Conference PaperPDF Available

The Application of GIS in Petroleum Geology



The ultimate goal in oil and gas exploration is discovering new resources and finding new reserves. GIS Technology provides important tool for evaluation of potentiality of reserves and their locations. Oil and gas exploration operations are always depends on number of complex Geological operations. From seismic exploration and placement of seismic lines onshore as well as offshore to exploration of various subsurface geological conditions in order to provide detailed overview for underneath resources, which requires dealing with large volumes of complex data. Discovering feasible reserves is a core competence to be successful in the petroleum industry. GIS thus is very important technology for evaluation of the potential for oil and gas in promising location. GIS Technology provides advanced capabilities in spatial analysis and visualization of surface and subsurface geological and geophysical data. These analysis and visualization capabilities help with efficient and effective evaluations of prospects in potential zones. This presentation introduces the vast capabilities of GIS and its application in the petroleum industry. It provides an emphasis on the spatial extent and the portions of exploration and production operations that can effectively utilize GIS.
The Application of GIS
in Petroleum Geology
Dr. Rifaat Abdalla
Department of Earth Science, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos
University, Muscat, Oman
Table of Contents
Part 1 GIS Technology A brief background
Part 2 Application of GIS in Petroleum
Part 3 Future Trends in the Application of GIS
in Petroleum Exploration
No doubt many readers will agree that GIS - particularly in the context of
petroleum exploration and development - is one of those technologies that is
hard "to get one's arms around." At least part of the reason is the absence of a
standard definition of just what a GIS is and what it's supposed to do.
The Big Picture
Geology of the
Surveying and
Safety and
Facilities -
Workover and
Admin and
Reservoir Engg.
IT & Support
and Facilities
Part 1
GIS Technology A brief background
What is GIS
Is it a digital mapping tool?
Is it a digital analysis tool?
Is it a computer based visualization
Is it a modeling tool?
GIS is much more than high- tech digital equivalent of the map
Definitions of GIS
A computer-based system capable of
assembling, storing, manipulating, and
displaying Georeferenced data. Aronoff,
A computer based system for managing
Geographic data and using these data to
solve spatial problem. Lo & Young,
GIS Functionality
GIS functionality can be summarized in:
1. Acquisition and verification
2. Compilation
3. Storage
4. Updating and changing
5. Management and Exchange
6. Retrieval and presentation
7. Analysis and combination
Components of GIS
Data ( Spatial vs.
How GIS Represent the Real-World
Dynamic process of abstraction and modeling
National Mapping Agencies
Ortho photography
Local ?
Created by users
Part 2
Application of GIS in Petroleum
GIS Applications in Petroleum
The petroleum is the most important and foundational
energy in the world at present.
It is also the most capital intensive. Revenues are
large, as are the costs.
It also makes headlines for unforeseen accidents and
environmental hazards.
The ever changing dynamics of this industry drives
sustained efforts for increased efficiencies and risk
The petroleum business requires the handling and
analysis of different types of data, which can be
a) into unstructured data such as reports inside a document management system.
b) structured data in databases, and spatial data available from GIS.
GIS Applications in Petroleum
The Oil and Gas industry is driven by an estimated
80% data that has a spatial component.
This is the only industry that harnesses spatial
information at every stage of the life-cycle, beginning
with opportunity analysis and exploration, through
appraisal and production, right up to the abandonment
So companies are beginning to understand the
importance of geospatial to maximize ROI as well as
minimize risks.
GIS for Petroleum
Discovering new sources of petroleum ahead of the
competition is one of the key ways to stay successful
in the petroleum industry.
A GIS system can help you evaluate the potential for
oil in promising locations.
Exploration often requires analysis of satellite imagery,
digital aerial photomosaics, seismic surveys, surface
geology studies, subsurface and cross section
interpretations and images, well locations, and existing
infrastructure information.
GIS for Petroleum
A GIS can relate these data elements to the
location in question in map form and allow
you to overlay, view, and manipulate the data
to analyze and understand its potential.
