Esri PUG 2017: An SSP Recap of Highlights, SSPs 2016 Esri PUG Recap

Esri PUG 2017: An SSP Recap of Highlights

April 18, 2017 — Clarke Wiley

Another spring in the GIS pipeline industry and another great Esri Petroleum User Group Conference, better known as PUG. At Esri PUG 2017, we celebrated the 27th anniversary of the conference! And, we saw a significant increase in attendance across the board. I attribute this to a slight rebound in commodity prices, but also the excitement around the ArcGIS Pipeline Referencing (APR) tools, continued improvement in Esri technology and operators coming to find out what their roadmap should be and how to get to the new platform. All of that combined to make Esri PUG 2017 one for the books. Here’s a highlight of what was new, good, and not new but updated.

Esri PUG 2017

Lots of Traffic at the Esri PUG 2017 Exhibit Hall!

After years of exhibiting at GeoConX and the Esri UC, SSP came out in force for PUG and had a booth within the exhibit hall. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the turn-out and our interaction with attendees. We had over 35 unique meetings across the two days and appreciated everyone stopping by to say hello. Some were old friends from the industry, while others had heard about our good work in the space and wanted to inquire about how SSP organization could help with their initiatives.

Esri PUG 2017


One-on-one meetings are always a great way get to know the pipeline faces across our country:

Esri PUG 2017

As always, we enjoyed seeing everyone attending PUG, including our friends at Esri! This year, that included key members of the Natural Resources, Pipeline, APR and Partner teams. It’s always good to re-connect and share about our progress within the space and how we can mutually take GIS to the next level.

What Was New at Esri PUG 2017? UPDM, PODS Next Gen. & APR!

In years past, operators were wondering how to best integrate data, come up to speed on new regulatory requirements and understand our offerings in the space. This year was no different, but we saw a huge increase in interest around the APR extension and questions surrounding the new data models UPDM & PODS Next Gen. Folks loved the concept of SSP’s APR Jumpstart and were also intrigued about our work with clients migrating them to the new models. There was a lot that we learned through our first projects and it was good to use Esri PUG 2017 to pass along these “gotchas,” or lessons learned, to other pipeline operators who may be thinking about making the jump to APR.

As for the conference and presentations, the was plenary kicked off by Danny Spillman as he laid the foundation for the full conference. The message this year continues to be around ArcGIS as a platform and utilizing your data in GIS as a system of record.

Esri PUG 2017

GIS Apps Will Further Be Used to Satisfy Business Requirements!

Our buzz words this year are the “System of Systems.” How can we use GIS to satisfy the requirements for each business unit within our oil/gas organization? What we saw this year is that Esri has finalized and added several applications to the platform that will support these initiatives. These apps include APR, Insights and field applications including Survey123/Collector.

Esri PUG 2017

The Plenary and Pro!

Some other highlights of the plenary included a presentation of the ArcGIS Pipeline Referencing by Jeff Allen. Jeff spoke to the release of the tools in January of this year and then proceeded through a couple of nice workflows. This included (in Pro) taking an as-built alignment sheet image, rubber sheeting that sheet to the exact location on the pipeline, digitizing the line and then adding attributes based on the information contained on the image.

We not only saw some nice raster tools, but could see how quickly these images were processed. Think about having your entire, original, as-built alignment sheets available in a map … that’s where I saw the value! Are you missing any attribution on the pipe line or fittings in your continuous/engineering network? Add the images to your Pro project and make the updates directly in the tools.

Esri PUG 2017

ArcGIS Insights — for Pipeline

Now that Insights for ArcGIS has been released, the Esri team used PUG to show a very focused demonstration as Insights relates to wells, pads, leases and well production. This didn’t directly correlate to the midstream space, but we came out of the plenary with a number of ideas on how to utilize the Insights platform for pipeline operators.

Esri PUG 2017

How about dynamic dashboard reporting for your ILI or Survey Data? Ever thought of incorporating the anomaly characteristics and mitigation requirements in Insights? We think it would be a great tool to use for top side dents (9:00 to 3:00 orientation), indications within an HCA or correlating risk results to attribution/spatial inputs. Again, Esri has come out with a great framework, and it can easily be configured to your reporting and visualization needs.

Esri PUG 2017

What Esri Talked About at Esri PUG 2017 is Already Happening at BP!

Other highlights included a presentation from BP exploring their own Esri implementations. BP explained how they have deployed GIS tools, reports and web maps to their operations worldwide. It often seems like a daunting task for operators, but I’m sure it was nice to hear a company the size of BP being able to deploy these tools on such a large scale. Everyone in the company can now see the same data from the same GIS system of record.

Esri PUG 2017

Conclusion: Core Takeaways from Esri PUG 2017

Last year’s conference was more-so, when can we get our hands on the new tools and what can we do with them? This year’s conference took a shift towards understanding how early adopters are implementing APR, migration paths from existing data models to UPDM or PODS Next Gen and how operators can plan for their future.

Overall, it was another great conference and one that I circle on the calendar every year. Esri PUG 2017 was not only an opportunity to reconnect, but the conference as a whole is a platform for GIS users in the pipeline space to see new tools/deployment options and collaborate on how we can work towards common goals. If we didn’t catch you at PUG last week, SSP looks forward to seeing you in San Diego for the Esri’s UC or back in Houston for Pipeline Week late September!

Wondering What to Do after Esri PUG 2017?

Want to hear more or talk through your pipeline GIS initiatives? Reach out to our team! Email us at

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Clarke Wiley

Clarke Wiley is the Director of Pipeline at the Utility, Telecommunications and Pipeline GIS consulting company SSP Innovations in Centennial, Colorado and has been working in GIS pipeline software solutions, integrity management and data management for over 10 years.

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