The Energy SCOUT project investigated the commercial and technical feasibility of using various satellite earth observation assets to monitor the global Oil and Gas Supply Chain, to reveal new insights for the financial services commodities trading and related financial and energy sectors.
Users and their needs
For all of the importance and value of the oil and gas market to the global economy, accurate and timely information on production, supply and demand of oil & gas is limited and incomplete. Earth Observation data offer opportunities to provide more timely data on a number of observation points along the oil and gas supply chain. Key End-Users: The activity identified at least 3 clear End-User groups with a desire to solve this problem:
- Oil Commodities & Quantitative Traders, Energy investment analysts, private equity funds, Hedge Funds, Economic research firms & Banks
- Oil/Energy Companies
- Governments NGOs/IGOs
Service/ system concept
The service to end users is a subscription service to stream unique Earth Observation-derived statistics about certain points on the Oil & Gas supply chain that were previously inadequately reported or unmonitored. Such as a service to detect and quantify the occurrence of new oil field infrastructure construction around the world every 7-days. These datasets provide customers of the service with a new and unique insight and edge over their competition when it comes to trading and even operating in the oil fields, thus generating significant new value in terms of competitive advantage. Furthermore, such datasets will also provide a leading indicator over all currently used metrics and act as a new input to economic models, making them more accurate and representative.
Space Added Value
The SCOUT service relies heavily on the ESA/EC Copernicus missions, in particular Sentinels-1A/1B, Sentinels-2A/2B and Sentinel-5P. In addition, NASA/USGS’ Landsat-8 programme forms a key image data supply. These missions supply SCOUT with regular (approx. every 5-16 days) and freely available imagery to enable a global monitoring services. Furthermore, higher-resolution commercial satellite imagery is utilised for targeted object recognition when significant added-value is required. The SCOUT service relies entirely on the global and regular repeat visit capability of satellites. Aircraft or UAV/UAS/drones are restricted by geography, regulations, cost and health and safety. This leaves earth observation satellites as the only unique solution to achieve the aims of end users.
With the unique capabilities that Terrabotics and the Energy SCOUT product have, allows us after extensive user research and engagement, to identify a unique set of solutions that are highly warranted and in demand to provide transparency into the entirety of the crude oil and gas supply chain. This has been confirmed through our ideation focus groups that were held both with financial and investor groups as well as with many large operating energy companies. SCOUT activity has initiated two pilot studies with two multinational oil and gas companies and has received extensive feedback and interest for further testing within the financial sector. End users have expressed their willingness to pay for subscription and off-the-shelf data service to create the subscription SCOUT service. Over the course of 6-months of the “Kick-Start” feasibility study, the concept is ready to go forward to build out the service through a demonstration phase 2, and move into the commercial pilot phase with and number of committed key end users.