Iraq plans to use drones to monitor and protect its oil export and production pipelines from the first quarter of 2018, an oil ministry spokesman said on 18 December.
Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi has asked the ministry to seek out professional security companies that can supply Iraq with drones and sophisticated camera systems to protect its pipelines, spokesman Asim Jihad said.
Luaibi last week announced plans to build a network of pipelines that will carry crude oil and refined products across all its territory, as an alternative to expensive and hazardous transport by tanker trucks.
The use of drones to monitor pipelines is common in advanced energy producing countries but a new step for Iraq, which has seen attacks from insurgents on pipelines since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
“We will use drones and advanced surveillance systems to protect oil pipelines from any attacks or deliberate sabotage acts. The minister ordered the use of the drone system as of the first quarter of the coming year,” Jihad told reporters.
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