API applauds Senate’s pro-unmanned aircraft system provision

Published on July 19, 2016 by Alyssa Michaud

Weighing in on the Senate’s recent decision to allow unmanned aircraft system (UAS) usage by oil and gas operators, the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Midstream Director Robin Rorick applauded the move, citing increased safety as a strong reason for permitting UAS activity in the industry.

The provision will have a direct impact on the way pipeline inspections, response activities, and other undertakings at oil and gas facilities and refineries are carried out, Rorick added.

“Safety is our core value, and the best way to protect the public and the environment is to prevent incidents from ever happening,” Rorick said. “Drone technology will complement the comprehensive safety practices that the industry has in place to ensure that all Americans continue to enjoy the affordable, reliable fuels they depend on.”

The UAS provision was passed as a part of the Senate’s Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization, which will reauthorize the FAA through September 2017.

“The ability to use drones will allow the industry to use the latest technologies to continue to effectively monitor infrastructure and facilities while minimizing the risk to personnel,” Rorick said.

API represents the concerns of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry, with more than 650 members ranging from supply firms to large, integrated companies.