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‘GIS degree safe bet for oil and gas industry’

US: The Keystone Pipeline Project showed there is a great demand for college graduates with GIS degrees, observed American Sentinel University. The USD 12 billion pipeline will carry crude oil from northeastern Alberta, Canada, to several locations in the US by 2013.
According to the university’s press statement, considering the total miles for US pipelines increased from 131,000 in 2005 to 149,000 in 2009, a GIS degree is a safe bet for the ever-growing oil and gas industry. That means the oil business needs a lot more GIS professionals.
For the Keystone Pipeline Project, GIS technology was used to track the wetlands, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and riparian areas. Since the Keystone Pipeline Project crosses three USACE districts, including the Omaha, Kansas City, and Tulsa districts, each district had different survey requirements.
According to a March 2007 report, the project began with a review of US Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps, National Wetland Inventory (NWI) maps, available soil surveys and 2005 aerial photographs pertaining to the proposed route. Remote sensors, analytics software and Esri’s ArcGIS would be used to capture Keystone.
According to Esri’s Summer 2011 newsletter, TransCanada officials even used GIS technology to procure bids. They supplied hundreds of contractors with superior visual information so bids could be provided more quickly and without costly site travel.
GIS technology was also used to develop the third Environmental Impact Statement that the US Department of State issued on Keystone XL since the review process began in 2008. Although no credit was given to GIS technology in the press conference, TransCanada publicly noted that the proposed route is the shortest and would disturb the least amount of land and water bodies resulting in reduced environmental impacts and that alternative routes were proven to have higher corrosion rates during pipeline transportation.
In fact, in almost every report or study published about Keystone, it’s safe to say that the author likely used GIS technology to come to his or her conclusions. Other than walking every mile on the route, there is just no way they could come to the best conclusions without the technology. But that should come as no surprise to anybody in the oil and gas business. Since the technology has been available, they have been using GIS. And they will for a long time.
Source: www.americansentinel.edu