Jul 30, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Drones could save the oil industry $50 billion

A drone flying over an open field

A DJI Inspire drone at a testing site. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The oil-and-gas industry could realize $50 billion in cost-savings from wider deployment of drones over the next 5 years, a new Barclays report finds.

Why it matters: It's the sector that could see the greatest cost reductions over that period, as a "convergence" of tech developments — 5G, remote computing and AI — enable wider drone use in many industries.

What they found: The report explores a bunch of sectors, but sticking with oil-and-gas, Barclays' analysts see potential for major expansion in an industry already adopting drones for inspecting equipment and helping with exploration.

How it works: On the exploration side, that includes imaging, sampling, and "even 3D maps of potential sites to gather data prior to even deploying employees to these often remote and sometimes dangerous areas."

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