ArcGIS 3D Surface Analysis for Petroleum

Intermediate course for geoscientists

Learn how to use ArcGIS Spatial Analyst and ArcGIS 3D Analyst to manage, visualise and analyse 3D surface data.

This course guides you through raster and vector surface data management and analysis using Esri’s ArcGIS for Desktop (ArcView), ArcGIS Spatial Analyst and ArcGIS 3D Analyst. Particular focus is given to raster surface grid processing and derived value-added analysis products. When you complete this course you will have the knowledge and confidence to apply surface data analysis to your oil and gas workflows.

Onshore and offshore terrain data has many applications within the exploration and production (E&P) sector. This course provides you with an awareness of:

  • Data availability, surface elevation data capture and data management
  • Terrain and surface analysis techniques in ArcGIS for Desktop
  • Interpretation & sector application (Geoscience, HSE, Engineering)

Targeted training taught by instructors experienced in your industry.

  • Instructor-led classroom courses delivered in person, or online in real-time.
  • Live presentations and demonstrations.
  • Uses industry standard ArcGIS Desktop software (ArcGIS Pro or ArcMap).
  • Hands-on exercises to learn by doing, with step-by-step instructions for using ArcGIS in common Energy workflows.
  • Learning pathways to effectively manage geospatial data and use ArcGIS within geoscience workflows.
  • In-house and public courses available.
GIS Training


Participants attending this course should have completed an introductory ArcGIS for Desktop course or already be familiar with ArcGIS for Desktop or equivalent mapping software. Although petroleum exploration and production sector knowledge is not required, this course is geared towards helping participants use surface and terrain data in E&P workflows.

Intended Audience

Geoscience, engineering and HSE professionals and support staff who are going to use surface data within GIS projects and need to be able to acquire the relevant ArcGIS for Desktop skills and knowledge. Participants will learn how to use geoprocessing tools and models using ArcGIS Spatial Analyst and ArcGIS 3D Analyst for surface analysis geoscience applications.

  • Focuses on the application of surface and 3D analysis for the E&P industry
  • Uses industry standard ArcGIS for Desktop tools from Esri (ArcMap, ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox) and ArcGIS Spatial Analyst and ArcGIS 3D Analyst
  • One-day intensive course
  • Instructor-led hands-on learning by ‘doing’
  • Trainer demonstrations and course validation questions

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the various methods used for capturing elevation data in the E&P industry
  2. Generate raster surfaces by importing xyz data in a text format into ArcGIS
  3. Create a 3D surface  and view raster and vector data in ArcScene
  4. Build a Terrain Dataset by combining contour, spot height and bathymetric survey data
  5. Contrast Triangulated Irregular Networks and Digital Elevation Models and give examples of their application within the E&P industry
  6. Employ tools in the Surface toolset to generate derivative data and discuss how these secondary datasets can be used for reconnaissance and geomorphological mapping
  7. Import and display LIDAR data using 3D Analyst tools in ArcScene
  8. Create a hydrologically correct DEM and delineate surface drainage lines and catchment areas using the Hydrology tools in Spatial Analyst
  9. Generate raster surfaces which represent least-cost surfaces and pathways to facilitate the routing of a pipeline
  10. Produce a 3D sub-surface visualisation of wells, top and bottom formation, and hydrocarbon pools in ArcScene

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