Oil & Gas industry plays a significant role in the worlds economy,the Middle East Region with over two third of the world’s oil and one third of the world’s gas reserves. There are under explored areas in the northern Arabian Plate – covering north western Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Western Iraq, which makes it apparent that there is great opportunity to further unlock the hydrocarbon potential of this prolific area.

The various processes involved in the Oil and Gas Exploration and Production does include spatial component. Be it Oil & Gas – exploration and development or observing environmental damage due to oil leaks/ spills or planning and monitoring the pipeline system to the planning of fuel outlets. Studies indicate that geoscientists spent as much as 70% of their time on data-related chores rather than analysing oil and gas prospectus. This involvement of space and importance of data makes the integration of GIS & Remote Sensing technologies a viable approach in providing cost-effective operational and economic solutions that affect virtually every aspect of the oil and gas industry.

Most petroleum professionals rarely touch hydrocarbons, except when they fill up at the local gas station. Today’s engineers and geologists extract the location of petroleum reserves from vast amounts of digital information. A modern energy database often contains tens of millions of pieces of electronic information, occasionally billions. Data storage volumes are doubling every year. That rising flood of data demands common data standards and drastically improved software integration. These issues are discussed in the article on “Spatial Data Models for the E&P Industry”.

Talking about the software for this indusrty we have the obvious players in the spatial domain ESRI and Oracle. In the data management domain we have IBM,SAP, and MySQL with most of them even having special Spatial Extensions.In the application domain the role players are Schlumberger and Landmark developing comprehensive upstream decison-making suites.

In the interview of Mr.Charles Fried,Chaiman,PUG we came across some intriguing points on the scenario of GIS in the Oil & Gas industry.The Pertoelum User Group(PUG) and Pipeline Interest Group(PIG) are composed of users from Oil & Gas companies,

Software & Harware vendors and is assisted by ESRI.This international group consists of around 2700 members with significant counts from the Middle East countires especially UAE and Saudi.(Source: ESRI PUG/PIG Distribution 2005). These two groups have also been closely workingwith GITA. This groups also holds annual conference which has been scheduled from Feb 26-28 this year at Houston, Texas.

Visit https://www.esri.com/events/pug/ for more information. Off the track in this issue we have a study on “GIS Education in GCC Region” which presents the situation on Geospatial Education in the GCC countries,and provides some suggestions and proposals, along with some valuable inputs from Josef Strobl, University of Salzburg on Pathways for Growth and by Stewart Walker,BAE Systems on Changing Perspective of Photogrammetry.

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