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Success story: ADNOC’s Exploration-GIS

Mohsen BM Boussemma
Mohsen BM Boussemma
Head, GIS & Cartography Section,
Exploration Division
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

A vital success factor of these complex operations is a timely, readily available and comprehensive access to these datasets and information by the right staff to meet demanding project requirements. Accordingly, the Directorate initiated and implemented the Exploration Geographic Information System (Exploration-GIS) project to put in place an information system to collate and centralise all spatial datasets in a common repository made available to all users exploiting Web GIS technologies. The system provides a user-friendly petroleum database access environment for engineers and geoscientists to open the Exploration- GIS web page, navigate to the oil and gas assets, click and download various parameters necessary for their work and run specialised models at a click of the mouse without having to contact other departments. Additionally, this system enables the decision makers in senior management to navigate through the highly secured Web browser and review all oil and gas assets data selecting the required level of specificity whether a high level overview of the Emirate’s hydrocarbon potential maps and statistics or focussed details of exploration prospects portfolio and production data. Initially, ADNOC E&P Directorate’s GIS and cartography section’s engineers conducted a series of meetings and workshops with individual departments to articulate the users’ needs and GIS expectations. Subsequently, the section completed a joint study with the local branch of ESRI and GISTEC consultants to ascertain and benchmark the standards and specifications of exploration data models available in the market. This study resulted in an optimised hybrid exploration- GIS data model addressing ADNOC’s specific requirements . One of the daunting tasks of the GIS implementation was the laborious gathering of all relevant datasets and information from various departments and organising the data loading process in a robust and consistent procedure. The project team in collaboration with the consultants successfully met the challenge and compiled a comprehensive list of datasets to be loaded in the geo-database and developed smart tools on ArcGIS desktop for migrating the source and converting datasets to the exploration geo-database using out-of-the-box Arc Toolbox, Model Builder and Data Interoperability extension. This arduous task was accomplished without having to code a single line of routine.

The final adopted Exploration-GIS solution is based on a standard ESRI solution comprising the Desktop GIS, ArcSDE, ArcIMS and Latitude Geographics’ GeocortexIMF. In response to increased users’ demands based on the initial successes, the project team is currently studying the business requirements to extend the current functionalities and expand Exploration- GIS into a broader Exploration & Production-GIS (E&P GIS) is integrated with field assets online monitoring systems. This would leverage the existing workflow systems by introducing GIS wherever applicable and linking the currently independent GIS solutions across ADNOC Group of companies via an ADNOC Group Corporate GIS system to facilitate seamless integration and expeditious exchange of spatial data and information from a single user interface.