GNSS Guidelines Update

Monday, July 11, 2011

After an extensive review and update, the former UKOOA document “Guidelines for the use of GPS in offshore surveying” has been jointly issued as a new document by theInternational Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) and the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). The document was reviewed by a workgroup comprising representatives of OGP’s Geomatics Committee and IMCA’s Offshore Survey Division Management Committee, as well as representatives from the marine survey industry.

The use of satellite positioning is critical to the success of a wide variety of oil and gas related surveying and positioning projects. The “Guidelines for GNSS Positioning in the Oil and Gas Industry” is a completely revised document to replace the 1994 UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) Guidelines. It is applicable for the use of GNSS in survey and positioning related activities for the oil and gas industry but may apply to similar operations related to renewable energy, telecommunications and engineering projects primarily offshore but including similar applications onshore.

The new Guidelines contain seven sections, including an introduction summarizing the global navigation satellite systems available and the observables, the relative and absolute positioning systems and techniques available, and updated coverage of the augmentation services now available from a variety of service providers. Practical guidance is provided in sections dealing with installation and operation issues, geodetic considerations and atmospheric and other environmental influences.

Most importantly, the new Guidelines retain recommended measures for assessing the quality of GNSS position fixes. The section on quality assessment and statistical testing includes examples and provides a comprehensive overview of the recommended statistical testing and quality measures based on the so-called Delft method.

Associated sections cover the recommended competence of operators and users as well as the various common data formats used for the exchange of positioning data.

Copies of the new “Guidelines for GNSS Positioning in the Oil and Gas Industry” can be downloaded free from www.ogp.org.uk or www.imca-int.com – the document itself is at www.imca-int.com/documents/divisions/survey/docs/IMCAS015.pdf .  Others, including training providers, libraries or other groups or individuals wishing to purchase printed copies can do so through the IMCA website.

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