Geomatics Committee appoints new Chair

The IOGP Geomatics Committee welcomes Zurinah Yen Puasa of Shell, Vice Chair of IOGP’s Geomatics Committee, as the new Chair.  Her experience and knowledge of the industry will help drive growth and give geomatics more influence as we move into the energy transition. We caught up with her to find out more about her experience, this role, and how she plans to help grow geomatics contributions to the industry.

What led you to a career in engineering?

I grew up in a rural farming village in Brunei that did not get any power line until I was seven years old. We had kerosene lamps, and electricity came from a noisy generator or batteries. My first introduction to the energy industry was when I was 16. I went on a school trip to Brunei Shell office to learn about oil and gas business. After that visit, it was clear to me that I wanted to pursue a career in engineering, and this career had taken me around the world.

Last February, I celebrated my 30th anniversary with Shell, the first five of those years spent as a Shell in-service scholar studying for my BSc in Surveying at Newcastle University and MSc in Remote sensing at University College London in the UK. I held various roles in the company and became Shell’s first female Chief Surveyor and Regional discipline lead in 2012. My career started in Brunei, and later took me to the UK, Netherlands, Malaysia, India, and the USA. I also worked as a Development Planner, providing technical inputs into projects as an integrator. Besides engineering, my other passions include, developing people through mentoring and championing DE&I; IOGP is providing me an additional platform to do more in these areas.

What are your plans as Chair of IOGP Geomatics Committee?

In April this year, I was privileged to take over the IOGP Chair of Geomatics Committee from Frederic Auger of TotalEnergies. My plans are to continue our strong collaborative delivery culture and focusing our work on activities that bring the most value to the industry. The committee is one of the most active groups that delivers on its business plan each year, which includes some 40 published works, such as the EPSG Geodetic Parameter Dataset ; a widely-used, internationally available set of definitions for coordinate reference systems and coordinate transformations, guidelines for the conduct of offshore drilling hazard site surveys, Seismic P Formats, the Seabed Survey Data Model, Geospatial Integrity of Geoscience Software (GIGS), and Common Industry Technical Specification for Fundamental Survey Sensors.

How is the Geomatics Committee contributing to digitalization?

The rapid pace of change in energy transition and digitalisation, will create more demand for trusted geospatial data and digital ways of working. The IOGP Geomatics committee’s work on standardization of data formats and the ways we use standard coordinate references system for our projects will continue to enable easier flow of data across different parties, applications, integration of large varieties of datatypes, and leveraging technical solutions such as remote sensing and machine learning in the analysis of big data and open platforms like OSDU.

From a geomatics perspective, what are the challenges and opportunities for the energy transition, digitalization, and standardization?

Part of the challenge in Energy Transition, is to responsibly meet the energy demand of today, as we develop cleaner and more sustainable energy for the future, while respecting our environment. Geomatics expertise will continue to play its role in providing safe positioning of assets and infrastructures; and with respect to the environment, Geomatics will continue providing situational awareness for existing upstream business, as well as meeting the demand for site characterisation, monitoring of asset integrity, and Emergency Response for both oil and gas, and renewable energy activities. Geomatics will continue to apply new technologies to reduce our CO2 footprint and HSSE exposures in the field, drive cost down and increase efficiencies in survey data acquisition and positioning.

IOGP Geomatics Committee aims to advocate for industry guidelines and standards through IOGP platform and to work in collaboration with other IOGP Committees on energy transition-related projects, such as the IOGP guidelines for seabed and overburden Integrity monitoring for offshore CO2 storage; the measuring, monitoring and verification recommended practice; and the methane recommended practices. These types of activities will help the industry to learn and develop faster.

What are the Geomatics Committee’s plans for the next five years?

In the next five years, I see the IOGP Geomatics committee continuing to be very relevant in driving the maintenance and development of industry standards for both the upstream business and renewable energies. I envisage more collaboration across IOGP and closer liaisons with other industry and government bodies. The energy transition also brings many new opportunities for our discipline to transfer our skills to provide key insights and drive new business activities, develop new skills, new applications of geomatics technologies, and continue to attract new talents into the energy business. The Geomatics Committee has an important place, and a part to play in influencing the way we support the energy business of today and in the future.

Talking of which, we can hear more about how we do this at the next 11th IOGP Geomatics Industry Day, which will be held on the 7-8th December, co-hosted by IOGP, bp and Shell, and the theme is aptly “Geomatics in the Energy Transition: Delivering Innovative and Competitive Solutions for oil and gas, and new energy business”.

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