Skip to main content

Congress approves use of drones to enhance energy infrastructure safety


Sabrina Fang | 202.682.8114 | fangs@api.org


WASHINGTON, July 13, 2016 – American Petroleum Institute Midstream Director Robin Rorick said making drone technology available to operators will help the industry achieve its goal of zero incidents. Today the Senate passed the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization with a provision that would allow unmanned aircraft system (UAS) utilization for oil and gas facilities, refineries, pipeline inspection, and response activities.

“Safety is our core value, and the best way to protect the public and the environment is to prevent incidents from ever happening,” said Rorick. “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 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.”

API thanked the Senate and the House for adopting this UAS provision and urged the president to quickly sign the legislation into law.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 650 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.