Encroachment Monitoring

Image credit: Asia Shipping Media - Seashipnews



Component products

Integrated Product

  • Pipeline corridor status


  • Logistics planning and operations - Monitoring of assets

Geo-information requirements

  • Distribution and status of infrastructure
  • Distribution and status of assets


Encroachment Monitoring Service (EMS) uses change detection of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) in some cases complemented by multispectral optical satellite images to detect risks of mechanical damage from third parties along pipeline right-of-ways (ROW) (e.g., construction vehicles) in a near-real-time service. Satellite data and can be delivered along the full pipeline route or only over those sections where activity is high or field monitoring is difficult due to accessibility. Radar images are not affected by cloud cover, meaning that a sequence of radar images can capture equipment regardless of weather conditions. Radar is the primary image source for this service.  An EMS report can be produced showing exact geographic locations of third-party activity and assets along a pipeline ROW in near-real time.

The product delivers change detection based positions of disturbance features, including summary reporting, and proximity measures to pipeline infrastructure.

Known restrictions / limitations

The timing of satellite SAR acquisitions can be outside the encroachment activity periods. It can be difficult to characterize detected targets as threatening versus non-threating.

Lifecycle stage and demand









Pre-license: N/A

Exploration: N/A

Development: N/A

Production: Information on security, particularly in locations with intensive land use, or in remote locations. Monitoring of third-party activity.

Decommissioning: N/A

Geographic coverage and demand

Demand is global, focusing on countries and areas with extensive pipeline networks.

Challenges Addressed

OTM:024   Urban encroachment on O&G assets

OTM:040   Security of pipelines

HC:5401    Monitor pipeline corridor hazards

HC:5404    Monitoring of pipeline right of way for third party mechanical damage


Input data sources

Optical: VHR1, VHR2, HR1, HR2

Radar: VHR2, HR1, HR2

Supporting data:

  • Digital Elevation Models (DEM) Topographic map data, pipeline infrastructure and assets; and
  • Local knowledge, and field and aerial observations.

Spatial resolution and coverage

Spatial resolution: 1-10 m. Varies depending on input imagery used and client needs. Most work today is done at 3-8 m resolutions.

Coverage: Usually 2 km width of AoI following pipeline routes.

Minimum Mapping Unit (MMU)

Variable, depending on source data resolution, assumed scale of the final product and expected minimum size of the area monitored. High resolution 25 m2.

Accuracy / constraints

Thematic accuracy: Target 80% accuracy for disturbance features along ROW.

Spatial accuracy: Depending on source data, typically 1 pixel.

Accuracy assessment approach & quality control measures

Ground-based observations or validation surveys.

Frequency / timeliness

Observation frequency: Depending on sensor and beam mode (resolution/extent) selected, the frequency for new acquisitions can be as low as 3-5 days from the same satellite. Frequency of historical maps is highly variable depending on the archive.

Timeliness of delivery: Processing can be completed in near real time (< 24 hours) depending on set up of the processing system and availability of base images.


On-demand availability from commercial suppliers.

New acquisitions can be requested globally.

Archived products available for public search. Availability may be limited for specific dates.

Delivery / output format

Data type:

  • Raster
  • Vector (depending on customer needs)

File format:

  • GeoTiff, jpeg and png
  • Shapefile

Document formats:

  • Adobe pdf report

Download product sheet.


Lead author

Hatfield Consultants/C-CORE

Peer reviewer



Warren, Pierce

Document Title:

Encroachment Monitoring

# of Pages:



Internal – Project consortium and science partners


External – ESA


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