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Project GIGS (Geospatial Integrity of Geoscience Applications) Background

Project GIGS logo

The modern Exploration and Production branch of the Oil and Gas industry makes extensive use of software applications in the quest to find, develop and produce hydrocarbons and other energy sources. A wide variety of seismic, well and cultural data are brought into these applications where they are studied, manipulated and exported to other applications, shared with other users, and interpreted to form the basis for major operational and investment decisions.

A casual survey of the market shows upwards of five hundred different software applications are available for use in the E&P business. It has been estimated that a typical project will involve 90-100 transactions where data are moved or manipulated. The users of these applications require them to be interoperable, exchanging data as needed and without introducing errors.

Such data sets, which we will call geoscience datasets, are referenced to the real world by the use of geospatial data. Typically, the geospatial data are in the form of coordinates, together with essential geospatial metadata, which defines the coordinate reference system being used. If all the geospatial data are complete, consistent, correct and verifiable, and remain so during any data manipulations, then geospatial integrity has been maintained. If geospatial integrity and quality are compromised, the validity of any contingent decisions made with the geoscience datasets may be compromised.

In the petroleum industry, there are numerous documented and anecdotal cases where geospatial integrity of geoscience datasets has failed. Sometimes this can be attributed to a lack of understanding or knowledge of the person who deals with the data, but in other cases it can be traced to deficiencies or failings in the available geoscience software application tools.

1.1 Purpose of Guidelines

The purpose of these Guidelines is to reduce, and eliminate where possible, common failures of geospatial integrity in geoscience software applications. Implementing the Requirements given herein will facilitate:

  • Improving geospatial integrity of data during geoscience application manipulations
  • Maintaining geospatial integrity during transfer of data between applications or to and from data-stores, databases and personnel in various asset teams and functional departments
  • Educating users about the issues related to geospatial integrity and the risks of integrity failures
  • Encouraging robust management of geospatial data in geoscience software application
  • Minimizing human errors when dealing with geospatial reference issues

Blue Marble's Involvement

In 2008, as a testament to Blue Marble's industry leading geomatics data technology, Blue Marble's coordinate conversion software was selected by a Joint Industry Project formed from the Americas Petroleum Survey Group, and funded by members of the International Oil and Gas Producers Organization (OGP). This Joint Industry Project soon became known as the Geospatial Integrity of Geosciences Software (GIGS) Committee, and used Blue Marble coordinate transformation technology as the benchmark tool for which all other major GIS software packages that perform coordinate transformation were compared. This consortium consists of members from the following organizations:

  • British Petroleum
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • ExxonMobil
  • Devon Energy
  • Statoil
  • BHP Billiton
  • RWE
  • Marathon
  • Anadarko Petroleum
  • Perenco
  • Petronas

Blue Marble is the only solution with a direct software connection to the online version of the OGP's EPSG database, and the company is the exclusive reseller of the Indicio server if organizations want to host an internal version of that exact database structure. Blue Marble also works with a variety of industry organizations. Our Chief Technology Officer is the Chairman of both the Coordinate Reference and President is the Co-Chair of the Data Quality Working Groups of the Open Geospatial Consortium. The company is current on relative geospatial ISO requirements, and the INSPIRE GML specifications, recently adopted by the European Union.

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