Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) inspections provider Cyberhawk Innovations has completed a commercial oil and gas inspection in Qatar – the first of its kind for the country, according to Cyberhawk.
The company says the inspection marks a step forward in the commercial use of drones in the region – which, to date, have been heavily regulated by the Qatari government due to concerns over the security of airspace and privacy of citizens.
The project, which saw the inspection of 136-meter-high flares, while still operational, was completed in March by a team of two at an onshore oil and gas refinery.
In order to conduct the operations, Cyberhawk says it undertook an intensive campaign, including lobbying the government on the benefits of UAVs, such as safety, cost and time. After a thorough assessment, a panel of authorities granted a permit for Cyberhawk to conduct the work. The company says it can now provide its inspection services throughout the Qatari market during a time in which oil and gas budgets are facing significant pressure.
This project builds on Cyberhawk’s work in the Middle East, where it has been commercially operating since 2012. In the region, Cyberhawk says it works with clients including Gasco, Dubai Petroleum, Sabic, PDO, Occidental, Daleel and Oman LNG. Headquartered in Livingston, Scotland, the company has bases in the Middle East and southeast Asia.
“These maiden flights mark a significant leap forward in the industrial inspection market in Qatar, and in particular, the support we have received from our client has been crucial in making this happen,” says Ajay Sethi, business development manager based in the Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, office.