Global unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) inspections provider Sky-Futures has completed what it says is its first offshore oil and gas inspection legally carried out in the Gulf of Mexico.
Conducted for a major oil and gas service and drilling company, the drone inspection took just two days to complete. Current inspection methods for the same scope of work would typically take 17 days, according to the company.
Offshore, Sky-Futures’ crew included an inspection engineer and remote pilot, who have both completed oil and gas drone inspection training at Sky-Futures’ training center in the U.K.
In addition to the Gulf of Mexico, Sky-Futures delivers drone inspections for oil and gas clients in the North Sea, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and North Africa. The business is headquartered in London and has offices in Houston; Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Aberdeen, Scotland. Through its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exemption issued in March, Sky-Futures USA, the Houston-based division, completed its first UAV inspection in September for another major oil and gas client.
“Since receiving our FAA exemption 10 months ago, we have made considerable progress: opening our office in Houston, growing our team by hiring and training remote pilots and engineers, and completing our first onshore contract in September 2015,” says Jay Forte, vice president of operations.
James Harrison, co-founder and CEO, adds, “We are now proven in providing safe and efficient inspections in the world’s largest single market, both on and offshore in the USA. We are focused on aggressively expanding our operations in the Gulf of Mexico and North America in the coming year.”
Sky-Futures, founded in 2009, says its team conducted 1,760 hours of drone inspections offshore in 2014 and has done offshore work globally for companies such as Apache, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Statoil and Petronas.