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  Brought to you by Professional Surveyor Magazine                                                                  August 16, 2011—No. 47

Emerging Market Opportunities in Oil and Gas Development
Increasing county-level regulations can mean opportunities for land surveyors

Thanks to the recent uptick in gas prices, I am observing an increase in oil and gas development in my part of eastern Colorado. This trend is already providing more opportunities for local surveyors. I’m also seeing a trend that could further multiply these opportunities: This development is reaching into populated areas that have not yet experienced such activity, which has led local counties to add another layer of regulation to oil and gas development, going beyond state regulations.

What this means is more site improvement plans, as-builts, and other compliance surveys and exhibits that need to be generated by our industry. More deliverables equals more billable hours!

Compliance deliverables: I work as a consultant with a small surveying firm on the western edge of the eastern plains of Colorado. Even before the recent spike in oil and gas development, they did quite a bit of work in this field. I asked the PLS what kind of deliverables the local counties were requiring. "Let me show you," he said.

He grabbed a folder containing a raft of small-format survey exhibits. I saw hydrology exhibits showing an oil well and its proximity to open water. The county also required improvement and access exhibits as well as an exhibit locating the oil well within its section. This particular county was on the leaner side when it came to regulations.

"Now look at something a little more challenging." He tossed me a draft copy of proposed regulations of a nearby county: 54 pages in all. A quick look showed a facility improvement plan requiring 18 different criteria that needed to be illustrated. (Link to PDF.) There seems to be plenty of other compliance documents that surveyors can provide as well. Which brings us to another market opportunity …

Representation: Larger players in the oil and gas market have internal legal and compliance departments. However, smaller companies need help navigating these often-complex processes. Who better than the surveyor, who put most of the documentation together?

For some ideas, check out two articles I wrote on the subject: Part one and part two of “Representin'.” These articles discuss land-use representation for residential development, but the principles are similar for any land use project.

Until next time,

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Leica Cyclone 7.2 Improves Processing of Rich, “As-built” Point Clouds from Laser Scanning
Leica Geosystems announces its new Leica Cyclone v7.2 software that improves office processing and use of rich “as-built” point cloud data. Several innovations in Leica Cyclone 7.2 address key market needs and trends in the processing and use of rich, as-built point cloud data from laser scanning/High-Definition Surveying.

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Nokia to Use GLONASS in Phones
Russia has secured Nokia's backing of its GLONASS satellite navigation system, a major step forward for the country's technology toward securing the number two global position after GPS. Read "GLONASS gets Nokia backing, aims to rival COMPASS" on Reuter's website.
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Geofencing: The Next Wave of LBS
I've talked about location based services (LBS) in previous issues (Global Internet Tsunami Part 1 and Part 2.) Now a new concept called geofencing is being touted as a revolution in this industry. Basically, when one's smartphone enters, leaves or moves around in a geofenced area, it can receive alerts and notifications. The  potential for social/location apps like Foursquare and Gowalla is huge. Other interesting possibilities: connecting mobile devices to house lights or air conditioning units to automatically activate them when users approach their homes. Read about the concept on ReadWriteWeb's site.
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Aerial Mapping Corporate Profiles
Airborne Scientific started as a flight services company in 1994. Over the past decade we developed the CessnaCam in order to extend our airborne data collection capabilities without having to purchase and cut expensive holes in perfectly good airplanes. We flew the CessnaCam for hundreds of hours as both a permanently installed product on our own aircraft, as well as installing and removing the CessnaCam for short term projects on local rental aircraft. The CessnaCam has proven itself to be very reliable and cost effective replacement for expensive modified aircraft to host newer generation compact digital sensors.
    The CessnaCam sensor pod is one of the world’s only portable FAA Supplemental Type Certified aerial sensor enclosures, turning a standard Cessna airplane into a vertical mapping aircraft quickly without any modification. It is ideal for international deployments where photo modified aircraft are in short supply. For more information visit Airborne Scientific’s website or read their profile on PSM’s website.

Dynamic Aviation specializes in providing aircraft and aviation infrastructure to agencies and organization with exacting data needs, but lacking aviation expertise. We do not own aerial cameras or remote sensors. Our customers do. We offer versatile, superior aerial platforms into which these technologies can be installed to acquire data of all types. By allowing our customers to allocate their capital to technology – not aircraft – Dynamic Aviation makes it possible for our customers to operate more efficiently.
    Our operations are focused on safety, reliability and relationships. We provide safe, multi-engine, turbine powered airplanes that are meticulously maintained. Our aviation infrastructure and modification center allows major upgrades and extensive modifications to be completed at our Bridgewater, VA complex. We carefully select and comprehensively train all of our pilots. We provide customer-focused, professional pilots who constantly endeavor to exceed the expectations of our customers. Each of these actions is intentional, and is integrated into the formation of long term relationships with customers. For more information visit Dynamic Aviation’s website or read their profile on PSM’s website.

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