The annual Esri Petroleum User Group Conference (or PUG for short) is now called the Esri Petroleum GIS Conference and is being held again in Houston, Texas, April 30–May 2, 2012.
I’ve been travelling to the conference from the UK on and off for around ten years now, and it’s worth the trip because the conference is a great way to keep up with Esri’s technology developments and see how it is being applied within the oil and gas business, not to mention enjoy some great food and Texan hospitality with friends and colleagues.
For me one of the most interesting aspects of the conference are the paper sessions or technical talks, where presenters from oil and gas operators and service companies present technical approaches, lessons learned and experiences from real-world petroleum GIS projects, along with results from recent research.
At last year’s conference it struck me that the focus of the conference must have changed over the years, as the understanding of geospatial technology within the industry improved and the technology itself matured. I started wondering whether this would be reflected in the make-up of the paper sessions, so I decided to do some research to try and track down the talks from previous PUGs.
I quickly discovered that the only reliable way to do this was to have the paper copy of the agenda as this classifies the talks into the various tracks, each of which are given a code, such as EXP for ‘Exploration’, or HSE for ‘Health, Safety and Environment’.
Sadly my own paper copies of these had long been thrown out, although I did manage to track down the ones from 2009 to 2011. Having done this I was then able to identify broad categories of talks from Esri’s codes (which change most years, interestingly) and then classify each talk, as follows:
- HSE – Health, Safety and Environment
- DMT – Data Management and Technology
- LMG – Land Management
- EXP – Exploration, including Workflow and Analysis
- PIP – Pipeline Integrity and Risk Management
- IFO/PRD – iField Operations and Production Optimization
The results are shown in the series of graphs below. Figures 1 and 2 plot the number of sessions in each category, and these show that the number of talks has increased across all categories, which is not surprising given the conference gets larger each year, and also that there are more talks in the Data Management and Technology (DMT) category than any other, historically a focus point for geospatial technology in the petroleum industry.
Figure 1: Number of PUG Papers by Category
Figure 2: Number of PUG Papers by Year
Figures 3 and 4 plot the % of sessions by category, and these suggest that the proportion of sessions in the Data Management and Technology (DMT) category is falling as talks from the other categories increase. It’s worth noting quite a large increase in the % of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) last year, a trend which I’d expect to continue in the light of recent events.
Figure 3: % of PUG Papers by Category
Figure 4: % of PUG Papers by Year
I’ll be updating this analysis again after this year’s conference, when Exprodat will be previewing some new products at booth 711 (please do drop by and say hello!), but if anyone can help me track down pre-2009 agendas, or has any further insight to the above, then please feel free to comment.
Posted by Chris Jepps, Technical Director, Exprodat.