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Lidar: A Multidisciplinary Dataset for Integrated Solutions in Onshore E & P

Tamra Beaubouef
Business Development, Airborne Imaging, Spring, TX

Increasing the chances for successful operations in sensitive areas begins with having a clear model to visualize the project site. Understanding the ground conditions is critical for making informed decisions and having well thought out strategic plans in place at the onset. Airborne LiDAR data provides that detailed elevation information and is valuable at multiple business stages within different disciplines including HS&E, seismic, facilities, pipeline, construction, regulatory analysts, etc.

LiDAR (Light, Detection & Ranging) is a proven technology that produces high precision, geo-referenced digital elevation models (DEM) with vertical accuracies < 30cm. Not only does Lidar capture detailed images on the vegetation and terrain, but unlike DEMs generated from aerial photography, lidar images the surface beneath the vegetative layer; thus revealing information on slopes, access, drainage, existing pad locations, geomorphology, etc that would otherwise go undetected with traditional photo. In addition, the lidar DEM can be put into a GIS database and a variety of map layers can be combined, including: survey, lease, permit, culture & utility data allowing for easier assessment of land issues, access, seismic points, existing/planned pipelines & roads, etc. all integrated into one complete digital dataset.

Incorporating lidar with existing data allows for the best overall view of ground conditions and leads to: 1) Minimizing environmental footprint; 2) Better cost estimating; 3) Less time spent scouting - field time is concentrated and efficient; 4) Pre-planning emergency response plans. Better decisions upfront lead to extremely valuable benefits downstream; Lidar - a legacy dataset for integrated solutions in onshore E&P.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90092©2009 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section, July 9-11, 2008, Denver, Colorado