detailed analysis and feasibility studies, design, 3D modelling and conceptual engineering processes, Aquaterra Energy has developed a reputation for delivering innovative solutions for the construction and installation of offshore structures, riser systems and hydraulics.”