Fueling Up On Smart Maps – Mapping Technology In Oil And Gas
It’s a political hot topic, a major export and even the reason wars have been fought. It touches almost every aspect of our lives. The oil and gas – or more broadly, the petroleum – industry is one the largest in the world, making up an estimated 8% of the economy in the United States alone.
Most of us think of the gasoline in our cars and the natural gas used to heat our homes when we think of petroleum. The fact is, petroleum and its by products are in almost everything we touch – from water bottles to disposable diapers to candy. It’s a gigantic industry that is relying more and more on the technology of mapping.
It’s no secret that drilling for oil can be a dangerous and expensive activity. Even the smallest mistakes can be enormously costly, hazardous to the environment and pose a threat to the safety of workers. That’s why the need for accurate spatial information is crucial from the very beginning of the process.
The first step to any new drilling project is exploration. Sophisticated maps are gathered from a variety of sources, merged and analyzed by intelligent systems to give planners a complete picture of the potential drill site. Land records confirm ownership and rights to drill. Then, these smart maps show data relating to terrain stability, known seismic activity, rock formations and even the presence of old wells.
Once the land has been cleared to drill, the most difficult work begins. It’s far more complicated than just digging a hole. Drilling pads – the above ground area where all the drilling operations occur – must be strategically placed. Wells have to be cased and cemented. And all of this has to be done while avoiding geological features that may hamper drilling and while protecting ground water. Again, the key to success here is in maps. Geographic maps, satellite maps and even data gathered by in-ground sensors are all combined to act as a spatial guide for the digging of the well.
Once the well has been dug and the oil has been captured, the hard part’s over right? Wrong. Did I mention the remote location of these wells? Some of them are miles off shore. Many are in far-flung and frozen or scorching terrain. It’s no easy feat to bring the crude oil from the well to facilities where it can be processed into all of things we need it to be. That’s where mapping technology comes to the rescue again.
Smart maps play a vital role in not only installing pipelines, but also in monitoring them for leaks and aiding in the maintenance and repair processes. Fleets of oil tankers equipped with sensors can be routed and monitored from a central location for maximum speed and efficiencies. The country’s railways and their associated maps also play a huge role in transporting petroleum in all its forms.
Surrounded By Oil and Gas
Look around you. I’ll bet almost everything within an arm’s reach contains some form of petroleum. An extraordinary number of businesses ride on the back of this one industry. Which is why is it’s so important that the business of oil and gas is streamlined, efficient and safe. Smart maps and intelligent systems are making that all a reality.
What Can Smart Maps Do For You?
Is any part of your business dependent on spatial information? If so, we can give you a real-time, bird’s-eye view of your operations and assets. You can save money, manpower and the environment.
Contact us to learn how intelligent systems can develop a smart map for your business.
Program details: http://www.avnetmssolutions.com/bingmaps/
Written By: Gina Haraway
Gina Haraway is Avnet Embedded's Director of Supplier Business Development, Microsoft Global. With over 20 years of experience in the technology industry and 6 years at Avnet, Gina has held several positions and has extensive knowledge and experience in inside & field sales, account development and supplier business development. She is a regular contributor to http://www.IntelligentSystem.com.
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