Using Satellite InSAR in the Gas and Oil Industry; Route Analyses and Continuous Pipeline Coverage Analyses

Proceedings Publication Date:

05 Sep 2016
Suri Bayirli
Suri Bayirli
Part of the proceedings of
Fugro is a multinational listed on the Dutch AEX stock exchange with more than 275 offices and 13,700 employees world-wide and having a long history in working for the oil and gas industry both onshore and offshore. Fugro offers a wide range of services for the oil and gas pipeline industry in the various stages of the pipeline life cycle starting from:
  • Concept Definition
  • Corridor Assessment
  • Route Refinement
  • FEED (Front End Engineering & Design)
  • Construction
  • Operation, Maintenance and Documentation

In the final paper a brief overview of the latest technologies used by Fugro will be described and two / three specific steps in the above mentioned chain will be highlighted. In the presentation the focus will be on the Satellite InSAR services and how this successfully can be implemented to determine any changes in existing pipelines.

Satellite InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) is an innovative and cost-effective service for remotely assessing the stability of ground and structures from space. SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) sensors onboard EO (Earth Observing) satellites (orbiting 800 km above Earth) are capable of imaging large areas (1000’s of km2) on a frequent basis (every few days). Through InSAR processing of satellite SAR imagery (the differencing of images to reveal changes in ground/structure height) it is possible to infer stability over time, whether historically or monitoring into the future.

Fugro employ a number of InSAR techniques to map the stability of the ground and/or a structure (e.g. pipeline), these techniques include: Differential InSAR (wide-area mapping of ground motion), Persistent Scatterer InSAR (historical mapping of structural motion) and artificial reflector InSAR using passive Corner Reflectors or Compact Active Transponders (site-specific monitoring of ground and pipeline stability).

The advantages of remote survey techniques such as LiDAR and InSAR are that they eliminate interruption of pipeline productivity, reduce the need for deployment of staff (which reduces the health and safety implications of working in remote and/or dangerous locations), they do not compromise environmental conditions and, in most instances, negate the need for permits or access to property and infrastructure.