The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers has set up a new body with the goal of increasing the industry’s use of Earth satellite and airborne imagery, a key tool that will improve emergency response and also make exploration and production more efficient.
Satellite and airborne imaging of the surface of the Earth – often referred to as Earth Observation (EO) and also known technically as Remote Sensing (RS) – involves using earth-orbiting satellites or dedicated survey aircrafts to obtain information regarding the status of the surface of the Earth and its Atmosphere.
“OGP decided to set up the Earth Observation Subcommittee within the Geomatics Committee to support industry projects aimed at improving emergency response” said Palle Jensen, Geomatics Committee Chair. “It is part of OGP’s comprehensive effort to improve prevention and enhance preparedness” he added.
Satellite imaging is regularly used throughout oil & gas activities, from the initial exploration, to development and production until decommissioning. Use of EO data can save time and money and reduce risks to personnel and assets.
The subcommittee will initially focus on the use of EO data to monitor sea ice, for environmental baseline mapping and monitoring as well as improving the mapping and modelling of meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) parameters. It will actively support the Oil Spill Response Joint Industry Project (OSR JIP) led collaboratively by IPIECA and OGP, and other OGP-managed projects where Remote Sensing plays a major role. It will cooperate with OGP’s Environment and Metocean Committees.
The group will also work in close contact with the European Space Agency (ESA) and with European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC). It will assist with ESA and EARSC efforts to promote industry-wide awareness and rapid implementation of new Earth Observation technologies, to utilise new opportunities and to maximise its benefits for the oil and gas industry.
Image 1: A fused ASAR (ESA) and MODIS (NASA) composite of the ice-covered NE Caspian Sea, with oil concession regions highlighted. The ASAR and MODIS imagery provide complementary information on the ice conditions. The MODIS imagery picks out the young ice being advected from the east by winds, while the ASAR imagery shows open water in leads and the fast ice.
Image 2: A true colour composite of an EnviSat-MERIS (ESA) image of the NE Caspian Sea, captured in March 2007 and showing the ice covered areas along the shore line of the Caspian Sea as well as some ice sheets breaking off. The open water is visible in the blue / green colours, the land in brown and the ice covered areas in white and shades of grey. Mapping the extent of the ice and the forecasting of the movements is important to assist with keeping operational activities safe and production from being interrupted.
OGP’s members include most of the world’s leading publicly-traded, private and state-owned oil & gas companies, oil & gas associations and major upstream service companies. OGP members produce more than half the world’s oil and about one third of its gas.
OGP represents the upstream oil and gas industry before international regulators and legislators. From its headquarters in London, OGP represents the industry in such UN bodies as the International Maritime Organization and the Commission for Sustainable Development. OGP also works with the World Bank and with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It is also accredited to a range of regional bodies that include OSPAR, the Helsinki Commission and the Barcelona Convention.
OGP Brussels provides an essential conduit for advocacy and debate between the upstream industry and the European Union (EU). This involves regular contact with the European Commission and the European Parliament.
OGP also helps members achieve continuous improvements in safety, health and environmental performance and in the engineering and operation of upstream ventures. OGP’s extensive international membership brings with it a wealth of know-how, data and experience. OGP committees and task forces manage the exchange and dissemination of this knowledge through publications and events around the world.
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