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  • AutorenbildSuvarna Satish

GIS Mapping — A Pipeline Monitoring Essential

The Geographic Information System (GIS) is a digital tool for capturing, storing, manipulating, assessing, managing and presenting various types of geographic data. GIS works on the principle of geography, which means that some of the data captured is spatial; that is, the data is linked to geographic locations. GIS can help individuals and organizations truly understand spatial patterns and relationships by mapping seemingly unrelated data.

Geospatial vs GIS

Geospatial and GIS are distinctly different. GIS is broadly defined as producing spatial analysis and derivative maps using geographic data layers. All technologies and software involving geographic data are referred to as geospatial.

Data Capture in GIS

[GIS Map Projections]

Data Formats

GIS finds applications in both hardware and software systems. Some of these applications are Cartographic data, photographic data, multimedia data, and spreadsheet data.

The location of rivers, paths, hills, and valleys can all be found in cartographic data, which is already in the form of a map. Survey data and mapping information are examples of cartographic data that can be explicitly entered into a GIS.

GIS involves photographic interpretation. Photo analysis entails analysing aerial photos and evaluating the features that appear.

GIS is used to store data digitally. An example of digital data is Computer data obtained by satellites that display land use — the location of farms, cities, and forests.

Remote sensing is another method that is implemented through GIS. Imagery and other data from satellites, balloons, and drones are used in remote sensing.

Data in table or spreadsheet format, such as population demographics, can be used in GIS. Age, salary, and ethnicity are just a few examples of demographics, as are recent transactions and internet browsing habits.

GIS technology allows various types of data to be overlaid on top of one another on a single map, regardless of their source or original format. To connect these seemingly unrelated data, GIS uses position as the primary index variable.

The process of entering information into a GIS is called Data Capture. GIS may be used to upload data that is already in digital form, such as most tables and satellite images. Maps, on the other hand, must be scanned or converted to digital format first.

Raster and vector are the two main types of GIS file formats. Raster formats are cell or pixel grids. They are suitable for storing GIS data that changes over time, including elevation or satellite imagery. Vector formats are polygons made up of nodes (points) and lines. GIS data with specified boundaries, such as school districts or streets, can be stored in vector formats.

Spatial Relationships

Spatial relationships and linear networks can be visualized using GIS technology. Topography, such as agricultural fields and lakes, can be shown by spatial relationships. They can also show land-use trends, such as where parks and housing developments are located.

In a GIS; highways, rivers, and public power grids are examples of linear networks known as geometric networks. A line may indicate a road or highway on a map. The lane, however, may indicate the boundary of a school district, a public park, or other demographic or land-use areas using GIS layers. The linear network can be plotted on a GIS to show the streamflow of different tributaries using various data capture methods.

GIS must integrate the data from all of the different maps and sources to work together on the same scale. A scale is a comparison of the distance on a map to the actual distance on the ground.

Since different maps have different forecasts, GIS often has to manipulate data. A projection is a technique for moving data from the Earth’s curved surface to a flat piece of paper or a computer screen. Different forecasts achieve this goal in different ways, but they all result in some distortion. Stretching certain pieces and squeezing others is unavoidable when transferring a bent, three-dimensional form to a flat surface.

A world map will display either the correct size or shape of countries, but not both at the same time. GIS combines data from maps created with various projections such that all of the details can be viewed using a single projection.

Applications of GIS in the Oil and Gas Industry

[A representation of GIS mapping in the Oil and Gas Industry]

1. Data index maps — One of the most popular applications of GIS in the petroleum industry is the creation of simple digital maps that allow oil company employees to see what data is available to them, allowing them to spend less time searching for the information they need to do their jobs. Such maps are often created with web-based GIS applications that require little to no training to use and display all relevant data in a single Graphic User Interface (GUI).

2. Block ranking — Ranking opportunities based on quantitative analysis of all available data necessitates massive data integration, commonly seen as too time-consuming to do regularly. On the other hand, GIS offers the ideal setting for quickly evaluating and grading oil and gas licenses or lease blocks. It offers a unique way of mining vast amounts of various types of data to aid in decision-making. Many businesses that use GIS for this purpose claim that it gives them a competitive advantage in license acquisition.

3. Land management — GIS stores details as attributes, thus mapping lease expiry dates, lessor titles, working interests (WI), overriding royalty (OR), overriding royalty interest (ORRI), net revenue interest (NRI), and gross/net acreages. Meanwhile, centralizing all land management data in an enterprise GIS environment dramatically facilitates the generation of regulatory reports.

4. Well planning — With the rise of unconventional resources such as shale gas, shale oil, and coal bed methane, GIS is increasingly being used for well planning. Not only can GIS be used to design well pad patterns around several surface drilling constraints, but it can also be used to optimize drilling patterns in order to determine the most effective drilling configuration.

5. Field inspection — The use of satellite technology to collect on-demand high-resolution imagery across a field area to survey a site is an evolving application of GIS. This enables businesses to keep an eye on their sites and recognize and handle change regularly.

6. Environmental monitoring — Companies must reliably track environmental changes associated with operations, given the current emphasis on shale play production. In this scenario, GIS is invaluable since it can incorporate and visualize time-stamped data against a baseline case, such as using frequently updated DEMs to detect subsidence induced by resource extraction.

7. Pipeline routing — Since building pipelines to transport petroleum products is expensive, deciding the best route is crucial. This is a difficult job that can be significantly simplified by using ‘least-cost path analysis,’ which is a method that determines the least-cost path between a source point and a destination based on the effort needed to travel through cells in one or more cost raster datasets, such as slope (based on a DEM) and land-cover. GIS-based least-cost path analysis has been shown in studies to create more environmentally sustainable routes while also reducing costs by up to 15%.

8. Vessel tracking — GIS can help track valuable assets, especially mobile assets like vehicles and vessels. Knowing where vehicles and boats are at all times is critical for the prompt delivery of goods and services and effective emergency response.

9. Emergency response — GIS is becoming increasingly relevant in preventing and responding to incidents such as oil spills and gas explosions. Data loaded into a GIS can be made accessible to all stakeholders, regardless of their physical location (for example, field workers using mobile devices) and even the general public. This contributes to better decision-making and strengthened public relations during crisis response situations.

10. Pipeline monitoring — Pipelines must be constantly monitored for leaks and geo-hazards and manage and document inspections, which are often mandated by regulation. Engineers can see parts of the pipeline and monitor threats affecting the construction by combining the map with digital video, which is also obtained using remote vehicles on the seabed.

Damages from third parties, construction work, unofficial encroachments, agriculture and forest management, and seismic activity can harm pipeline routes. Developments in remote sensing have enabled Earth observation technologies to become a suitable, scalable, on-demand alternative for remote monitoring of gas and oil delivery pipelines.

An example of such a solution is SuperVision’s AI-based innovation which enables regular and efficient long-term pipeline monitoring. The SuperVision Space (SVS) app uses earth observation and remote sensing technology to monitor threats along pipeline routes and transmission lines. SuperVision’s versatile AI innovation facilitates monitoring of underground pipeline infrastructure and ensures its safety.

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