Identifying HCAs has always been a priority for natural gas operators; however events in recent years have increased regulatory scrutiny and heightened awareness regarding the risk of pipeline incidents. Many operators still use paper forms and spreadsheets to track identified site and structure information. These methods are not only inefficient, but can also lead to data entry errors that compromise data quality and accuracy.
An application developed by 3-GIS and GTI provides the industry with a tool that uses new consumer grade smart phones and tablet computers, operating on iOS and Android platforms, to improve the field data collection process for HCA operations. The application allows field users to collect information on identified sites that include location, along with occupancy status, features, and photographs. An “intelligent form”, which increases data quality, is used to capture the structure attribute information.
While there are many advantages to electronic field data capture in terms of quality, the primary cost savings result from a streamlined back-office integration process. The application allows new structures to be associated with assets in the GIS directly from the field, therefore eliminating the need for any manual data transfer. The process of classifying a structure as being inside or outside of the Pipeline Impact Radius (PIR) can then be completed with all of the field collected attribute information immediately available. The HCA information is available to the entire organization for viewing and updating.
This new application is currently being deployed with Alagasco in Birmingham, AL in a pilot project to evaluate the ease-of-use of the software and the feasibly of using consumer grade tablet devices for field operations.
“We will now be able to streamline the field data collection process and produce higher quality results in a more efficient time frame,” says Bethany Miller, compliance engineer at Alagasco.
About Gas Technology Institute (GTI)
GTI is a leading independent research, development, and training organization. For 70 years, GTI has solved important energy and environmental challenges by developing technology-based solutions that create value for consumers, government, and industry. GTI has been collaborating with, academia, government, and industry to identify, develop and deploy solutions for converting the potential of unconventional gas resources into reality for more than 20 years. GTI’s primary focus in this regard today is in reducing environmental footprint and the cost of unconventional gas E&P. For more information visit www.gastechnology.org.
3-GIS is a leading innovator of smart geospatial solutions and proud recipient of the 2011 Esri Partner’s Choice Award and the Esri Private Web Application Award. 3-GIS’