France: Members of the space and oil and gas sectors assembled in Frascati, Italy, to discuss current Earth observation capabilities and the evolving information requirements within the oil and gas industry. Three topics were addressed throughout the meeting: exploration, environmental sustainability and infrastructure and transportation.
While remote-sensing experts and specialist value-adding companies shared information about routine and innovative Earth observation-based services, industry experts outlined the challenges in their present and future operations and provided examples of important environmental parameters needed.
“This is the first time that we have had this level of collaboration between ESA and the oil and gas industry,” said Dr Richard Eyers, Senior Remote Sensing Consultant for Shell International. “We are increasing our level of mutual understanding by finding out what technologies are available to us and letting ESA know what information we need.”
Jean-Paul Xavier, a remote sensing expert for the French oil company Total, said the industry’s main need now is value-added products. “We are at a point where we have lots of data but need more precise parameters, such as temperature, subsidence and land cover change,” Xavier said. “As an industry we share the same problems and are looking for solutions. This is an important ESA workshop because by combining oil companies with service providers, we are able to discuss these challenges.”
Kjell Morten Sviland, a principal engineer for mapping and geographic information at Statoil, Norway’s premier oil and gas producer, said, “We have requested a list of service capabilities that are currently available. We also communicated our future requirements to ESA and the value-adding companies.”