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Abstract: Improving Exploration with Geographical Information System (GIS) Technology

P. B. Goodwin, M. R. Choiniere, F. W. Harris, B. P. Dean

Timely reliable access to data is required by earth scientists and engineers evaluating geology, facilities, environment, and new business opportunities. Geographical Information System (GIS) technology has been recently implemented to provide efficient and comprehensive access to data for exploration work in Venezuela. The GIS allows rapid comparisons, queries, sorting, and evaluation of data that in the past required multiple hardware platforms, multiple software packages, paper plots, spreadsheets, and time.

A vendor GIS database package formed the foundation. This GIS provided regional coverage for the entire country of Venezuela at a scale of 1:250,000. It included 36,000 wells and associated attributes, facilities, geologic maps, potential field data, and transportation networks. Essential with GIS, all of the data were transformed from multiple cartographic datums to a single map projection. Proprietary and other tabular databases were incorporated into the vendor GIS by Chevron, significantly upgrading the value of the system for company exploration. Tabular databases were either imported, linked or converted to the GIS. They included Nomad, Paradox, Oracle, Openworks, and PC-based spreadsheets containing wells, seismic, and geochemistry data. Nontabular data types incorporated into he GIS included digital outcrop log and paleosections, maps, other GIS data, Global Positioning System control points, satellite imagery and scanned photographs. The enhanced GIS has proven valuable for facilitating access to, and rapid and accurate evaluation of, large geographic areas with multiple data sources and types.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90951©1996 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Caracas, Venezuela