OAPM - Offshore Asset Pollution Monitoring

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CGG are defining and creating an innovative, new Offshore Asset Pollution Monitoring (OAPM) service as a response to repeat enquiries from oil and gas operators for establishing the source of pollution slicks in proximity to assets, from a variety of sources.


Being developed by CGG’s NPA Satellite Mapping business unit, with support from the European Space Agency, OAPM will provide regular, cost effective, satellite-derived information over offshore assets to establish a baseline, and a programme of routine pollution monitoring.


The emphasis of the OAPM service is not on Near-Real-Time delivery of satellite imagery, but regular delivery of high-quality, reliable, value-added information to enhance situational awareness.


OAPM aims to provide unique information to end users, allowing them to:

  • better manage assets
  • optimise resource and expenditure
  • respond more efficiently to incidents
  • isolate areas in critical need of monitoring and mitigation

Users and their needs

The core users of OAPM are principally offshore oil and gas operators. The OAPM project has identified a number of user requirements in the oil and gas community for the identification of offshore pollution around oil and gas infrastructure that may result from operations or third party activity. User requirements can be consolidated into broad topics of area of interest, timeliness, quality of deliverables, frequency of deliverables, and confidence of interpretation. These user requirements were found to vary greatly depending on the application of the information within oil and gas companies, i.e. environment, crisis management, operations etc. therefore the user requirements must undergo analysis to establish the most favourable initial requirements for the system. The end user requirements are driving the OAPM system development.

The OAPM service has a global remit. For the purposes of the project, OAPM is providing a pre-operational demonstration over several different geographical targets, including the North Sea. 

Service/ system concept

OAPM aims to provide end users with an enhanced understanding of the distribution, extent and source of pollution slicks around their offshore assets in a cost-effective manner. The information from the OAPM service is served via web-based delivery mechanisms. End users can visualise and interrogate critical slick information layers, which are complemented by summary reports.

The diagram below outlines the high-level system architecture of the main system.

Space Added Value

OAPM integrates two space assets; Earth Observation satellites (principally SAR) and satellite AIS data. Satellite imagery is used to observe the occurrence of offshore slicks - CGG brings world-leading slick interpretation expertise to the OAPM workflow, enabling the generation of high-quality, reliable results. Combining this with satellite AIS data enables the identification of potential pollution sources from local vessel activity. The increasing availability of regularly acquired, cost-effective satellite data significantly enhances the ability of offshore operators to understand the occurrence and evolving behaviour of pollution in close proximity to their infrastructure and in many cases provide the ability to confirm the absence of pollution so that operations may continue unhindered.

Current Status

The OAPM project successfully passed the SAT in July 2019 and in September 2019 commenced demonstration of the service. 

Since the start of the demonstration over 450 Sentinel-1A and B scenes have been processed and interpreted, this will continue to increase throughout the year-long demonstration period. The online portal provides the OAPM results with a consistent viewing mechanism and approach to monitoring pollution surrounding offshore assets in the three identified AOI’s:  The North Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Sarawak.  The portal is available to all signed-up end users including Oil Spill Response Limited and key oil and gas operators.  To ensure that end users receive targeted information a system of alert or awareness reporting is in place that automatically emails as required.   

Within these early stages of OAPM there has been particular interest from oil and gas operators as a supplementary method of enhancing situational awareness near offshore assets and for establishing a historical record of baseline pollution or surface discharge from offshore assets.

For further information on the status of the OAPM demonstration, please contact the Project Manager.

Status Date

Updated: 29 October 2019 - Created: 28 August 2018