New Images from Recently Launched WorldView-3 Satellite imagery, and the information derived from it, is playing a greater role in the management of exploration and production operations as oil and gas companies increase activities in remote regions of the world. After the August launch of our WorldView-3 satellite, we imaged several examples of interest for the oil and gas industry to demonstrate the increased uses cases for satellite imagery as compared to traditional aerial methods. In this blog we will highlight several benefits our imagery and information provides to the oil and gas industry. For additional annotated examples, useful to this market, download our Rotterdam Oil Facility report on Slideshare.
Rotterdam Oil Refinery WorldView-3 40 cm Report from DigitalGlobe
Note: On August 21, 2014 DigitalGlobe formally notified the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of WorldView-3’s Initial Operating Capability, which means that beginning on February 21, 2015, we will able to deliver 30 cm imagery to all of our customers. In the meantime, we are only able to show 40cm images from the satellite, which are not representative of our full resolution capability. Satellite vs. Aerial WorldView-3 satellite imagery, is highly competitive with aerial -- in cost, availability and quick accessibility for the customer. In the two examples below we show the Rotterdam, Netherlands port facility and the associated oil storage facilities. The first is a 40 cm resolution satellite image and the second is a 30 cm aerial image over the same area. When you compare the two images, the 40 cm satellite image shows similar level of visual information and detail as the aerial image. However, professionals in the oil and gas industry understand that acquiring new aerial imagery is costly, especially in remote regions. Moreover, with aerial imagery, you have the additional permitting, import procedures, logistics considerations, and delays to consider, which add expense and time to your project.

WorldView-3 40 cm Satellite Image

30 cm Aerial Image

Additional advantages of this “Engineering Grade” WorldView-3 imagery are very apparent where details of the small diameter pipes on the tanker are clearly visible. You can also clearly identify ship types and uses, as well as level and type of activity at the terminal. Imagine how this industry leading resolution will help in planning, executing, and monitoring exploration and production throughout the oil/gas field cycle. Forecasts and Trend Spotting Decision makers who have access to accurate and frequently refreshed business intelligence data used to drive forecasts and trends, have a leg up over their competition. Specific to the oil and gas industry, as more and more oil is being moved by rail there is increased interest in finding out things like: • What type of material is being moved through rail yards? • How congested are they? • Is the volume of cars this week, higher or lower than last week? The type and the number of rail cars that are at a plant provide important capacity and capability indicators which are valuable to future markets as well as other economic impacts. The high resolution imagery from WorldView-3 allows for this type of identification.

Seeing through Smoke Fires can occur anywhere, but in the oil & gas industry, they can be especially crippling. SWIR (Short Wave Infrared) is an advantage of WorldView-3 satellite imagery because it can see beyond what human vision can detect. Below is an example from the devastating Happy Camp forest fires that took place in California last month. Move the slider back and forth to see how we use SWIR to see through smoke – highly important for disaster relief efforts, no matter what the cause. Imagine the value of having a clear picture of what is happening on the ground during an oil refinery fire. [iframe src="" width="100%" height="650"] Full Coverage and Quick Access WorldView-3 imagery is available over any location in the world, as shown in this next detailed example on an oil facility island in the Caspian Sea. In fact, WorldView-3 and the five other high resolution satellites that DigitalGlobe owns and operates each orbit the Earth 15 times per day. WorldView-3, specifically, has an average revisit time of less than one day and is capable of collecting up to 680,000 km2 per day, further enhancing the DigitalGlobe capacity for more rapid and reliable imaging over an area of interest. With WorldView-3 40cm imagery available today and 30cm imagery available in February 2015, decision makers in the oil and gas industries have new options to consider for their critical monitoring needs. And as humans expand the areas for new sources of energy, to include those in remote regions, having the ability to image sites from space can help DigitalGlobe customers save lives, resources and time. To learn more about our DigitalGlobe Energy Suite offering contact Julie Parker|
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