Geogathering 2007, Estes Park, Colorado

Oil and gas pipeline community discusses regulation, GIS, integrity management and databases.

Rob Brook (ESRI) sees GIS as federator of exploration, land, pipeline, and regulatory data. GIS offers intuitive access to work order, maintenance, CAD, environment, engineering, cost and HSE data. GIS underpins pipeline asset management and high consequence area (HCA) analysis and reporting. GIS is evolving and converging with IT. Standards from the W3C, ISO and OGC are making for ‘open and interoperable GIS’. Enterprise GIS needs a methodical approach—such as ESRI’s!

Mardi Gras

Leith McDonald described how GIS is used for integrity management of BP’s Mardi Gras Transportation Management System (MGTS). MGTS is the largest and most complex deepwater system in the world. The MGTS Data Management System was implemented in an Enterprise Geodatabase leveraging the Pipeline Open Database Standard (PODS) with offshore extensions for facilities, flexjoints, strakes and fairings and physical inspection data. The aim is for ‘a level of access to pipeline design, environmental and integrity data that will set the standard in the offshore pipeline industry.’ The system offers integration with video feeds, BP’s Documentum repository, inline inspection data and hurricane forecasts. A traffic light dashboard flags issues according to their severity. Raster imagery of landfalls and facilities , sidescan sonar surveys and ROV inspection videos are all accessible through the GIS front end. New Century Software’s PODS data browser is used for web-based data visualization. Lloyds List also participated in the development.


Scott Hills (Chevron) demonstrated the interrelationship between pipeline incidents, regulation and GIS. Onshore US incidents have halved since 2001 as successive hazardous liquids and pipeline mapping regulations came into force. US regulations are now influencing other legislation’s safety initiatives. The link with GIS is underlined by a quote from the US department of trade program director Jeff Wiese—’Our intent in the pipeline regulations was not to require the use of GIS, but I frankly don’t see how any operator can meet the requirements without GIS.’ A sentiment echoed in Chevron’s own HSE/integrity initiatives. Chevron Pipline Co. has build its pipeline integrity management system around the PODS standard alongside the ubiquitous ESRI ArcSDE spatial data store.


Wetherbee Dorshow (Earth Analytic) outlined a lightweight GIS field office solution developed for EnCana. This leveraged the ESRI geodatabase and ESRI’s ArcGIS for Petroleum data model. The presentation also covered field GPS survey data integration and pitfalls and use of the US Natural Resource Conservation Service’s soil survey geographic database for corrosion risk assessment. Geogathering presentations are available on

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