ESRI Petroleum User Group highlights

Nearly 1,000 attended the 2006 ESRI PUG. Our highlights include transformation certification (Shell), GIS ‘from scratch’ (Colango), ArcReader for field work (BP) and enterprise GIS (Talisman).

The ESRI Petroleum User Group, the PUG goes from strength to strength – with this year’s head count just short of the 1,000 mark. Bart Hulshof presented an ArcMap transformation certification tool that Shell has developed to manage the plethoric coordinate reference systems used in Europe and elsewhere. The problem is that, while ArcMap issues a warning when a data transformation is needed, the transform may not actually execute. Users assume they don’t need to do anything and carry with significant errors on the map. Shell’s solution is an ArcMap extension, a library of EPSG-approved transformations that execute and verify automatically. Hulsof wondered why this wasn’t a standard ArcMap functionality.


Ingrid Hartz described how IPH Consulting built Copano Energy’s GIS ‘from scratch’. Copano uses its Pipeline mapping system to manage its Texas assets and also, by bringing in third party data from Pennwell MapSearch, performs competitor analysis for potential acquisitions. Likewise, pipe centerline data has been combined with drilling activity data from Drilling Info to identify proximal sales opportunities. The system integrates meter data and most recently, Petris’ ‘one-call’ digging ticket verification system—described as ‘a real timesaver’. Next Copano plans to deploy integrity management, HCA analysis, SCADA and right of way integration.


Danielle Forsyth (Thetus) showed how semantic web technologies can be used to leverage machine readable metadata to search across different information stores. The Thetus Publisher knowledge base was used to support pipe damage loss prevention, to identify gas loss and perform integrity management by identifying special situations where damage is likely to occur and which contractors cause damage. Another development tracks workers in hazardous situations with TenXsys’ monitoring system.

BP America

Michael Mixter showed how BP distributes maps to field personnel by creating ‘pmf’ files in ArcView publisher which can be viewed with the freeware ArcReader map browser. The GIS dataset comprises 1,500 miles of pipeline data tagged with information on the accuracy of spatial and right of way information. BP has fixed some of the problems with ArcReader—and now provides its 100 field workers with a system that integrates GPS best practices and solves ‘90% of its issues, 90% of the time.’


Ian Batty shared some dos and don’ts gleaned from Talisman’s enterprise GIS which now comprises 80 million rows of vector data, 250 GB raster data and supports 200 concurrent users. Batty stressed the importance of data management—both of the structured database tables and the file data, likening the latter to management of seismic trace bulk data. Batty deprecates shapefiles, coverages and personal geodatabases. The way to go is SDE (or Oracle Spatial for its data management). Data modeling involves a ‘happy medium’ between thematic modeling and pure relational—‘There is no point in creating the perfect denormalized model, adopting a geodatabase model or PPDM in its entirety. Define the data model that meets your business requirements’. More useful tips in Batty’s paper on

Click here to comment on this article

Click here to view this article in context on a desktop

© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.