Few points on GIS and Petroleum Industry (With PDF)

The word “Geography” though not used often by us in our daily life, but its presence, reference, and value have become an integral part of our activities in the way

  • we do business,
  • we communicate,
  • we manage our resources
  • the way we live.

We are in the age of Enterprise GIS which helps to solve

  • Business problems
  • Automate Business processes
  • New ways to analyze business and spatial data by incorporating the knowledge of “Where” into the existing business models of “Why”, “What” and “When”.

Petroleum Industry – Need of Integrated Business-GIS:

The use of geography in analyzing and making decisions is not a new thing in the oil and natural gas industry. A good understanding of geography is required in every step of a petroleum industry starting

  • from locating a place to drill a well,
  • route a pipeline
  • from the exploration site to the refinery plant,
  • finding an ideal location for a refinery and a lot more

Petroleum Industry -Scope of GIS integration and Applications:

The petroleum Industry can be functionally divided into 2 categories.

  • Production and Refining Sector.
  • Retail Outlet Management and Distribution Network.

Productions and Refining Sector:

This involves the process of exploring new locations as petroleum reserves, managing the production of crude petroleum from earth strata, managing the pipeline network to transfer crude sources to refining plants, and facility management of various resources connected to such a huge industry.

1-Petroleum Exploration:

Exploration requires the analysis of a lot of different types of data such as satellite imagery, digital aerial photo mosaics, seismic surveys, surface geology studies, subsurface and cross-section interpretations and images, well locations, and existing infrastructure information.

Analysis Process:

Integrated Analysis
Integrated Analysis


To produce found reserves, the company must first understand certain geographic, infrastructure, business conditions, and environmental factors about the area in question. GIS technology is ideally suited to this kind of overlay analysis.

3-Managing Facilities:

GIS can be used to map the gathering and transmission of products to a facility.

4-Pipeline Management:

  • Some of the variables include:
  • Shortest distance from source to market
  • Least grading (removal of trees, etc.)
  • Costs association
  • Number of stream, road, and railroad crossings
  • Substrate (rock, soils, etc., associated with burial)
  • Existing laws and regulations (wetlands, etc.)
  • Utilization of existing utility corridors
  • Coverage analysis.
  • Environmental damage
  • Environmental response and investigation
  • Criminal and civil penalties
  • Environmental Remediation
  • Damage to reputation and community relations

5-Retail Outlet Management and Distribution:

This is the area where a lot of GIS developmental activities can take place. Retail companies can use the power of GIS systems to optimize their business with intelligent analytical GIS tools and planning tools and provide better customer and outlet services.

Coverage Analysis:

  • Fleet management –mapping of Petrol stations by brand, ownership, price, volume, shop size, or by any geography, such as country, postcode, catchments area
  • Locating the Optimal position of a new outlet
  • Optimal routing of Petroleum tankers across the country and across the city.
  • Crisis management
  • Volume distribution of petroleum products
  • Geographic analysis of distribution pattern.
  • Finding a specific outlet in a city and deriving a route to go there.

GIS solutions:

  • Corporate GIS data management
  • Map production and presentation
  • Digital Elevation Models and hydrology
  • Environmental sensitivity analysis and modeling
  • Pipeline route optimization and pipeline leakage risk
  • Internet mapping and image web server solutions
  • Workflow analysis
  • Crisis Management on the Internet
  • Conversion of current environmental data to GIS format
  • Linkage of oil spill model to GIS.
  • Retail market analysis.
  • Distribution analysis.
  • Market pattern analysis by demographics.
  • 3-dimensional GIS
  • Improved “Conflation” tools.
  • Retail outlet supply routing and many more…

Future Expectations:

  • Geologic Evaluation
  • Reservoir Analysis (access to seismic data and well logs)
  • Land / Lease Management
  • Drilling Activity Analysis
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Gas Marketing
  • Improved integration with our relational databases.
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Anup Kumar Dey

I am a Mechanical Engineer turned into a Piping Engineer. Currently, I work in a reputed MNC as a Senior Piping Stress Engineer. I am very much passionate about blogging and always tried to do unique things. This website is my first venture into the world of blogging with the aim of connecting with other piping engineers around the world.

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