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Sky futureOffshore helicopter transport services company Bristow has invested US$4.2mn in Sky-Futures, provider of drone inspection data services for the oil and gas industry

According to the company, this investment gives Bristow immediate entry to the fast-growing UAV services business and bolsters Bristow’s offerings to include drone inspection services.

The investment, which also includes an exclusive partnership agreement, gives Bristow access to Sky-Futures UAV or drone inspection operational expertise, data capturing and analysis technology, and training capabilities. Bristow will have one representative on Sky-Futures’ board.

Bristow Group President Jonathan Baliff said, “In this new market reality where continued cost pressures compel companies to find new solutions, our investment in Sky-Futures puts Bristow at the forefront of offering innovative solutions that help our mutual clients achieve further efficiencies in their operations.

“Through our partnership, we will collaborate with Sky-Futures and its leading safety culture, operational integration, and analysis technology to capitalise beyond the growing need for global UAV inspection services in oil and gas to other industries, including search and rescue.”

James Harrison, Sky-Futures CEO and co-founder, added that the partnership between Bristow and Sky-Futures enabled it to rapidly expand the operational delivery of drone-based inspection services in the global oil and gas market. “We’re really excited because it allows us to enhance our advanced technology platform that powers industrial data capture and analysis, providing our clients with increasingly valuable and actionable information.”

Formed in 2009 with offices in Houston, London, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi and Aberdeen, Sky-Futures currently operates in 16 countries and works with more than 30 major oil and gas companies around the world, many of which are Bristow’s global clients. Sky-Futures recently completed a drone inspection of two offshore flare tips for a major oil client which was estimated to have saved the client approximately US$35mn by avoiding an unscheduled shutdown.