Success for several drone service firms continues in the oilfield

By Luke Geiver | August 14, 2019

Drone service firms are finding success in the oilfields. This month, two entities have announced major partnerships or contract awards to perform unmanned aircraft systems-based missions for oil and gas clients in the U.S. and abroad.

SeekOps Inc., a gas sensor maker and UAS service provider that signed a deal last year with Nordic energy giant Equinor, has signed a deal with Impossible Aerospace to create a robust, efficient multirotor platform equipped with a unique SeekOps designed gas sensor. The main reason for the partnership is the flight capabilities of the Impossibel Aerospace US-1 platform.

“A drawback of UAS for industrial inspection is the limited flight time of all-electric multirotor systems. SeekOp’s unique capabilities in drone-based gas detection are augmented when coupled with Impossible’s novel UAS,” said Andrew Aubrey, SeekOps CEO.

Impossible Aerospace CEO, Spencer Gore, “We believe the US-1, paired with powerful sensors like the SeekIR, can unlock industry missions that were not previously possible. We are proud that the US-1 can help facilitate the detection of natural gas leaks in a faster, more efficient manner.” 

Impossible Aerospace and SeekOps manufacture their respective products in the USA. The companies were founded in 2016 and 2017, having cooperated on technology development at Tesla and NASA. An initial flight demo proved to the SeekOps team that the Impossible team had developed a groundbreaking system that could dramatically enhance the value of SeekOps’ services, according to the company.

Based out of Houston, SkyX Ltd., an aerial monitoring solutions provider, has partnered with Aerial Project Analytics, a topographic survey and site monitoring company to perform beyond visual line of sight operations in Africa.

According to SkyX, The first contract under the partnership, a multimillion-dollar agreement, has just been signed to inspect and monitor hundreds of miles of pipelines for a major energy corporation in Africa, so they can better track the environmental impact of their business. SkyX will be deploying the operations team shortly to commence the project. Purpose-engineered for long-range inspections, SkyOne is equipped with live feed capabilities and an array of customizable sensors, including an EO/IR camera, to accumulate high-quality visual data. Proprietary AI systems then analyze the data captured to produce high-impact reports from each scan. Supported by APA’s drones, which complements SkyOne’s capabilities, operators will be able to visually verify and safely determine the proper course of action for each situation before deploying crews and scheduling repairs.


In North Dakota, SkySkopes, a drone service provider recently recognized by Frost & Sullivan as one of the top five firms of its kind in the country for doing work with oil and gas entities, has also performed several missions for oil and gas clients across the U.S.