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Geology/remote sensing and gis in oil exploration


hello sir
i am doing MS in Geoinformatics in india.i want to ask you the applications of remote sensing in oil and gas remote  sensing an important part of oil exploration?along with remtote sensing we also study GIS(geographical information system)as major i want to know the applications and use of GIS in oil and gas industries?this information is very necessary for me as  i have to make my major and minor projects on this topic only.also please tell me the job propects in oil exploration industries with this branch.i would be happy if you give your answer in very details.thanks in advance.


Remote Sensing is basically a tool that has very diversified applications and the applications are not only in geology but almost anything happening on the surface of the earth.  I will cite some of the usage I made.

1. One of our gas fields is under the flood plains of Indus River, where the river changed its course during every flood season, and hence the topo-sheet from 1965 was completely outdated in such dynamic environment.  

It was an operational hazard for the well locations. The field was located down stream of a barrage.I first collected the flood data from the barrage and found out that there were four major floods in the past 15 years or so. Based on this information I procured the post-flood Landsat imageries of these four floods. Each imagery was interpreted with emphasis on the main course of the river. The overlays of these four images were then superimposed which highlighted the shifting trend of the meandering river. Predictions were then made that which areas are safe and which areas are prone to river erosion now and in future. The well location (with raised pads) were then placed in the safe areas, and deviated wells from a single well-pad were recommended to deplete the productive parts of the field which were unsafe.

2. We used to carry out geological mapping in the field by visiting specific points and then fill the gaps by tracing the contacts on the satellite images.

3. Regional features can be easily identified on the satellite images as the images provide the 'bird's eye-view'. Similarly the structural trends and their relationship can be interpreted much easier and the tectonics can be understood quickly.

4. The seismic surveys can be planned, and line-layout can be designed in the office before going to the field. The infra-structure and surface obstacles can be avoided keeping in mind the subsurface objective area. It saves considerable time and results in smoother operations.

GIS basically is more useful in town-planning and infrastructure lay-out, apart from its other applications in land surveys etc.

As I said Remote Sensing is just a tool and it makes the job of a geologist easier. So it should be taken as an optional subject with main degree in either geology or geophysics. I am afraid in oil exploration this subject has indirect application, as discussed above. You may not get a  highly paid job in oil exploration based on your MS in Geoinformatics. You will be assisting others for the surveys, well locations, civil works, laying oil and gas pipelines etc. Normally the oil companies  get these jobs done through contractors.  


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Nusrat Kamal Siddiqui (Mr)


I am a petroleum exploration geologist with about 40+ years of diversified experience. I can answer questions on stratigraphy, log interpretation, field studies based on set of logs and core results, general geology etc. Can provide guidance for career planning in earth sciences. Can not help in questions about hard rocks, igneous petrology & mineralogy, sequence stratigraphy and seismic.


Petroleum Exploration - field geology, stratigraphy, prospect generation, interpretation of satellite imagery (visual), log interpretation.

Retired in May, 2006 as Senior Manager Exploration from Pakistan Petroleum Limited after serving 26 years. Since then continuing in active service with petroleum exploration companies.A cumulative experience of about 40 years covers 30 years in petroleum exploration, 5 years hydrogeology experience in Libya, and about 5 years of dam geology in Pakistan.

-AAPG Bulletin (Vol.88, July, 2004); paper on Sui Main Limestone (Eocene), a prolific gas reservoir in Pakistan. -Have presented papers on diversified topics ranging from spirituality, flood control, remote sensing and off course geology in France, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, UAE, Kashmir, India and Pakistan that have been published in respective Special Proceedings. -ONGC Bulletin(India) Vol. 44, Number 2, December, 2009; Chapter 19.A & 19.B on basin architecture and stratigraphy of Pakistan, p.402-474.

BSc Honours in Geology and Master of Science in Petroleum and Structural Geology. PGD from ITC, The Netherlands.

Awards and Honors
-Remained Active Member of AAPG from 1990-2006; founding member of PAPG (a local affiliate of AAPG). -Life member of SEGMITE & AGID, and Senior Editor of SEGMITE magazine. -Member of the Board of Studies, i. Department of Petroleum & Gas Engineering (BUITMS, Quetta), and ii. Geology Department, Sindh University, Jamshoro. -Member of Stratigraphic Committee of Pakistan. -Represented Mining Journal, UK in Pakistan till 2007. -Chairman of Annual Technical Conference (ATC)& Oil Show, an SPE/PAPG annual event, in 2003. -Chairman Technical Committee (ATC, 2002).

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