• 4 mintues Texas forced to have rolling brown outs. Not from downed power line , but because the wind energy turbines are frozen.
  • 7 minutes Forecasts for oil stocks.
  • 9 minutes Biden's $2 trillion Plan for Insfrastructure and Jobs
  • 13 minutes European gas market to 2040 according to Platts Analitics
  • 3 hours Simple question: What is the expected impact in electricity Demand when EV deployment exceeds 10%
  • 18 hours Putin blocks Ukraine access to Black Sea after Joe blinks
  • 11 hours America's pandemic dead deserve accountability after Birx disclosure
  • 2 days Today Biden calls for Summit with Putin. Will Joe apologize to Putin for calling him a "Killer" ?
  • 2 days U.S. Presidential Elections Status - Electoral Votes
  • 35 mins Fukushima
  • 2 days Biden about to face first real test. Russia building up military on Ukraine border.
  • 23 hours So. Who's for Universal Basic Income?

Breaking News:

U.S. Cancels All Q2 Oil, Gas Lease Sales

The Worst Oil Trades Ever Made

The Worst Oil Trades Ever Made

Wall Street is full of…

Another OPEC Producer Looks To Back The Aramco IPO

Another OPEC Producer Looks To Back The Aramco IPO

As the world’s largest initial…

Dave Forest

Dave Forest

Dave is Managing Geologist of the Pierce Points Daily E-Letter.

More Info

Premium Content

Flying Robots Could Change The Resource Business (Seriously)

I usually avoid commenting on new technology.

Over the years I've learned a simple lesson. Even the people who are expert in start-up tech usually don't know whether a new development will work out. My abilities as a non-techie to make investment judgements here are therefore far afield.

But one item is worth a mention this week. A move to start using aerial robots in the oil industry.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it is approving the testing of commercial drones for the oil industry. Allowing petroleum companies to begin testing such devices at sites in important oil states like Texas, Alaska and North Dakota.

The idea is to use such drones for inspecting remote sites like pipelines. A job currently done by manned flights, which cost orders of magnitude more than a drone would to do the same job.

This is far from a futuristic pipe dream. In September, major oil producer ConocoPhillips conducted a one-off test of a drone over the Chukchi Sea along the north coast of Alaska. The 40-pound unit was launched from a ship, and flew for 36 minutes to test its sensors and navigations systems.

It appears that the industry now wants to make wider use of such technology. A move that could create big cost savings for companies active in remote areas.

Beyond this, I've long believed that drone technology is extremely useful for the wider resource business.

With these units now becoming affordable and accessible, why not use them in mineral exploration? Drones are capable of flying lower than manned aircraft--and so would be ideal for taking photos over swaths of remote ground, looking for signs of mineralization. It's possible they could even run some basic geophysical tools. Perhaps even geochemical analyses like PIMA clay spectrometry.

This could be ideal for areas that are difficult or dangerous to access. I can think of a few steep slopes and landmine-prone terrains where I would have appreciated having a flying robot to do my work.

Here's to the prospectors of the future,

By. Dave Forest


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News