As the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS or as they are more commonly called, drones) continues to rapidly increase as technology continues to develop, more and more industries will utilize UAS in their day-to-day operations, including the oil and gas industry. Initially, UAS were mainly used in the oil and gas industry for conducting inspections, but now, UAS are becoming part of the fabric of the industry. UAS are now used for a variety of tasks from monitoring pipelines to providing assistance during oil spills. UAS are more efficient than previously used techniques and can also offer an element of safety by removing people from potentially dangerous missions.
When the oil and gas industry conducts maritime missions in the water, UAS are used for surveying and inspections including structural surveys, pipeline inspections, bottom debris surveys and sub-sea facility inspections. Aerial missions in the oil and gas industry using UAS are also becoming more common. UAS are being used to conduct flyovers in oilfields of Alaska and monitor oil and gas production in New Mexico. UAS can even be used to detect oil and gas leaks which may lead to less catastrophic events involving the oil and gas industry, and save the environment from the hazardous effects of oil and gas spills.
While UAS currently hold a valuable position in the oil and gas industry, it is likely that UAS will have an even bigger place going forward.