The Play, Winter 2011 Issue - Chesapeake Energy

The Play, Winter 2011 Issue - Chesapeake Energy

Layering information

Information is the key to success in the exploration

and production business. Today, that information

is stacking up on every acre of ground where Ches-

apeake holds mineral rights, which we consider for

a padsite or on which we pay production taxes.

The company’s Geographic Information Systems

(GIS) Department is the keeper of what may be

considered a multilayered informational game

board where the company will play out a ness game of success.

The company’s mapping system is developed in

layers – as many as 250 different layers of infor-

mation for some locations. Each of those layers

shows a different aspect of the location: county

lines, ownership, topography, roads, etc. Combin-

ing those layers tells a specific story and enables

Chesapeake employees to get the precise combi-

nation of data they need

to big-busi-



Parker noted they are now moving those services

into other operating areas facing similar

topographic challenges, such as the new

Rocky Mountain plays.

The future is not around the corner in

the world of GIS – it is here. The innovations

come fast and furious.

“Our newest innovations focus on deploying

maps to the Web and mobile devices

in an effort to make GIS data and maps

more accessible to the entire company, especially

field personnel,” Parker said. “For

example, we’re using small, GPS-enabled

tablet personal computers where field personnel

can drop a CAD drawing of a padsite

onto a map of a potential location and manipulate

it to determine how and where to

drill a well. It saves time and money for field

crews, geology and surveying.”

The next big thing in GIS appears to be

Web-based mapping applications using the

explosively growing technology of mobile

devices (smart phones and others) to develop

highly advanced map mechanicals

geared to individual users. One example of

this new direction is the mapping application

for Blackberry users recently deployed

by our Midstream GIS colleagues. For the

benefit of the average person, Parker translated

the advanced technology into common

terms. “Think of those welcome voices

we all hear more and more frequently in

smart phone applications: ‘Should we map

from your current location’”


1 3 5


1 – High resolution aerial image

2 – Base map showing water features

and roads

3 – High resolution digital elevation

model (DEM)

4 – Derivative of the DEM showing the

slope values across the county

5 – Composite results combining image of the weighted

bottom four

layers, showing how suitable the

land is for a padsite.

The Play Winter 2011

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