Tracking BLM Energy Development in the Permian Basin

Submitted by atripp on Fri, 11/30/2018 - 12:03

The Permian Basin in New Mexico and Texas is a leading source of oil production for the United States and is experiencing rapid energy development. The BLM holds millions of acres of mineral estate—including within the Permian Basin—which must be administered. Upon request from the Carlsbad Field Office (CFO), the National Operations Center (NOC) and the New Mexico State Office (NMSO) have partnered in a pilot project to use remote sensing products to easily and efficiently identify energy development within their region. To support this effort, the NOC is providing multi-date Sentinel-2 imagery to the CFO. The data have been spectrally subset from 13 to 10 bands (visible to shortwave-infrared), and have been spatially subset to the Permian region to reduce file storage space. With a revisit period of 5 days or less, Sentinel-2’s temporal resolution dramatically increases the ability of land management officials to delineate rapid land cover changes. These data will be made available to BLM officials as Web-based Image Services for ease of access and use. Other custom products that can assist the analyst in identifying cover trends between dates—such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR), Delta NDVI, and Delta NBR—can also be derived. Finally, the NOC is investigating techniques to efficiently map wellpad development, and associated transportation infrastructure, using multi-temporal imagery and object-oriented classification software.


Sentinel-2 imagery collected (A) March 2016, (B) January 2017, (C) December 2017, and (D) March 2018. Yellow arrows indicate cover change (development) between image dates.


Author Name
Christopher Cole
Author Email