What Are You Looking For?

• Oil & Gas

What Are You Looking For?

Upstream Oil & Gas

  • Problem: Poor understanding of capabilities of geospatial analytics.
  • Solution: Consider these questions.
  • Benefit: Adoption of powerful solutions.

“Write down the problem and draw a diagram.” This is the phrase I heard over and over again from my father when he helped me with my math and science homework in middle and high school. Break the problem into small, understandable pieces, then the solution often finds itself. He earned a mathematics degree in college and has a very analytical and process-oriented mind.

The field of geospatial analytics is still relatively new for most people and companies. When I arrange an introductory meeting and show real Satelytics project examples (no PowerPoint slides!), people often say something like, “I had no idea you could do that,” or, “That is incredible!”

If your company is exploring what geospatial analytics can provide, here are some questions to consider before you start:

  • What information are you seeking?

    Environmental and operations personnel are interested in activities within their managed areas. Interests could be the identification of liquid hydrocarbon or produced water leaks; methane emissions; encroachments on gathering lines, pipelines, and well pads; vegetation; and native habitat.
Methane detection and quantification.

Methane detection and quantification.

  • How big is the feature of interest?
    For the challenges mentioned above, the timeliness of notification is paramount.

    For our upstream customers, this means finding the brine leak when it is small, before it turns into a disaster.

    For methane detection, the key is finding the specific leaking equipment. Given this, only the highest resolution satellite imagery with a pixel size of 30-50 centimeters can provide those results. Speaking in common terms, this indicates that something the size of a dinner plate could be identified.

    Satelytics tasks high-resolution satellite imagery providing specificity. When interviewing other providers, be sure to ask what resolution they are using and what they do with that imagery. Do they truly run analytics, or just deliver mountains of raw data to you?

    Beware! Many pretenders want you to believe they can do more than they have actually proven.
Produced water leak detection.

Produced water leak detection.

  • Where are you looking?
    High-resolution satellite imagery is sold in 100 square kilometer blocks called tiles. Specifying a precise area of interest allows us to minimize the data costs you incur. Don’t buy data you don’t need!
  • How often do you want to inspect the area of interest?
    The sooner the threat is identified, the lesser the risk and cleanup become. Today, satellite revisit frequencies are daily. The amount of information generated and the cost of the data are considerations to be balanced.

    Our upstream oil & gas customers often choose quarterly frequencies to coincide with seasonal changes. We are often asked to respond with additional monitoring to coincide with upsets in the system due to natural or human-caused events.

    Monitor infrastructure areas and get out ahead of risk and consequence.

  • Can it be quantified?
    This is the big question and usually means either physical measurements, concentration, or rate of the factor of interest. Physical measurements could include the size of a leak down to the square foot, the areal extent of a methane plume, or size of an eroded area along a gathering flowline.

    For methane we measure the concentration and flowrate that can be identified.

    In ROW management, we measure native species like grasslands or animal species. Other environmental concerns could include remediation of heavy metals and other chemicals, which can be quantified in parts per billion concentrations with Satelytics' algorithms.

The field of geospatial analytics is in its infancy. Satelytics is the market leader, with nearly 700 trillion pixels analyzed to date. We can help you if you define the problem you are trying to solve before you start looking for solutions.

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