While geospatial data is a powerful tool for many industries, it is especially influential for oil and gas, particularly for midstream companies. By helping to reduce costs, manage risk, and improve operational efficiency, geospatial data has been key to supporting midstream companies and helping them thrive. Part of what makes high-resolution geospatial data unique is that is allows Midstream companies to create new insights to streamline pipeline construction, management, and regulatory compliance.
Save time and money on materials with measurements you can trust.
Instead of relying on maps or sending teammates on-site visits, geospatial data provides you with a remotely accessible digital twin model of the project site created with the data your initiative depends on quickly and efficiently. That means less time survey crews have to spend in the field when they can precisely plan their route or manage extensive imagery databases and more time analyzing and turning that data into valuable insights. When projects or RFPs are up against the clock, saving time means money and resources. Accurate pipeline measurements, right-of-ways, and other materials are vital for a successful project.
In the past, oil and gas companies would send a crew to perform manual measurements of pipes to determine any changes in diameter or distance over time. This process could result in errors due to the human element (we’re simply more prone to mistakes than computers). Using geospatial data instead of traditional methods, pipeline operators can accurately measure their pipes from their desks without spending extra resources on manual measurement processes. This method also allows them to catch potential problems before they become more costly issues that could damage the pipeline.
Land Acquisition Management
One of the most considerable expenses in developing a pipeline is acquiring the land. Midstream professionals can use geospatial data to identify every property owner within a right-of-way corridor, whether public or private. In addition, professionals can use geospatial data to determine the location of federal and state public lands that may require additional permitting prior to acquisition. The use of this geospatial data enables landmen and legal teams to reach out to landowners prior to engaging in negotiations, resulting in quicker acquisitions and a more efficient process overall. Another area where geospatial data can help Midstream companies is by identifying challenging surface contracts.
In many cases, pipelines are routed through rural areas where older parcels with very long legal descriptions exist. These parcels often have multiple owners, making it difficult for landmen to identify all owners of interest for negotiation purposes. Using geospatial data, brokers & agents can identify these challenging parcels before acquisition or construction to contact landowners quickly and easily before any field operations occur.
Regulatory Compliance Support Documentation & Management
Midstream companies have to meet federal, state, and local compliance requirements. These entities require monitoring and reporting of the pipelines that cross their territory. Geospatial data can provide support for these compliance requirements. These regulations include The Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is responsible for regulating the transport of hazardous materials throughout the United States by pipeline, aircraft, vessel, rail, and highway. PHMSA provides numerous resources for understanding midstream companies’ compliance requirements, including High-consequence areas (HCAs) are defined by PHMSA as densely populated areas or areas where there could be significant environmental consequences.
Geospatial technology effectively manages data collection, reporting, and inspection processes required by state and local regulations. High-resolution geospatial data such as aerial imagery and elevation data can help create databases for managing all the needed compliance information in an organized fashion. Many organizations that audit midstream pipelines utilize geospatial technology to streamline the audit process by mapping data points and providing a common platform to share information between respondents and auditors.
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