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Image courtesy of Sky-Futures.

Sky-Futures, a provider of drone inspection data services to the oil and gas industry, secured $4.2 million in funding on Tuesday from the Bristow Group.

The UK-based firm said the investment also includes an exclusive partnership agreement and will give Bristow access to Sky-Futures unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) inspection operational expertise, data capturing and analysis technology and training capabilities.

“This partnership between Bristow and Sky-Futures enables us to rapidly expand the operational delivery of drone based inspection services in the global oil and gas market,” Sky-Futures CEO and co-founder James Harrison said.

Bristow will also have one representative on Sky-Futures’ board.

“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,” Bristow Group President and CEO Jonathan Baliff said.

Last year, Sky-Futures received the largest investment into a drone company in Europe during their Series A from MMC Ventures, totaling $4 Million after additional investment from Airware’s Commercial Drone Fund.

Sky-Futures was formed in 2009 and currently operates in 16 countries and works with more than 30 major oil and gas companies around the world, many of whom are also Bristow’s global clients.

The company’s team of experience remote pilots conducts UAV inspections of live flare stacks, splash zones, decommissioning, general topside work and under deck, using HD video, still and thermal imagery.

Data from the inspections is analyzed, processed and delivered through Sky-Futures advanced technology platform.

Sky-Futures said it completed its first drone inspection in the Gulf of Mexico last month and also recently completed a drone inspection of two offshore flare tips for a major oil client that saved an estimated $35 million by helping the company avoid an unscheduled shutdown.

The business is headquartered in London with offices in Houston, Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur and Aberdeen.