The use of drones is taking off among oil giants around the world as a means of safely and inexpensively inspecting and assessing equipment located at sea.
Bloomberg reports on the progress being made by a London-based startup called Sky Futures, which can already count BP, Shell and the BG Group among its customers.
The company's drones are equipped with high-definition, thermal imaging cameras that can be sent out to investigate oil rigs in all weathers.
Until recently, the task of checking girders and assessing chimneys would have been left to hardy oil industry employees with a head for heights.
Drones being used in these contexts are understood to get the job done more speedily, cost effectively and safely than any human would be able.
"We decided to focus on oil and gas because the barriers to entry are very high, but there are real problems to be solved and the economics were better," explained Chris Blackford from Sky Futures.
"We will continue doubling if not tripling revenues over the next three to five years," he said.