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Saturday 17 August 2013

To Geo or not to Geo, that is the question...

... at least in oil&gas. I always wondered why petroleum was only 5% Esri's market (unofficial from my tenure as petroleum manager there, they publish no figures as a private company). A current rationalization project at an oil major hinted why - I've 'pushed Geo' for 25 yrs. so I saw that in my previous tenure at Halliburton, but that only crystallized later - whilst a large percentage of data has a spatial component in oil&gas, only a small part of it is stored in spatial databases. GIS are generally for surface infrastructure like geology, plants and pipelines, rather than for subsurface exploration and production. Surface data can actually be seen and measured directly on or near the ground, whereas subsurface are interpolated data from drilling and seismic deep in the subsurface. Indeed the challenges in oil exploration in the news of late revolve around this frontier.