Sept. 14–As Texas oil and gas producers plan for pad sites and midstream companies plan for pipelines, a bird’s-eye view of the land is an integral part of the process.
But using online views such as Google Earth can provide less-than-satisfying results, according to a Houston company looking to provide the best possible technology.
Tim Dombrowski, chief revenue officer at Ai PRIME, which launched at the recent North American Prospect Expo, said in a phone interview that many Texas oil and gas companies are using Google Earth but are “anxious to do something different.”
He identified two main issues with Google Earth: resolution, which he said is pretty low — “and in West Texas it’s even worse” — and frequency of updates, “which is even worse than that.”
Ai Prime collects thousands of square miles of data and can offer 10-centimeter ground resolution across the Permian Basin, he said. Not only could it find a phone lost in a million acres by zooming in but “we could read that phone.”
The high resolution can eliminate the need to send surveyors out into the field, which Dombrowski said can improve efficiency by eliminating the time spent traveling to the site.
The free online platform integrates information from multiple sources and enables mass collaboration and intelligence.
“There’s now a way to collaborate what either the team sees or subcontractors see,” he said.
Users can also pay for additional services, such as the ability to overlay their own data — whether it’s their pipelines, wellheads or the blocks and tracts across the county. A worker out in the field can upload a photo from their cellphone to update the information, he said.
The platform also provides terrain mapping, which he said is important when planning a pipeline.
“The midstream market is hot for us right now” because the platform can help them better estimate the centerline of a proposed pipeline, Dombrowski said.
A pipeline from Midland to Houston “won’t go in a straight line,” he said. That pipeline “will cross 40 counties, thousands of blocks and tracts. You can have 10 landmen collaborating on our platform on every mile of that pipeline: Where to go, where to negotiate rights-of-way, where to bypass. For planning and engineering a pipeline, this is extraordinary.”
He said that from Midland to Odessa, the land drops 3,000 feet, so those engineers need to know where to place pumps and where to make turns in the line. The platform can give them those details for two miles either side of the centerline, so they can plan for where the line needs to turn.
The platform can also shorten the time producers need to develop new pads or lets them monitor existing well pads.
“With this, they can zoom in on a pad and inventory the pipe on site,” Dombrowski said.
He said the platform gives users a history of the site so they can see the site go from vacant land to a drilling pad to the wellhead.
The platform is also useful in monitoring for environmental damage, he said.
Even asset managers on Wall Street can get in on the act, using the platform to monitor their investments or to help better negotiate a buying or selling price, he said. And insurance companies can also use the platform to track what they’ve insured.
“I think we have the right product at the right time,” Dombrowski said.
Mella McEwen is the Oil Editor and covers the latest business and energy news. You can read more from her here. |firstname.lastname@example.org|
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