Ethiopia to use drones for mineral exploration, oil pipeline safety

The Ministry of Mines and Energy of Ethiopia is set to use drones equipped with cameras for exploration and monitor the safety of oil pipelines.

The technology, which allows identifying the minerals found in the ground at centimeters level, is said will enable Ethiopia to properly develop its mineral resources. The drones will be provided by Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Ethiopia.

In order to utilize the technology, the recently established the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Ethiopia and the Mines of Mines and Energy have signed an agreement.

The agreement aims to support the safety of Ethiopia’s mineral exploration and oil pipeline with technology. The agreement is signed on Tuesday by Minister of Innovation and Technology, Getahun Mekuria (Dr/Eng), and Minister of Mines and Energy, Samuel Yurkato (PhD).

The technology will also be used to ensure the safety of the 800 kilometers oil pipeline, which will be constructed between Ethiopia and Djibouti. The technology also allows detecting defects and damages that may occur on the pipeline.

In the agreement the two sides have signed it is also indicated that the technology will alert any threat on the oil pipeline. It is also indicated that the drones will gather information and do the monitoring on every 150 kilometers along the pipeline and provide information to the control center.

According to the agreement signed between Ethiopia, Djibouti and POLY-GCL last September, the gas pipeline will transport 12 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year from Ethiopia to Djibouti every year.

This translates into export 10 million cubic metres of liquefied natural gas to China annually, earning the country about $1.5 billion every year.