The oil and gas industry is an enormously important sector in the world. It powers 99% of all transportation and accounts for 2.5% of the world’s GDP.
Oil and gas data is strongly connected to geography. For example, oil exploration, pipeline construction and the environment use GIS. All of these features are spatial in nature.
GIS in the oil and gas industry is a rapidly growing field of interest. GIS applications in the oil and gas industry can serve multiple purposes.
What can a GIS do in the oil and gas sector?
1. Asset Management
A geodatabase stores, collects, and manages the physical locations of features. In oil and gas, this includes pipelines, wells, pump stations, and tank terminals. But it also includes non-spatial information. For example, oil and gas companies are interested in leases, date of installation, and pipe material. This can be useful to better understand when pipelines require maintenance or repair.
Topological relationships ensure data quality. Often, oil and gas companies need simple maps to differentiate pipelines. Alternatively, you could visualize useful analytics information. For example, you can compare the amount of pipeline by type or when a fixture needs to be replaced.
2. Remote sensing for terrain stability
Satellite synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) can play a cost-effective role in understanding terrain stability. In the oil and gas industry, this means better monitoring of potential geo-hazards. This can play a key role in reducing the need to deploy staff, increasing safety, and continuation of pipeline productivity.
Interferometry gives the ability to continually monitor areas with satellites. Another big advantage is the large swath area satellite imagery can cover compared with on-ground surveys.
3. GIS Automation in Map Production and Visualization
In environmental assessments, pipelines & pump stations, areas of historical oil and gas exploration, and even directional drilling… There’s no better time and place to use a GIS for mapping out these features.
GIS has various tools to automate workflow for better decision-making.
- If you are in need of creating maps of multiple sites, data driven pages are a quick way to automate map production. Alternatively in QGIS, you can create multiple maps with Atlas.
- If you want to find the fastest route for service trucks, network analyst is the quick and efficient way to do this.
Applications of GIS in the Oil and Gas Industry
The applications of GIS in the oil and gas industry can improve cost-efficiency and deliver timely information. There are different ways to apply GIS to oil and gas-related sectors. For example, you can use geodatabases, remote sensing, map automation, and more.
The oil and gas industry is BIG.
Oil and gas data sets are largely geographically based. For this reason, GIS can provide solutions for constructing pipelines, drilling oil wells, and environmental protection.
Now it’s your turn. What are some other examples of GIS in the petroleum industry?