How to Build More Accurate Oil & Gas Maps in Less Time

05/18/2015
How to Build More Accurate Oil & Gas Maps in Less Time

Past paradigms of data management and mapping are no longer meeting organizational needs

Imagine …

You’re sitting at your desk at work. 12 o’clock rolls around, but in the rush to get out of your house that morning, you forgot your lunch on the kitchen counter. So you walk to your car, punch a few words into your smartphone, and listen as your digital personal assistant guides you to a nearby eatery that all of your coworkers have been raving about.

“You have arrived,” your digital companion tells you after 15 minutes of driving. You look around. The highly touted restaurant is … gone.

You hop in your car and drive back to the office, a half hour gone and no food to show for it. “Did you know that Lord of the Wings isn’t on Park and Maple anymore?” you say to your colleagues as you settle back in at your desk. To which one of them replies: “Seriously, John? They moved to 10th and Orchard weeks ago. I thought everybody knew that.”

Come to find out, the mapping application on your phone hadn’t updated, and you found out the hard way.

If you’re an upstream oil and gas professional, this kind of thing simply can’t happen.

Map Quest
For Land and GIS teams, everything starts and ends with maps. But not just any maps; if they’re not accurate, current, and meaningful, they don’t mean very much.

Which brings me to the three best practices that my colleagues and I have identified for building the best oil and gas maps possible.

Best Practice #1: Streamline Your Data Management Processes
Using web-based mapping tools, visualization capabilities, and competitor, proprietary, and infrastructure data layers enables you to quickly identify the data that you want to download and analyze, saving you from having to manage more data than is absolutely necessary. Also, the data layers that you’ve selected for download should come “stitched” so you don’t have to spend precious time on piecing them all together. When companies leverage these streamlined processes, I’ve seen them slash the time spend on data management by 70 percent.

Best Practice #2: Automate, Integrate, Validate
Make automated, integrated, and validation processes your friend. With automated GIS processes in place, polygons are automatically generated and mapped for you – another big time-saver. On the integration front, when your land and mapping solutions talk to one another, a single source of the truth is created and everyone on your team speaks the same language. That’s key. Finally, validation processes that analyze what’s been mapped help ensure that you’re always looking at the most accurate and current information.

Best Practice #3: Leverage Outsourcing Services If Necessary
Say your team is busy analyzing acquisition and/or divestiture opportunities. Or maybe your company just completed an acquisition and you need to get the new assets on a map quickly. Or perhaps you’re in maintenance mode and are building acreage, depth, and expiration maps each day. Outsourcing services free up your resources to focus on the most important business matters at hand.

Building accurate, purposeful, up-to-date maps is one goal; using them to make well-informed business decisions is the other.

Because just like you don’t want to make a poor lunch decision, you don’t want to make a bad decision when it comes to your oil and gas operations.

GIS Best Practices For 2015

Want To Learn More?
Watch this webinar to add speed and precision to your mapping processes.

About The Author
Todd BurdetteTodd Burdette is the Sr. Product Manager of P2’s Data and GIS solutions. His oil and gas career got under way in 1997. After a brief recess from oil and gas to do GIS in the aeronautics industry, Todd was lured back to the upstream GIS business. In total, he has 16 years of upstream GIS experience. Todd is a regular speaker at P2’s ASCEND conference and has also spoken at the ESRI Petroleum User Group. A runner, reader, and father, Todd graduated with a degree in Business Management from Metropolitan State University of Denver. He’s also an Eagle Scout.

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