ESRI 2015 Petroleum User Group, Houston

Pipeline 20/20. Hachures, sky maps. Statoil’s ‘what’s new.’ Geoprocessing. GIS, the 800lb gorilla!

The Esri Petroleum User Group (PUG) held its US event earlier this year. Space precludes us giving the show the coverage it merits. But here are a few presentations that caught our attention. The Pipeline 20/20 kicked off with Tom Coolidge showing how Esri’s tools deliver mobile apps allowing field workers to view and update corporate data. Other tools let non specialists generate change requests and create quality map books for presentation and (even) printout. A demo featured an enterprise portal showing flow rates, tag data from PI CoreSight, real-time truckers’ behavior and weather maps.

Ayan Palit showed the beta edition of Esri’s utility and pipeline data model (UPDM), a ‘moderately normalized,’ componentized model that means that ‘you don’t need to deploy the whole model.’ The UPDM is also said to be ‘time aware’ for real time event display and management. V 1.0 is scheduled for 2016. (See Oil IT Journal Vol 20 N° 3 for more on the UPDM and PODS.)

Time-aware data was also the subject of Michael Graves’ presentation of OSIsoft’s PI Integrator for ArcGIS which uses the Esri GeoEvent extension/services to feed wellhead and pipeline data to ArcGIS operations dashboard.

Patrick Kennelly (LIU POST) reviewed advanced mapping techniques for 3D surfaces in an elegant presentation of contours and other displays. New Esri tools allow for hachures, illuminated contours and sky models. The latter are especially impactful ways of viewing densely sampled data with cliff-type features. Kennelly cited a classic 1950 paper from Tanaka on the relief contour method of representing topography.

Zheng Huang (Statoil) and Amar Garlapati (Progressive Global) described Statoil’s What’s New data notification system which pings users with an email and map as new data is loaded to their particular area of interest. The system crawls various databases for new stuff and generates a Microsoft Silverlight web map.

Statoil’s technologists may be needing a technology refresh soon as Denbury reports that its ArcGis Server/Silverlight web maps are now ‘unsustainable.’ Eric Sheehan described a migration to ArcGIS for Portal (with help from Logic Solutions Group).

Williams’ Wetherbee Dorshow showed a comprehensive use of mapping and geoprocessing to optimized pipeline route planning. Composite heat maps and cost surfaces are used to generate a smart footprint minimizing risk and cost. Iterating through various options and data QC allows for optimal routing.

Bernard South (Spatial Integration) described geoscience databases as ‘the 800 pound gorilla’ in digital exploration. Data issues are one of the main stumbling blocks to using ArcGIS in geology. Apart from bad/wrong data, the whole issue of geological nomenclature and meaning is fraught with the complexity of different methods of dating and describing strata. Geoscientists tend to squirrel away their own geological ‘nut piles’ of idiosyncratic usage, mixing chrono-stratigraphic and lithological terminology. On top of all that the geology standards from international authorities are a ‘moving target.’ South has developed a mapping table (in ArcGIS format) to sort out some of the difficulties. View these and other presentations online.

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