ESRI 2013 European Petroleum User Group, London

Shell, ‘Don’t say drone, say UAV!’ Total’s GIS for operations. BP on oil spill JIP.

There was a good turn-out (nearly 300) for the 2013 EU Esri petroleum user group (PUG) meet in London late last year. Esri’s Danny Spillman embellished on his compelling and ingenious case for GIS at the fictional ‘Clancy Energy’ company showing how multiple data sources, both internal and external, can be put to use in pipeline routing. Who would have thought of routing that leveraged unemployment data? Chez Clancy, GIS is the enterprise data portal.

Calum Shand (Shell) and Stuart Thomas (Cyberhawk) wowed the assembled geographers with a presentation of innovative unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, ‘don’t say drone’) mapping of Shell’s Scottish onshore terminals. The geo information team, in a ‘moment of serendipity,’ discovered that multi-rotor UAV’s had already been used on Brent Delta for inspection and integrity monitoring prior to decommissioning. UAV service provider Cyberhawk was enlisted to acquire geo-referenced aerial orthophotos of the terminal sites using a fixed wing UAV. Data was rolled up with Shell’s other GIS data sets services and served-up as a general purpose/emergency response style integrated web map. Project scope has now expanded to include Google street view style 360° imagery and multi-rotor UAV acquired oblique photos for compliance, engineering and situational awareness usage.

Olivier Serrepuy presented Total’s ‘Geops’ a.k.a. GIS for development and operations. Geops kicked-off in 2009 with a vision of an enterprise database of asset location data. Geops comprises a web based visualisation tool, an asset data model of pipelines and platforms and a governance and management infrastructure for GIS data. Geops bridges the gap between detailed CAD/CAM drawings of infrastructure and multiple GIS-type data sets including aerial imagery, bathymetry and pipeline routing. The various datasets have been successfully re-purposed for subsea development, survey and inspection, vessel tracking and other use cases. The system is based on an ArcGIS Desktop and Server 10.0 and interfaces to SAP and Documentum. Serrepuy concluded that ‘GIS is naturally cross discipline and can evolve as needs change.’ But GIS implies new ways of working including new data management and workflows and GIS experts who are ‘close to the end-user, IT, data and software.’

Colin Grant (BP) presented on a joint industry project to coordinate oil spill response efforts. Worldwide, spills were on the decline from the 1970s to the 2000s, but then came Macondo. The JIP has been initiated under the auspices of the Oil and gas producers association (OGP) and IPIECA, a global association addressing social and environmental issues in oil and gas. The four year project is scheduled to conclude in 2014 and will deliver good practice guidance on the use of dispersants, on developing risk and hazard-based strategies for response preparedness and will promote research on response methods and assessment models. The group is also investigating the feasibility of an industry standard GIS data model for spill response. Read the EU PUG presentations here.

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