GIS technology today allows you to manage
the spatial components of these everyday
petroleum business objects, such as leases,
wells, pipelines, environmental concerns,
facilities, and retail outlets, in the corporate
database and apply appropriate geographic
analysis efficiently across the enterprise.
Application of GIS in Petroleum
The oil and gas exploration collects a large
quantity of data; most of them are based on spatial
geographic position.
GIS is used to manage, inquiry, analyze, and
visualized data; all of the data, figures and
information are managed integrated.
Spatial elements can be formed by these spatial
data with GIS, all of the data will be integrated in
a platform of a uniform database.
By the strong ability of the spatial analysis, an
effective analysis will be done.
It is a new applied character of combining the GIS
with the technology of oil and gas exploration in
the field of petroleum exploration.
Application of GIS in Petroleum
The management in petroleum exploration
by GIS includes :
build a database to manage the data of oil
and gas exploitation, such as logging data,
drilling data, and experimental analysis etc
integrate all of the data mentioned above to
detailed describe the stratum layer, litho
logic characters, and tectonic structure of
the oil reservoir.
GIS Deployment through the Oil
Field Life-cycle
GIS Deployment through
the Oil Field life-cycle
Well Planning andAcquisition
Basin Analysis : map of potential
hydrocarbon accumulations; hydrological
modeling; sub-surface secondary fluid
migration network mapping; flow direction
flow accumulation mapping across DEM;
potential migration pathways, etc.
GIS Deployment through the Oil
Field Life-cycle
Risk Analysis :
risk segment mapping for each petroleum element; regional
risk mapping; geological maps; ground truthing or
validating imagery through field surveys.
Acreage Analysis:
rapid evaluation and gradation of opportunities using multi-
disciplinary asset data and assigning weightings and criteria;
ranking of acreage, petroleum leases, blocks and companies;
exploration statistics in visual platform, etc.
Prospect Analysis:
hydrocarbon reserve or volume estimation; raster analysis
based deterministic prospect volume of petroleum
reservoirs; reserve estimation and spatial analysis of well
data in unconventional hydrocarbon, like shale.
Seismic Planning
Terrain analysis; seismic survey maps and data; satellite image processing
and spatial analysis; etc.
Well Planning: well planning around multiple
drilling constraints; GIS tools used in well pattern
optimization workflows.
Drilling :spatial analysis within GIS for optimized well drilling
patterns and efficient configurations.
Production : GIS allows data integration and visualization of
production volumes, injection rates and recovery efficiency in
near real-time.
GIS Deployment through the
Oil Field Life-cycle
Field Operations
GIS supports drilling around surface and
geologic constraints; improved field production
efficiencies for whole reservoirs /basins; data
integration and visualization in real time for
production dashboards, coordinated workflows
and personnel across rig sites; Dynamic Hazard
modeling for resource allocation; asset tracking
in real time.
GIS Deployment through the
Oil Field Life-cycle
Facilities Management
3D GIS with field layout helps accurate
monitoring of associated environmental
changes in near real time for HSE
(Health, Safety and Environment) and
emergency response during oil spills,
leaks or explosions.
GIS Deployment through the Oil
Field Life-cycle
Distribution and Pipeline Management
least cost path analysis for distribution
network; network analysis for environment
friendly and cost effective routes; pipeline
monitoring for geo-hazards and leaks;
tracking of inspections using remotely
acquired data; monitoring and analysis of
spatially dispersed data in real-time;
seafloor geodesy and asset management in
offshore operations, etc.
GIS Deployment through the Oil
Field Life-cycle
Pipeline Routing and Vehicle / Fleet Tracking
A GIS ecosystem supports tracking of valuable
assets in a capital intensive sector. The precise
location of vehicles and ships ensures timely
delivery of goods and services, as well as
efficient emergency response.
Field data from earlier phases of the oil field
life cycle centralized in enterprise GIS help to
remove infrastructure and assets, and recover
the site for land use.
GIS Deployment through the Oil
Field Life-cycle
Benefits of GIS in Oil and Gas
Empowers Decision-Making
Which acreage or play to enter, how to shorten
portfolio workflows, how to plan the optimal
pipeline route, integrate results of seismic survey,
planning emergency response, better management
of facilities, manage pipeline outage and leaks, etc.
