Developing digital fieldwork technologies at the British Geological Survey
Published:January 01, 2016
Colm J. Jordan, Bruce Napier, 2016. "Developing digital fieldwork technologies at the British Geological Survey", The Value of Outcrop Studies in Reducing Subsurface Uncertainty and Risk in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production, M. Bowman, H. R. Smyth, T. R. Good, S. R. Passey, J. P. P. Hirst, C. J. Jordan
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Geological Surveys are faced with budget constraints and calls for efficiency gains; the effective application of digital techniques is often seen as a route to meeting these demands while increasing the value of outcrop studies and reducing the inherent subsurface uncertainty. The British Geological Survey may be the oldest national Survey in the world (established in 1835); however, developing and implementing new, innovative and efficient technologies for fieldwork is a high priority. Efficient tools for capturing, integrating, manipulating and disseminating outcrop data and information are imperative to enable geoscientists to increase their understanding of geological processes and therefore to reduce subsurface uncertainty and risk. Systems for capturing structured digital field data and for visualizing and interacting with large datasets are increasingly being utilized by geoscientists in the UK and internationally. Augmented reality and unmanned aerial vehicles are amongst the developing technologies being explored for future operational implementation. This paper describes the digital field mapping (BGS·SIGMAmobile) and visualization (GeoVisionary) systems and refers to a case study outlining their contribution to reducing uncertainty and risk in hydrocarbon exploration.
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The Value of Outcrop Studies in Reducing Subsurface Uncertainty and Risk in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production
Field studies over a range of scales have been important in the upstream oil and gas industry for decades. Advances in digital outcrop characterization and data capture, coupled with increased computational capabilities, have resulted in a resurgence in fieldwork; these field studies are required to develop depositional, stratigraphic and structural concepts and provide the data which underpin the current generation of complex, computer generated, 3D subsurface models. These models provide an informed means of benchmarking the subsurface along with a more considered view of subsurface uncertainty and management of the risks identified. The papers in this volume cover safety in the field, frontier basin petroleum system assessment, field appraisal and development including unconventional resources, applications of techniques such as LiDAR and 3D photogrammetry, and uncertainty characterization. The studies were undertaken in diverse locations such as the Faroe Islands, Italy, Algeria, India, the USA and Trinidad; they represent a range of tectonic settings and a wide geological time frame. The spectrum of papers is testament to the value and integral position that fieldwork occupies within the modern hydrocarbon industry.