Solution story: Finding environmental information to ensure regulatory compliance
Geofacets helped an oil and gas company determine that a drilling site would comply with regulatory requirements, without having to conduct a $500,000 impact study
To move forward at a promising drill site in the Gulf of Mexico, a large oil and gas company needed geological and environmental information quickly to determine whether it must conduct a costly survey to fulfill environmental due diligence. Company geoscientists used information in Geofacets to support their conclusion that a new environmental study was unnecessary for regulatory compliance.
To ensure this project would comply with environmental regulations, the company’s geoscientists had to research the ecosystem near the potential drill site, located in the Viosca Knoll area south of Mobile Bay. They needed information on oxygen levels in the water, local wildlife habitat, reef status and the presence of endangered species. If its geoscience team wasn’t able to find sufficient information on the area, the company would have to fund its own environmental survey.
Time was of the essence because the company faced a quickly closing window to construct and operate drilling equipment at the site. If the team couldn’t find the required information in two weeks, the company planned to send a research boat to conduct an original environmental study at the site.
At the start of their research, company geoscientists uncovered only limited data on benthic and ecological studies previously conducted in the drill site area. The team then turned to Geofacets, using its location-based search to zero in on the target area and narrow their search to relevant results. The geoscientists dug deeper into their investigation by using Geofacets to access source articles that helped them understand the context underlying the information they found. They also used Geofacets to download content seamlessly into ArcGIS, Petrel and their other workflow tools. The information in Geofacets enabled the team to find the right insights fast. Their research showed that drilling at the site would comply with environmental regulations, negating the need to conduct a costly new environmental survey.
"The information supported the company’s decision not to send a research boat to conduct an environmental survey, which saved $500,000."
By using the reliable information in Geofacets, the geoscientists found crucial insights about the ecosystem in the proposed drill site area. The information supported the company’s decision not to send a research boat to conduct an environmental survey, which saved $500,000.
The team’s speedy discoveries also helped the company move the drilling project forward much faster. Geofacets increased the team’s efficiency, empowering researchers to search for information in a single solution and a single format. By spending less time searching for information, the company’s geoscientists had more time to focus on actual analysis and to recommend a course of action before the deadline.
"By spending less time searching for information, the company’s geoscientists had more time to focus on actual analysis and to recommend a course of action before the deadline."