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Spatial Data Models for the E&P Industry

Spatial Data Models for the E&P Industry

Harshavardhan madiraju
[email protected]

The need and necessity for Spatial Data are felt everywhere and has been the focal point in most of the segments.
Apart from the necessity of spatial data in perceiving and presenting things, the need of a system that can perform the required functions, meets the needs of individuals and firms, addresses the issues of data management and interoperability has been a question. In today’s world the projects have expanded their geographicalboundaries. Accordingly the issues of exchange of information,spatial accuracy and data standards have grown. This brings into the picture the need for standards especially in case of spatial data. The success of oil and gas exploration as a business venture has always depended in large part on the availability of new ideas and technologies; for example 3D seismic data acquisition. Many Exploration &Production (E&P) end-users have already unconsciously embraced the technology of GIS to present the data that they understand, that’s easy to use, that ensures correctness, and more important of all that it that allows them to make business decisions more efficiently.

The spatial aspects of the data components in the petroleum business have demanded the oil Companies, data vendors and application designers in re-engineering their logical petroleum business models. The referential integrity among the attributes in a database is the hallmark of any effective E&P business system. The Geodatabase introduces a spatial integrity among the business objects and helps to model the real world through spatial relationships. So efforts have grown up in improving the spatial accuracies and creating spatial relationships taking the advantages of geodatabase.


Fig. 1 PPPDM 3.7 Full – Core modules

Public Petroleum Data Model (PPDM)
The PPDM Association was formed in 1989 as a not-for-profit association. It consists of around 100 plus international organisations that include a broad range of petroleum companies, government agencies, software application and data vendors, and service companies. The PPDM data model by this organisation is widely used in the E&P sector. PPDM increases a company’s ability to transfer information to various business partners

Spatially Enabling PPDM
GIS technologies have been widely abeen dopted by various enterprises in E&P arena, and the efforts to spatially enable their data is growing. This will result in duplication of efforts and lack of standard in implementation or development will increase costs and not allow for efficient data exchange between various partners. The standards of PPDM can be an answer for this.

PPDM has started the PPDM Spatial Project which continued as a series from the year 1999 till date. The main considerations in the implementations were:

  • Data duplication/ Redundancy
  • Technology/ Platform dependency
  • Limitations/ Modifications in the existing PPDM

PPDM aimed at a Pilot Project to create an Object-Oriented spatially enabled data model. The sample data was in MS Access format for Personal Geodatabase, Oracle Geodatabase format for full SDE implementation was also provided. The software and scripts in the scope were UML for business objects.

In the already available mapping softwares wells were represented as simple point features. This project aimed at representing the wells as liner features, which helps analysts to view and examine wells and events in a well bore in a more three dimensional way. As a result of this it will be easy to spatially identify events such as logs, cores, tests and perforations that occur along the well bore. Detailed information about each event may be accessed from a relational business database or can be used for analysis.

After the successful completion of the pilot project, the Spatially Enabling E&P Data Project 2003 undertook to enable business objects that have combined point and linear characteristics (such as seismic lines or pipelines) and business objects that have aerial characteristics (such as land rights, pools, fields, license areas etc). Also this project intended to support Raster Images; Increase data management capabilities, and also incorporate other standards such as PODS. The project deliverables were:

  • Scripts, Methods to create Spatial Objects
  • Sample data in SDE Binary and Oracle Spatial formats
  • Support of data manipulation through Geodatabase
  • UML Diagrams for spatially enabled business objects
The PPDM Lite database to include the following data types:  
Wells Survey system (i.e. Land Grid)
Seismic Support Facilities( power lines, platforms etc)
Surface land leases  
From existing standards such as ESRI the additional data types that may be integrated are:  
Land use Hydrology( Water bodies, bathymetry)
Transportation Pipelines
Surface land leasesGeology(Cross sections, faults, folds etc)