Looking For Growth In a Dicey Market? I’ve Got You Covered

Written by Jason Simpkins
Posted January 11, 2019

We’re in a situation right now where growth matters.

Market-sellers are panicking. Trade wars are biting. There’s talk of recession… a lot of bad news, basically.

So growth has to be a main focus for investors.

After all, if an industry can demonstrate growth in adverse conditions, it stands to reason that growth will accelerate when things brighten up again.

And that’s why I’ve zeroed in on one of the investing world’s best growth plays — unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.

I’ve talked about drones a lot in recent weeks. I’ve talked about their application in the military where they’re being used to protect our troops and take out enemy targets.

I’ve talked about how they’re braving fires and collapsed structures to save victims of natural disasters.

I’ve talked about how the police are using them to crack down on crime.

And today I want to talk about another arena where drone growth is exploding…

The energy sector.

You see, the use of drones in the oil and gas industry is growing, and growing fast.

The chief applications are maintenance and inspections.

That is, drones are being used to assess, monitor, and manage assets that were previously unreachable.

Take a pipeline, for example. An oil or gas pipeline could be thousands of miles long, with long stretches buried underground or undersea.

Yes, there are sensors and routine patrols. However, an oil and gas company typically has to hire a $2,500-an-hour helicopter crew to conduct its required monthly pipeline inspection.

Overall, the oil and gas industry spends roughly $37 billion every year just looking out for pipeline leaks.

Well, an aerial drone can survey roughly 150 miles of pipeline a day. And “PIGS”, or pipeline inspection gauges, can crawl through the pipes to conduct routine inspections and maintenance procedures along the way.

Better still, these robots often detect irregularities that are invisible to the naked eye.

And that’s just to start.

Operators can also use drones to quickly investigate well sites, storage tanks, and offshore platforms, giving inspectors all the benefits of a first-person viewpoint, without the time, cost, and safety risk that it takes to physically travel on site.

Drones also provide live situational awareness during fires, spills, and other emergencies.

And as AI technology evolves, these robots are gaining new capabilities that let them automatically adjust systems or conduct repairs based on certain cues.

Heck, before rigs and pipelines are even built, drones are being used to survey land, sample water, and generate 3D maps of prospective sites.

Now, let’s get back to that growth I mentioned.

Experts predict the drones will generate some of the most explosive growth of the next two years.

Gartner, for example, forecasts a global commercial market of $6.6 billion for the field by 2020. Goldman Sachs sees a market more than double that — $13 billion. And that’s on top of a $17 billion consumer market, and a $70 billion military market.

In most reports, the oil and gas industry ranks as one of the top three or four sectors with the greatest potential for drone integration. Estimates suggest the pipeline inspection arena could be worth as much as $40 million worldwide. And drones' services for offshore rigs and refineries could add billions more.

So this is a tremendous market, no doubt. And it’s going to expand regardless of what the economy does because it offers something very special — cost savings.

Companies are always looking to get more efficient, but that’s especially true when times get hard and revenue shrinks. Drones bring savings to a variety of industries, and the energy industry is chief among them.

If you want to find out more about drones and the amazing profit opportunity they offer, check out my latest report. It offers three industry-leading stock picks for investors.

Fight on,

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Jason Simpkins

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Jason Simpkins is Assistant Managing Editor of the Outsider Club and Investment Director of The Wealth Warrior, a financial advisory focused on security companies and defense contractors. For more on Jason, check out his editor's page. 

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