The conference GeoGathering: GIS for Gathering and Production Lines will be held Colorado Springs at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort on August 21-22, 2013. With the theme of “Developing a Data Strategy: Data Collection and Sharing,” the conference focuses on how operators collect and share information about their assets to increase operational safety and improve pipeline decision-making.
“Today, acquisitions and fast growth in the gathering industry are forcing operators to develop a data strategy and look deeper at all aspects of their pipeline asset data – from how it is collected, to making it available to decision makers,” said Victoria Skogman, is the conference manager. “Currently, gathering systems are unregulated, but trends in the industry show this is likely to change in the future. Preparing for this impending change is crucial, hence the theme of the conference.”
The goal of the GeoGathering Conference is to provide valuable information to gathering system and upstream operators who want to create efficient, accurate, and collaborative data strategies that work for their organizations. Presenters will demonstrate how GIS technology allows attendees to collect and share data between the field and the office, enabling their organization to make well-informed decisions. The versatile agenda focuses on real-world experiences — everything from integrity management and data requirements to data security and making GIS technology more accessible to stakeholders, Skogman said.
The GeoGathering Conference committee estimates that close to 150 GIS professionals and top-level management from leading oil and gas companies will attend this year. Attendees will be able to attend sessions that include:
- Developing a Data Strategy
- Data Collection Methods to Meet Requirements
- Data Security and the Cloud
- Data Sharing: GIS as an Enterprise
- Organizing Data for Decision-Makers
- PHMSA MAOP Strategies
- Web-enabled Data Sharing Technologies & Portals
- Collecting & Sharing Data to Enhance Safety
This year, attendees will experience the new, audience-focused format that offers two simultaneous tracks giving attendees the chance to tailor their own conference schedule. Plus, two of the biggest improvements are the addition of “structured networking” sessions and a “GIS Think Tank.”
Structured Networking facilitates a small group setting, in which attendees have the opportunity to meet people with common interests, share practical ideas, and network with individuals who might possibly help your organization. When attendees leave the networking session, they will have a solid list of new business contacts, Skogman said. The networking sessions are strategically placed at the beginning of the conference to help you build new relationships over the duration of the conference.
The GIS Think Tank session is also a unique addition to the agenda. It will feature five to seven GIS managers from a variety of gathering operators around the country. This is not a typical Q&A panel session; instead, it will allow the participating GIS managers to converse among themselves as the audience listens in. This will be mostly an unstructured session so that managers can spend more or less time on topics as they choose, Skogman said. It will be facilitated with questions from the audience. The purpose is to lead an informal discussion on some of the successes that each manager has had along with their opinions on pressing issues that gathering operators are facing.
This year’s conference has a seven-person steering committee with pipeline gathering background. Members include Trisha Menasco of DCP Midstream, Tom Coolidge of Esri, Ellen Nodwell of Hess, Cameron Collins of Williams, Rob McElroy of McElroy Consulting, Ron Brush of New Century Software and Victoria Skogman of New Century Software.
“The conference topics are very timely,” said Menasco. “Just when I thought I had all the data requirements figured out, it feels like we are starting over. I look forward to helping build an agenda that will be useful to the gathering community.”
Early bird registration is open. The conference committee welcomes senior management, project managers, integrity management specialists, GIS professionals, field operations managers, regulatory compliance personnel, and engineers.