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Revision of the Guidelines for GNSS Positioning in the Oil & Gas Industry published by IOGP and IMCA

Published on 8 March 2021

The updated ‘Guidelines for GNSS Positioning in the Oil and Gas Industry’ has been released by the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) as IOGP Report 373-19 and the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) as IMCA S 015. The report is a joint publication of the IOGP Geomatics Committee and IMCA’s Offshore Survey Division Management Committee and has wider use than purely by the oil and gas industry.

The document provides guidelines for the use of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) to position vessels, vehicles, and other fixed and mobile installations. Although primarily aimed at oil exploration and production (E&P) related surveying and positioning activities, the principles and recommendations of the Guidelines are equally valid for any similar activities where precise position is critical, for example: offshore renewable energy plant, cable laying operations, harbour construction and management. 

IMCA Contact

Nicholas Hough
Technical Adviser – HSSE and Offshore Survey

The report was originally produced in 1994 by UKOOA, the predecessor of Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), as a response to the development of commercially viable satellite-based positioning.  A thorough revision of these guidelines was published in 2011 by a workgroup formed from representatives of IOGP’s Geomatics Committee (the custodians of the document), IMCA, and the marine seismic survey technical community. In fact, IMCA’s Offshore Survey Committee and IOGP’s Geomatics Committee work together regularly holding joint workgroups to ensure accuracy and relevance of such guidelines.

As Nick Hough, Technical Adviser – Offshore Survey explained:

““The newly published updated second revision of the Guidelines takes account of the many developments in technology, procedure and practice that have occurred since the first revision some ten years ago.

“The document has been written as far as possible in plain and general terms to provide guidance to those wishing to use GNSS techniques and requiring a suitable authoritative source to support them. It assumes a basic knowledge of GNSS and includes references to textbooks and other sources to encourage readers to refer to these for in-depth descriptions of the principles.”  

IOGP Report 373-19 / IMCA S 015 is available to members of both organisations to download free of charge – see below on how to access.

About IOGP

The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) is the voice of the global upstream industry. Its members produce 40% of the world’s oil and gas. IOGP’s committees identify and share knowledge and good practices to improve the industry in areas such as health, safety, the environment and efficiency.