US oil major Chevron has been benefiting from drone technology for many years. Among other things, the company is known to deploy drones for leak detection, internal equipment and asset inspection, earthworks mapping, project progress monitoring, and environmental applications. And now, the energy giant is looking to add more autonomous tools to its arsenal by placing a purchase order with American Robotics.
The order is for American Robotics’ Scout drones. Scout Systems are AI-powered, fully autonomous, FAA-approved devices that live inside a weatherproof charging and data processing station on the field. Each drone can conduct up to 20 autonomous flights per day without having a single pilot or visual observer on the ground.
While the companies haven’t revealed how many drones are being purchased or the financial terms behind the transaction, it’s worth noting that Chevron is American Robotics’ second Fortune 100 customer in the oil and gas space. In July 2021, a similar order was placed by oil and gas major ConocoPhillips.
Since working in and maintaining oil and gas infrastructure is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and can often put people in danger, the use of autonomous drones in the oil and gas industry is expected to continue and expand in the coming years. Drones allow for automated inspections, regular site monitoring, and enhanced safety for employees, all at a lower cost with increased accuracy.
Reese Mozer, CEO and cofounder of American Robotics, also stresses that using Scout Systems is a dramatically more efficient and effective way to manage, monitor, and inspect energy assets. Mozer says:
Prior to our game-changing FAA approvals, asset managers that used drones to monitor their oil and gas fields needed to employ pilots and visual observers to fly the systems manually, and then manually convert the data into actionable insights. Analytics that were previously unattainable due to high costs of operation are now available through the Scout System, allowing users to make informed decisions in real-time that will drive their business forward.
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