Benefits of GIS in Oil and Gas
Supports future action and ongoing
exploration activities
By standardizing processes and reducing
technical uncertainty, GIS improves
exploration efficiency. The GIS framework
models a consistent exploration processes
across all assets within the company. This
supports a consistent, auditable corporate
prospect portfolio, for ongoing portfolio
Benefits of GIS in Oil and Gas
Increased Efficiencies
Multi disciplinary data integration for risk
assessment and uncertainty, better access
for cutting wasteful downtime, optimized
maintenance schedules; monitoring and
analysis of daily fleet movements in real
time, least cost path analysis for pipeline
routing, standardized portfolio workflows,
cutting down decision cycle times, etc.
Benefits of GIS in Oil and Gas
Cost Saving
An estimate of 10-30 per cent cut in
operational costs, prevention and management
of incidental or accidental costs, efficient
pipeline and fleet management saves costs,
optimized drilling and operation workflows
enhances ROI, and so on.
Seamless Management
with a real-time mapping visualization and
analysis of remote /offshore sites, operations
and assets.
Benefits of GIS in Oil and Gas
Improved Communication
Across spatially dispersed locations
Record Keeping
The huge data loaded in centralized GIS
builds a strong framework for managing
data with full transaction support and
reporting tools.
Uses of GIS in Oil and Gas
Data Index Maps
One of the most common uses of GIS in the petroleum
sector is in delivering easy-to-use digital maps that
enable oil company staff to see what data is available
to them, so that they can drastically reduce the amount
of time they spend looking for the information they
need to do their work.
Often such maps are delivered using web-based GIS
applications that require little or no training to use, and
show all data of interest side-by-side in a single
Uses of GIS in Oil and Gas
Emergency Response
GIS is becoming increasingly important in
response to emergencies such as oil spills and
gas explosions, both in mitigation planning and
response management.
Data loaded into a GIS can be made available
to all stakeholders regardless of their physical
location (e.g. to workers in the field on mobile
devices), and even to the public.
This leads to better decision making during
emergency response situations, and improved
public relations.
Uses of GIS in oil and gas
Pipeline Monitoring
Pipelines need to be continually monitored to check
for leaks and geo-hazards, and to manage and track
inspections, the frequency of which is often a
regulatory requirement.
An emerging use of GIS is in integrating the map with
digital video, often acquired using remote vehicles on
the seabed, enabling engineers to see sections of
pipeline and monitor hazards affecting the
Pipeline Mapping, monitoring and
Integrity Management through GIS
Uses of GIS in Oil and Gas
Block Ranking
Ranking opportunities via quantitative analysis using
all available information require data integration on a
massive scale, and so it is usually seen as too time
consuming to carry out on a regular basis.
GIS provides the perfect environment in which to
rapidly evaluate and grade oil and gas licenses or lease
It provides a unique way of mining large quantities of
different types of data in order to help make a decision,
and many companies employing GIS for this analysis
believe that it gives them a competitive edge.
Part 3
Future Trends in the Application
of GIS in Petroleum Exploration
Future Trends
Spatially Enabled Project Management
Immersive Environments
The Concept of Immersion
Data integration and collaboration.
Increasing information space from different sources to
targeted users.
Increased spatial understanding.
Spread of knowledge of the location.
Enhancement of more natural interaction.
Faster planning and quicker integration and interaction.
Increased sense of control and presence.
Number of options, number scenarios.
Virtual Reality: Scientific and Technological Challenges (1995)
Chapter: 8 Computer Hardware and Software for the Generation of Virtual Environments 1-gnikool-leinad-leahcim/
TechViz CAVE - VR Showroom
The Oil and Gas industry has been a comparative late
comer to GIS. However, it is fast emerging as the industry
with the highest potential of GIS application through the
entire life-cycle.
Whats more, it enables a seamless integration of
geospatial technologies like UAV, sensors, and existing
computer systems within the GIS framework.
This is helping companies compete in the global race to
unlock new energy sources and maximize value from its
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.