Oil and gas contractors and companies are still dealing with low oil and gas prices. With high costs to maintain and operate oil rigs and platforms, many are gravitating towards new technologies to save money and time. However, oil and gas companies are often apprehensive of using new and untested technologies. Sky-Futures, a drone manufacturing start-up in London, realised this when its co-founder tried pitching its drone technology to oil and gas companies.
Drones from Sky-Futures are meant to fly around oil rigs and offshore platforms to take high-resolution images and videos to spot possible issues with the infrastructure. Sky-Futures Co-Founder Chris Blackford said that this method of infrastructure inspection costs about 80 per cent less than the methods that oil and gas contractors and companies usually employ.
Sky-Futures was not initially successful in convincing energy companies as the technology was new and did not have sufficient evidence to back it up. However, this changed in 2012 when Canadian oil and gas company Talisman Energy decided to give the UK start-up an opportunity. Ever since, the popularity of Sky-Futures’ drones has surged. Talisman Energy managed to save time and money using the technology, and this was noticed by other energy companies. Today, Sky-Futures’ drones are in great demand.
Blackford stated that his company has worked with nearly all global oil companies. Its clients include giants such as Exxon, BP and Chevron. He added that besides drone inspections, the company also offers clients complex algorithms and data analytics that allow them to analyse large volumes of data to pinpoint possible problems with onshore and offshore rigs and platforms that otherwise would not have been detectable.
These technology innovations specifically meant for the oil and gas industry are gradually allowing the industry to embrace technology so that errors due to manual monitoring are reduced. It has a significant impact on the overall oil production costs.