The North American oil and gas drones market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of around 15.7% from 2022-2027.
The COVID-19 outbreak witnessed a significant impact on the oil and gas drone services market due to delays in multiple oil and gas projects. For instance, ADNOC delayed the USD 20 billion Hail and Ghasha offshore sour-gas development project in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Major leading companies, such as BP and Shell, have started digitalizing their operation by monitoring and recording data on all three sectors. In addition, rising technological developments toward the enhancement of efficient drones are likely to drive the market growth. Midstream is expected to be the fastest-growing markets in oil and gas industry. Although drones offer most efficient monitoring and cost-effective methods, technological limitations such as low speed, shorter flight time, vulnerability to hackers, and susceptibility to weather are restraining the market growth.
The introduction and integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with the drone coupled with the development of methane gas detection and thermal imaging has been the driving factor leading to the increasing adoption of the drones by the oil and gas operators, and it is expected to propel the market during the forecast timeframe.
The demand for oil and gas infrastructure such as pipelines and refineries is expected to increase due to the soaring energy demand, thus offering more significant business opportunities for the oil and gas drone service providers.
United States is expected to be the primary oil and gas drone services market in 2020. It is projected to be the largest market in terms of revenue during the forecast period due to the increasing adoption of drones across all three sectors, including upstream, midstream, and downstream. Intensifying offshore oil and gas activities across the region is expected to drive the market's growth during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Integration of AI with Drones to Fuel the Market
In the recent past, the drone was required to carry out operations within site. However, the development of AI along with the drone can now hover beyond the line of sight. The integration of AI has helped drones fly beyond the beyond-the-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) and gather much more data without the need for any human efforts. The data collected proves to be more accurate and can help the oil and gas operator prevent mishaps or leakage during the operation.
Modern drones are faster and smarter in processing the enormous data produced from the assets. As the AI improves, these drones may independently decide for further action through their AI capabilities.
In addition, the integration with AI can also help operators relate the current data with the past data collected and help them maneuver the action required before fatalities in case of leakage and spills.
Further, the AI integrated sensor is now easily able to move inside the closed building and is not prone to collisions with the walls, without the help of any human controlling it. As these technologies keep enhancing, the application for these drones would increase, and, thus, it is expected to drive the market.
The current trends in collaborative environment indicate that there is a huge investment by the Oil & Gas Majors in the smaller companies looking for a long lasting impact in the Oil & Gas Drones Inspection space. The technology offers a huge potential for a revolution in the Oil & Gas sector all over the world.