Increasing Reliance on Drones by Oil & Gas Companies amid COVID-19 to Propel Growth
Even as the coronavirus outbreak ravages the global economy, the offshore drone surveillance market growth is likely to gain momentum amid the pandemic as oil & companies show increasing dependence on UAVs for managing their rigs in the open seas. In the US, for example, the North Carolina-based drone service specialist SkyScopes is providing its state-of-the-art, LiDAR-powered UAVs to oil & gas companies in the region for the inspection of pipelines and other critical infrastructures. In Europe, Italy-domiciled energy company Snam has been testing ‘beyond the visual line of sight’ (BVLOS) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to test its vast network of pipelines. The main factor pushing the adoption of drones in the hydrocarbon industry is the sudden drop in on-site workforce due to the social distancing measures imposed to contain the coronavirus. More importantly, drones are a much safer option to conduct offshore surveillance activities as they eliminate the need to put workers’ lives in danger and can in fact boost efficiency.
Rapid Adoption of UAVs to Foster Healthy Growth of the North America Market
North America commanded the offshore drone surveillance market share in 2019, showcasing a market size of USD 69.3 billion, on account of the speedy adoption of drones by utility companies and government agencies in the region. Besides this, growing intensity of exploration and production activities by oil & gas companies in the region will also stimulate the regional market during the forecast period.
While North America will lead the overall market, Asia Pacific is predicted to register the highest CAGR on account of the proliferation of UAV service providers in India and China. The market in the Middle East & Africa is expected to enjoy lucrative prospects owing to the large presence of oil & gas companies in the region.
Launch of Cutting-Edge, Cost-Effective Solutions by Key Players to Spur Competition
Key players in the market for offshore drone surveillance systems are concentrating their energies on developing and introducing drone solutions that are not only top-of-the-line but are also cost-effective for end-users. Apart from this, companies are also investing in new market entrants to leverage their ideas and innovations.
August 2020: Equinor, the energy company based in Norway, announced the completion of the world’s maiden logistics operation using drones to an offshore construction. Manufactured by Schiebel, the drone carried a 3D-printed component for the lifeboat system on the Troll A platform in the North Sea.
July 2020: Texo DSI announced the successful delivery 3D digital twins of four offshore platforms – Tern Alpha, Cormorant Alpha, North Cormorant, and Eider Alpha – for its client, TAQA in the North Sea. Texo deployed UAVs to collect survey data from all four assets and the operation was completed in one week.