For decades, NW Borneo has, and continues to prove a high value hydrocarbon province to Shell. Although there has been a shift in focus in recent time, away from the conventional shelfal plays towards the highly successful deepwater acreage, the volume and hence the challenge remains for exploration to maximise any remaining potential in the Inboard area. Under this remit, regional geology is critically underpinning Shell’s evaluations in this area, and ArcGIS proving an excellent platform for the compilation, manipulation, and analysis of data, derived from a wealth of sources: the power of GIS is that it allows the quick assimilation of information, from a diversity of projection systems, into one unified view. Although utilised for many years by non-Petroleum companies, the value-adding potential of GIS has only recently been recognised by the Oil Industry, with Shell one of the forerunners in it’s subsurface application. The eloquence of this tool is in allowing the individual to control the type and style of data to be imported and rationalised: data configuration tends to be rapid, with the search facilities ideal for creaming-off and spatially visualising any single element from complex and often huge databases. Seismic, well, geophysical, geological, geochemical, play, engineering, production, commercial, or portfolio data can be compiled, decimated, screened and efficiently re-assembled in a seemingly limitless number of permutations by the user. Your own creativity is the limitation. Links to Openworks and a spectrum of in-house corporate databases is allowing a wealth of information, traditionally remote to the GIS environment (e.g. interpreted horizons) and often the user (!), to be quickly incorporated in any evolving project work. One of the key benefits of ArcGIS to SSB Exploration has been the rejuvenation and compilation of strategic play maps, by allowing rapid data screening, and providing amongst others a medium for corporate memory capture and simple documentcopy management. A diversity of data including structural maps, play success rates, gross depositional facies belts, charge domains, rock property data, and hydrocarbon quality information is being assimilated, allowing pan-shelfal prospect maturation activities to be placed in a more coherent framework. <br>Simply, ArcGIS is an incredibly fast, nimble and thought-provoking tool, which should form an integral part of any Exploration (& Production) outfit, when tackling the uncertainties of the subsurface.


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