First ESRI European Petroleum User Group

BP, Hydro, Wintershall and OMV report on enterprise GIS. ESRI ups support for GIS standards.

Some 200 attended the first meeting of the European ESRI petroleum user group (PUG). Brian Boulmay’s (ESRI) keynote discussed ArcGIS 9.2. ESRI’s key message is the advent of ‘distributed collaboration,’ enabling several authors and publishers to deliver content through an ‘interconnected, interoperable, and dynamic framework.’ GIS technology is enabling collaboration from the server, across desktop, PDAs to mobile phones.


ESRI increasingly supports industry standards from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), Autocad’s DXF and Google Earth KML. Data models and content metadata standards like ISO 19139 are now also on ESRI’s ‘map.’ An openness demo involved connectivity to CAD, Google Earth, SAP, MapInfo and Geomedia.

Arc GIS 9.2

ArcGIS 9.2 supports grids of faulted surfaces and a new flat file geodatabase enhances performance. Animation is used to display time variant data such as production. A new ArcGIS Explorer brings a Google Earth-like user front end to enterprise GIS and geoprocessing.


Charles Fried discussed data analysis and automation at BP. The goal is a single source of information for the Gulf of Mexico of resource base, financials, inventory, prospect ranking, competitive intelligence—all displayed on backdrop of play fairways. Sharepoint, Access, Excel and ArcGIS support semi-automated updates that take hours (rather than days as before) to refresh a supporting dataset.


Karina Schmidt presented Wintershall’s Enterprise GIS Strategy integrating GIS with tools from Schlumberger, IHS, EDMS, OpenSpirit and other applications. Wintershall is moving towards a ‘Galaxychart’ technology vision embracing EDMS, production and geodata, but with more spatially enabled processes bringing GIS and webservices into the framework.


Tore Hoff introduced HydroGIS which leverages GIS in regional studies, play fairway mapping, data management, geodetic QC and data inventory. HydroGIS was launched in 2006, adding an enterprise framework to previous GIS initiatives. HydroGIS leverages the Petroleum Spatial Data Model (PSDM) from Nexen, itself based on PPDM. Safe Software’s Feature Manipulation Engine is used to load data from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, Petrobank, Finder and in-house vector and raster data sources.


Achim Kamelger presented OMV’s cross-discipline spatial data management and IM services project offering enhanced connectivity between business systems and GIS. The project has encountered many technical and organizational challenges particularly as ‘users have no idea about data management’ and legacy applications that are ‘black boxes.’ Kamelger concluded that the oil industry is ripe for ‘useful’ new technology enabling better integration between GIS and other E&P applications.


Amelia Pickering, British Geological Survey (BGS), presented the new Strategic Environmental Assessment data (SEA) on the DEAL website. This includes a range of sea bed geophysical data, video tracks, seabirds and marine mammals’ distributions and more.

Thanks to Brian Boulmay for this report.

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