How Geospatial Data Benefits Midstream Companies

How Geospatial Data Benefits Midstream Companies

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. 

Get started with geospatial data today.

Ready to take your midstream project to the next level? Get a free consultation with one of our midstream specialists. They’ll work with you to determine how Prius Intelli can help you jump-start your new project or shed light on an old one.

Case Study: Trinity Works for The Circle T Ranch

The Situation:

The Circle T Ranch is a privately owned ranch near Fort Worth, Texas. Founded in 1952, the ranch in its current form spans hundreds of acres and supports livestock and recreational activities. The owners of the Circle T Ranch wanted to convert a portion of the ranch into a recreation space and connected with Trinity Works, a local development company, to bring these development plans to action.

The Problem:

During development of the recreation space, drainage became a critical issue. Trinity Works identified sheet flow coming off a hill, but had to think outside the box to determine how to direct the flow. The GIS data source they typically used for base maps could not provide the detail and accuracy they needed – but they worried that higher quality data would be cost-prohibitive. They needed a partner to help them bridge the gap between quality, accuracy, and cost. 

The Approach:

On behalf of the Circle T Ranch, Trinity Works asked Prius Intelli to provide high-quality aerial imagery and elevation models of the ranch. Using our manned aircraft, our team developed custom high-resolution images of the ranch. Then, our experts delivered the processed data that Trinity Works could easily and effortlessly use in their workflows. 

More specifically, Prius Intelli delivered aerial imagery, elevation, and hydrology models of the entire ranch at a 2.5 cm resolution that the Trinity Works team was able to use ongoing. Using photogrammetry and automated intelligence, Prius Intelli was able to build digital surface and elevation models from the orthoimagery captured over the project area. Because water always flows to the lowest point due to gravity, our specialists were able to build hydrology models identifying how the water flows and identifying the stream order as it branched over the land. At such a high resolution, the accuracy of the models produced was nearly infallible and produced strong results. 

The Results:

Thanks to the experts at Prius Intelli, Trinity Works gained new insight into a 30-year project. This allowed Trinity Works to remove barriers to completing their project and decrease their speed to market. The stream network and slope model data helped them quickly identify the source of the drainage issues on the ranch, allowing them to select the best location to construct drainage pipes to redirect the water flow away from the project area.

While they initially had concerns about the costs of custom high-resolution imagery, this project showed them how valuable, yet affordable custom data could be. Isaac Manning Jr. of Trinity Works stated, “I wish we got the imagery sooner in the project lifespan because we had drainage issues early in the project. If we would have had the data earlier, it would have saved us a lot of time.” As for the Circle T Ranch, they were finally able to bring their vision of a custom recreation area to fruition.

Quality GIS Services Give Insight to Surface Mining Operations

Quality GIS Services Give Insight to Surface Mining Operations

In today’s market, operational efficiency is the key to success for aggregate surface mining operations everywhere—whether it’s sand mining for oil and gas, caliche mining for roads in infrastructure or other types. As costs rise and investors demand greater returns, mining operations are digging for actionable information as much as they’re digging for product.

One area of efficiency that might be overlooked is in inventory management. This can apply to existing and active mines, but it can also apply to planned expansions or completely new locations. How does a mining company get details on how much land has been moved and what percentage of that is salable product? What is another tool they can use to evaluate a new location?

Using detailed aerial photography and GIS mapping to measure elevation changes it is possible to calculate the amount of ground removed. This can then be compared to the amount of product shipped to determine what percent is salable product and what is waste.

For example, in calculating that 100,000 acre-feet of removed dirt produced 98,000 acre-feet of usable sand gives clients valuable efficiency information. This data can then be used to estimate remaining salable inventory, along with recovery costs for a single mine. Miners with multiple operations can compare locations to determine relative costs and where to focus investment and planning.

GIS data can also help miners evaluate and compare prospective locations for new mines, helping calculate the area and density of product deposits.

Prius Intelli can provide detailed elevation contours for any given area, giving details on:

  • Vegetation/Canopy Density: to evaluate what must be removed at the start;
  • Watershed and Drainage: vital to managing runoff and containing spills and protecting people and machinery from sloughing. Change detection involving land surrounding a location can alert operators of possible changes in runoff to or from their operation;
  • Infrastructure Planning: such as location of connecting roads and power lines, helpful with new locations;
  • Surface/Construction: As new locations are being set up, it can be difficult to make sure drainage, roads and pits are in line with specifications. Detailed aerial and GIS data, collected as work progresses, can help place such issues or remediate anything mistakes while earth movers are still on site.

As Much Detail as You Need

We collect our imagery using manned fixed-wing aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art sensors capable of resolutions ranging from 2.5-15 cm. This provides current, crisp data on any project. For GIS mapping, we process the information through advanced analytics to provide comprehensive base maps with geospatial data and analysis.

Insight Is 2020

At Prius Intelli, we’re revolutionizing the geospatial industry. Our manned, fixed-wing aircraft can cover thousands of square miles in a short time, carrying specialized sensors capable of much more detail than is available from drones. Combined with our GIS intelligence, you get useful data configured in a variety of ways depending on exactly what you need. It’s data you can use to become more efficient, maximize extraction operations and accurately plan for the future. Contact us HERE to learn more.