Establishing Gas Pipeline Boundaries in Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Saudi ARAMCO, maintains a 1000-kilometer gas pipeline stretching across the Arabian Peninsula (from the Persian Gulf) to the Red Sea. The company maintains a right of way along most of the pipeline, but in 1992, ARAMCO officials felt it was necessary to establish a clearer, more accurate demarcation of the pipeline's boundaries.
Using conventional surveying techniques to demarcate the hostile desert that the pipeline traversed was a lengthy and difficult process and results were often inaccurate. Seeking an alternative, ARAMCO's geodetic group decided to approach the project using GPS technology from Trimble.
Using three Trimble 4000 SSE dual frequency survey receivers and Trimvec vector processing software, the surveying team tackled the project. Along the way, they discovered that the new technology required a new approach to field work and project management. This resulted in the project being completed in less than half the time it would have taken using conventional survey techniques, costs were reduced by half, and the accuracy of the resultant maps was improved.