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BP, Chevron top firms using drones in oil industry -GlobalData

BP, Chevron top firms using drones in oil industry -GlobalData

Mubasher: In its report titled ‘Drones in Oil & Gas – Thematic Research’, GlobalData said that drone makers are cooperating with oil and gas firms to develop custom drones equipped with data collection technology to obtain real-time insights.  

The data and analytics company has identified the leading companies using drones in the oil and gas industry as below, according to a press release on Monday. 


The report said that the British oil giant, BP, was among the early adopters of drones as it conducted pilot studies in 2006 in Alaska; the studies evaluated the effectiveness of drones in monitoring gravel road conditions. Today, the oil major deploys drones, crawlers and other robotic technologies to carry out risky tasks in operational areas


Chevron managed to improve safety and productivity at oilfields through leveraging the aerial data acquisition capabilities of drones. It applies augmented reality (AR) to drone feed for evaluating field equipment and infrastructure during inspection and monitoring operations. The US firm is also testing the application of drones in industrial accidents or oil spills.


ConocoPhillips uses drones to inspect and monitor its assets around the globe. Drones are further employed to inspect the unmanned offshore production platform at the Judy field in the North Sea. The use of drones has further helped in reducing the overall inspection time by approximately 75%.


In line with its digitisation vision, Equinor took part in the development of robotics and drone technologies in addition to emerging technologies to leverage their manoeuvrability in plant facilities.

The Norwegian company’s use of drones is forecast to grow driven by its efforts in automating oilfield operations in the North Sea with the aim to utilise unmanned or fully-autonomous production platforms.


The development of drone technologies was prominent on ExxonMobil’s agenda since 2012, considering their capability to enhance operational safety while contributing to efficiency. The drones were deployed by the company for both aerial surveillance and inspection of operations across North America, the UK, and Australia.


Gazprom conducted extensive trials to assess the performance of drones in the surveillance and monitoring of its assets under severe cold conditions. The company is looking forward to developing drones that guarantee fast, safe, and reliable data collection at lower costs.

Gazprom intends to use drone technology to explore hydrocarbon prospects in the Siberian region.

Royal Dutch Shell

Shell has been using drones to perform flare stack inspections at its facilities. It also conducts pilot studies at its technology centre in Huston, the US, and intends to assess the capabilities of drones in conducting asset inspections through the use of different combinations of sensing devices and drone technologies.