Pacific Section AAPG, SPE and SEPM Joint Technical Conference

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Development Of An Exploration And Production GIS Database For The Pacific Outer Continental Shelf


Since hydrocarbon exploration and production began in Federal waters offshore California more than 50 years ago, a vast amount of geologic and engineering data have been acquired by oil and gas companies and submitted to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) or predecessor regulatory agencies as part of initial exploration and continuing development phases on Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (POCS) Federal Leases. Efforts are underway to organize this valuable information into a comprehensive GIS database that will be made available to the general public. The POCS GIS database is organized into a series of thematic geodatabases that correspond to current active lease blocks. Included in each geodatabase are surface infrastructure, seafloor and sub-seafloor geologic and hazard data, exploration and development well paths, and associated production information. Currently, the geodatabase can be accessed by geoscience and reservoir engineering staff in the POCS through ArcGIS and Petrel, as well as management staff using freely-available ArcExplorer software. Incorporating existing infrastructure, geohazards, geological, reservoir, and production data into a single GIS database allows for optimized safety analysis of proposed development activities and enhanced reservoir conservation and surveillance to maximize the production of remaining hydrocarbon reserves from mature oil fields. The database is currently used for all new well permit safety evaluations, ongoing reserves studies for active POCS oil fields, and geohazards evaluations for pipeline and associated infrastructure replacement projects. Moreover, because the information included in the GIS database is available for public release, BSEE staff can provide geological and engineering data in a widely-accessible data format to the public for industry and academic research purposes.