Cyberhawk Innovations has completed the first commercial oil and gas inspection using remotely operated aerial vehicles (ROAV), also known as UAVs or drones, in Qatar.
The completion of first inspection could pave way for commercial use of the drones in the region.
An inspection engineer along with oil and gas qualified inspection pilot used the Cyberhawk’s inspection UAVs to assess 136m high flares at an onshore oil and gas refinery in March 2016.
Cyberhawk business development manager Ajay Sethi said: "Following the successful completion of this project, we anticipate further opportunities will be created in the region, and will continue to support and advise authorities to help extend the boundaries of commercial drone usage."
The firm expects the drone inspection service to provide significant cost benefits to the Qatari market.
Cyberhawk CEO Craig Roberts said: "Historically, the use of UAVs in Qatar for industrial purposes has been prohibited.
"Our team’s unrivalled experience in the safe use of drones, with more than 13,000 commercial flights successfully completed in more than 20 countries worldwide, meant we had the credibility and competency to successfully gain the necessary permission to operate legally in Qatar."
Prior to the latest drone investigation, the firm undertook an intensive campaign to lobby the government on the UAV’s benefits including significant cost and time savings.
The firm secured exclusive permit from a panel of authorities to conduct the work in Qatar following a thorough assessment.
Cyberhawk has already conducted drone inspection on more than 75 live flares and other oil and gas structures in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman.
Image: Cyberhawk’s remotely operated aerial vehicle. Photo: courtesy of CYBERHAWK Innovations Ltd.