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LiDAR: A Remote Sensing Technology for Integrated Solutions in Onshore Exploration and Production

Beaubouef, Tamra1, Mark Wagaman2, Mike FitzMaurice3 (1) Airborne Imaging, Inc, Spring, TX (2) Veritas DGC, Denver, CO (3) Bill Barrett Corporation, Denver, CO

 

The onshore oil & gas industry is currently faced with numerous restrictions arising from severe government regulations, tight windows of operations imposed by weather, difficult terrain, & remote locations. In addition, economics dictate that exploration and development processes are as streamlined as possible. Having a clear model or visualization of the project site in the initial stages is one way to address these issues. LiDAR (Light Detection & Ranging) is a remote sensing technology that provides a high precision, geo-referenced digital elevation model.

 

The lidar DEM (Digital Elevation Model) can be put into a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) database and used as the basemap of which a variety of map layers can be overlaid, including: lease, permit, and cultural data allowing for easier assessment of land issues, seismic points, existing/planned pipelines & roads, etc. all integrated into one complete digital dataset.

 

Seismic acquisition costs can be minimized as lidar has proven to be a valuable tool for pre-planning source/receiver locations, elevation substitution, slope analysis, & estimating equipment requirements. Regulatory analysists can realize significant time savings by pre-planning pad & road locations before an onsite visit, in addition to identifying some archeological, hazard, and vegetation zones useful for environmental impact studies. A number of safety issues can be addressed: pre-planning safety evacuation routes including helicopter landing zones, radio signal modeling, flow containment analysis, & less time/people in the field.

 

LiDAR data provides a precise DEM that can be utilized among many disciplines within an organization to expedite onshore exploration & production processes.

 

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90055©2006 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Billings, Montana