Large Oil and Gas Basin

Large Oil and Gas Basin2018-10-24T09:48:49+00:00

Project Description

Large Oil and Gas Basin

North America

Oil and Gas

Historical Analysis/Ongoing Monitoring

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Project Overview

Project Overview

3vG performed an historical InSAR analysis of a large oil and gas basin in North America to detect and characterize surface deformation and potential geohazards throughout the area. This information was used by the client to help understand current risk and to plan the location of future infrastructure installations. The project then shifted into an ongoing InSAR monitoring program to measure surface subsidence and uplift related to the operation of the wells. InSAR can be a valuable data source to assist in environmental monitoring and risk mitigation associated with injection and extraction during operations.


  • Area is known to be prone to sinkholes and other geohazards
  • Large area of the basin needed to be monitored for surface displacement
  • Significant pre-existing drilling activity had occurred that can result in ground subsidence or uplift

Optical image of a portion of the basin covered in existing oil and gas infrastructure.

Solution & Results

3vG analyzed 138 radar satellite images acquired over a 7000 km2 area between November 2014 and September 2017. The satellite used for the analysis was Sentinel, which contains a C-band sensor with a 5.5 cm wavelength. Images are acquired over the client location every 12 days. From this data, 3vG created a displacement map with a resolution of 13 m.

Multiple displacement areas were detected with average rates greater than 1 inch/year. The analysis also provided a time series for each data point, revealing significant accelerations in subsidence in various areas. This displacement map and time series charts are now being used to plan future drilling activities and related facilities on areas that show ground stability.


  • Large geographic coverage over the basin’s drilling activity
  • Identification of areas of instability to avoid for drilling activity and the installation of facilities
  • Ongoing monitoring can track movement in identified areas and screen for new movement related to drilling activities


Historical InSAR analyses can be used for planning drilling activities and related facility construction.  3vG’s InSAR ground displacement measurements are incorporated into the design and drilling plans for the basin, and our ongoing monitoring services can identify any new movement that occurs due to drilling or construction activity – ensuring risk mitigation and environmental safety.

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Displacement rates over the basin as identified through an historical InSAR analysis using Sentinel satellite images. Red areas are subsiding at a rate of at least 1 inch per year while blue areas are uplifting.

Displacement over time for one point in the southern section of the observed area. The rate of subsidence increased from June 2016 to March 2017, and again from June 2017 to the end of the observation period.