Majnoon Case History

Stereo Satellite Elevation Mapping: Majnoon Oil Field Development, Iraq

PhotoSat produced 2,300 km² of high definition elevation mapping and precision orthophotos, from stereo WorldView-2 (WV2) satellite photos, for the Majnoon project in SE Iraq in August 2010. High definition stereo satellite elevation mapping is now accepted in several major oil companies as a core tool for major projects.

The 1m posted WV2 DEM and 50cm resolution precision orthophotos were required for situations when information about the Majnoon site would be needed at short notice. A number of factors prohibited the acquisition of on the ground elevation data: limited access to the Majnoon project area; HSSE issues (unexploded ordnance, security of personnel); military and environmental legacies in the project area; and, the proximity of the project area to neighbouring Iran. A baseline data set was needed and no recent mapping was available.

The WV2 stereo satellite photos were acquired as three separate stereo pairs, the largest of which covers an area of 75km by 16km. 1m DEM’s were produced for each of the WV2 stereo pairs. One of the WV2 stereo pairs was referenced to two ground survey points 16km apart. Without any relative adjustments the accuracy of the stereo WV2 DEM and precision orthophotos, relative to the two survey points, was approximately 25cm. The other two WV2 stereo pairs were then referenced to the first stereo pair to produce the 2,300 km² 1m DEM and 50cm precision orthophoto.


Stereo Satellite Elevation Mapping presentation

Gerry Mitchell – PhotoSat
Mark Nightengale – Shell

majnoon oil field

263 ground survey points were used to check the accuracy of the 1m DEM and the 50cm orthophotos. The horizontal accuracy of the orthophoto was determined to be better than 20cm and the vertical accuracy of the DEM to be better than 50cm. The 1m DEM and precision WV2 orthophoto were produced by PhotoSat, using PhotoSat’s Geophysical Stereo Satellite Elevation Mapping System.

The satellite imagery and DEM were used in bid preparations, stakeholder engagements, logistics planning, pipeline routing, flood simulations, well pad location mapping and planning and ongoing mapping and analysis.