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Revolutionizing the Energy Sector through Drones By Cam Flores.

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Presentation on theme: "Revolutionizing the Energy Sector through Drones By Cam Flores."— Presentation transcript:


2 Revolutionizing the Energy Sector through Drones By Cam Flores

3 “It’s coming… [t]he question is how long will it take?” Curt Smith – director at BP’s chief technology office

4 Roadmap Benefits of using Drones in the Energy Sector Environmental Improving wind power Safety Economic impact “Power plants in the Sky” Current regulatory framework Upcoming FAA rule – FAA Modernization and Reform Act How to incorporate drones into the Energy Sector

5 Surveying Oil Drilling Sites Environmental Benefits Marine mammals Permits require companies to halt seismic surveys if whales or other protected wildlife are present Ice Lower carbon footprint Economic benefits Shell’s $5 billion dollar mistake Conoco Phillips and Alaska’s arctic shores


7 Wind Power and Drones Wind Power has limitations Unpredictable Unstable source of power Wind is more stable and more plentiful at higher altitudes Using Drones to mimic Wind Turbines

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10 Drones and Safety in the Energy Sector Drones can go where people cannot Examples BP and small drones Safety benefits Detect weak spots and leaks in pipelines Dangerous terrain Economic benefits Manned v. unmanned Apache Corp Inspections of flare stacks at gas plants Avoids shutdowns of around three weeks Identified Technologies

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12 Power Plants in the Sky New Wave Energy UK Harvesting solar, wind, and heat energy Converts energy through electromagnetic waves Benefits Height advantages 50,000 ft


14 So What’s the Problem? - Wild Wild West of Drones Model Aircraft (voluntary guidelines) or Aircraft (regulations)? Huerta v. Pirker Who regulates? Administrative Law Judge – Drone is Model Aircraft National Transportation Safety Board – Drone is Aircraft Murky legal waters - Fear of flying commercial drones until 2015 (or later?)

15 FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 FAA "shall provide for the safe integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system as soon as practicable, but not later than September 30, 2015." What will the rules look like? What will the future look like for drones? FAA claims airspace from the ground up Flying commercial drones will violate FAA regulation Any aircraft, manned or unmanned, needs some form of FAA approval

16 So what should we do about it? All comes down to the proposed rulemaking next year Distinguish small drones (<55lbs) from large drones What is the definition of navigable airspace? Why did FAA come to exist? NAS Should not be anything above ground Comment on the proposed rulemaking Give States flexibility with drone regulation Tax breaks

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