Development of a WebGIS Tool for Rapid Screening and Visualisation of Biodiversity and Sensitive Areas in the Gulf of Mexico
- Marco Pelucchi (Eni Upstream and Technical Services, Milan, Italy) | Jason Sali (Fauna and Flora International, Cambridge, UK) | Victoria Gerber (Eni US Operating Co. Inc.) | Andrew Cameron (Fauna and Flora International, Cambridge, UK) | Cyril Mickiewicz (Eni US Operating Co. Inc.) | Paola Maria Pedroni (Eni Upstream and Technical Services, Milan, Italy)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Environment, and Sustainability, 27-31 July, Virtual
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2020. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 7.1 Asset and Portfolio Management, 7 Management and Information, 7.1.4 Acquisition and Divestiture, 6.5.5 Oil and Chemical Spills, 7.2 Risk Management and Decision-Making, 7.2.1 Risk, Uncertainty and Risk Assessment
- open source data, WebGIS, Remote sensing, Sensitive Area, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
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- 25 since 2007
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Remote sensing technologies and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can assist the rapid, cost-effective identification of biodiversity and environmentally sensitive areas in offshore and onshore environments. This information, visually represented through a WebGIS (web-based GIS) as interactive maps, provides useful input to management strategies that environmentally-responsible energy companies put in place for impact prevention, and to minimise risk exposure and potential liabilities along the project lifecycle.
WebGIS is effective in both simplifying complex spatial and temporal data on biodiversity (such as the presence of threatened species, protected areas, critical habitats) and on socially and ecologically important ecosystem services. The results of such analyses assist in informing decisions taken by company executives and the many professional functions involved along the project lifecycle. This ensures that project activities that depend on and may impact the natural environment are supported by good quality, up-to-date information at a resolution that is aligned to the project phase in which the mitigation action is implemented.
As part of our Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES) management model, we apply a suite of supporting tools and guidance materials, beginning with risk screenings at early exploration phase, baseline and impact assessments during exploration and development, and the implementation of BES mitigation plans during production until decommissioning.
The BES Screening Tool (BESST) is an interactive WebGIS developed in collaboration with the conservation organization Fauna and & Flora International (FFI) for the rapid screening and visualisation of BES values in the marine environment of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). It was conceived for use by Eni US personnel (including non-specialists) to streamline the best available knowledge on BES values into risk management and decision-making along the lifecycle of GoM assets.
The BESST uses biodiversity and ecological and socially important ecosystem service indicators among which include threatened/protected species, marine protected areas, areas important for cetaceans, key habitats for shrimp cultivation, fisheries and recreational diving. Input datasets are from different open source databases, including the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The development of metrics was necessary to determine relative sensitivity. The final product was uploaded onto a WebGIS for widespread use and efficient data management.
This paper will illustrate, through practical examples, how the BESST can meet different business needs, such as: informing asset acquisition and disinvestment strategies (by identifying those located in highly sensitive areas where regulatory requirements are more restrictive, financial/reputational risks are higher and restoration costs - for example for decommissioning or in the event of an oil spill - are also higher) and supporting the identification of priority operated and non-operated assets, facilities and associated infrastructure for resource prioritization for environmental baselines, mitigation and monitoring plans.
|File Size||872 KB||Number of Pages||12|
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