Journal cover Journal topic
Proceedings of the ICA
Journal topic
Articles | Volume 1
16 May 2018
 | 16 May 2018

Identifying and Allocating Geodetic Systems to historical oil gas wells by using high-resolution satellite imagery

Gabriel O. Alvarez

Keywords: Geodetic Systems, Map Reference, Posgar, Satellite imagery, Campo Inchauspe, Chos Malal, Pampa del Castillo

Abstract. Hydrocarbon exploration in Argentina started long before the IGM created a single, high-precision geodetic reference network for the whole country. Several geodetic surveys were conducted in every producing basin, which have ever since then supported well placement. Currently, every basin has a huge amount of information referenced to the so-called “local” geodetic systems, such as Chos Malal – Quiñi Huao in the Neuquén Basin, and Pampa del Castillo in the San Jorge Basin, which differ to a greater or lesser extent from the national Campo Inchauspe datum established by the IGM in 1969 as the official geodetic network. However, technology development over the last few years and the expansion of satellite positioning systems such as GPS resulted in a new world geodetic order. Argentina rapidly joined this new geodetic order through the implementation of a new national geodetic system by the IGM: POSGAR network, which replaced the old national Campo Inchauspe system. However, this only helped to worsen the data georeferencing issue for oil companies, as a third reference system was added to each basin. Now every basin has a local system, the national system until 1997 (Campo Inchauspe), and finally the newly created POSGAR network national satellite system, which is geocentric unlike the former two planimetric datums. The purpose of this paper is to identify and allocate geodetic systems of coordinates to historical wells, whose geodetic system is missing or has been erroneously allocated, by using currently available technological resources such as geographic information systems and high-resolution satellite imagery.

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