Earth Observation: Saving Lives In Oil And Gas

November 14, 2022

Managing Critical Infrastructure In Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas is an industry where old practices are used for a long period of time and new technologies can be difficult to be introduced.

However, satellite imagery is one of those technologies being introduced into the Oil and Gas industry and changing how operations are being done on a day to day basis.

What we see is critical infrastructure like well pads or pipelines can be monitored using earth observation data in a much more scalable and repeatable way than using other items like drones or helicopters.

Pipeline Monitoring

Where satellite imagery really is useful is by using a wide range of resolutions to ultimately solve a business problem.

As an example, you could use low resolution data to see some macro changes on a pipeline.

You might see those changes, be perhaps worried about something occurring, maybe vegetation encroachment.

Then you would taska high resolution satellite to go capture imagery over that pipeline. That then allows you to see in depth what is actually going on.

Then, if you need to stage an intervention, you know exactly what needs to be done, and can be fully prepared for that in advance of deploying people.

The Human Impact Of Satellite Imagery

This satellite imagery is impactful on both the business’s bottom line, but also on the human component, ensuring that humans who are going off into sites are not putting themselves at risk.

This is referred to as “third party interference” – when a third party may be interfering with the pipeline over a stretch of land.Pipeline operators need to know what’s going on and they can use satellite imagery across a range of resolutions to accomplish this.

They can use low resolution data to look at the entire pipeline, see any macro changes and then task, high resolution satellite data to see exactly what’s going on.

Then they can decide if a human team needs to be deployed.

Real Operational Impact

Oil and Gas operators have a lot of challenges on their day to day work flows.

Using satellite imagery means that they don’t have to use human resources for every application.

Oftentimes what will happen today in Oil and Gas operations is humans are sent to site, say to a well pad to do a visual inspection.

What that will entail is perhaps them taking a company truck, on a poorly maintained or maybe snowy road out to a rural site in say, Western Canada.

There is both a cost from a business perspective on sending a human out there, but also a safety cost where there could be issues in the actual operator getting out there to see if there’s a well pad issue.

 Both the human and the safety costs are where satellite imagery really shines.

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