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  • Product Sheet: Pipeline corridor status

Pipeline Corridor Status

Image credit: C-CORE




Component products

Land Use




  • Surface geology mapping - terrain evaluation and geo-morphology characterisation
  • Environmental monitoring - baseline historic mapping of environment and ecosystems
  • Environmental monitoring - continuous monitoring of changes throughout the lifecycle
  • Logistics planning and operations - facility siting, pipeline routing and roads development

Geo-information requirements

  • Detailed land cover information
  • Detailed land use information
  • Water quantity identification
  • Distribution and status of infrastructure
  • Surface and ground motion


Pipeline corridor products are based on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) or optical satellite data and can be delivered on a complete pipeline network scale. Products are generated based on multi-temporal images and change detection.

The main driver for this product is typically a regulatory compliance monitoring requirement to report on the pipeline right of way (RoW) status on a periodic (e.g., monthly) basis.  Indicators of interest include urban sprawl, vegetation cover, standing water, and other indicators that would require some maintenance or corrective action such as clearing.

While broad land cover changes can be detected with fairly coarse EO data (e.g., 30 m Landsat-8), high resolution data is desirable (5 m or better).

The pipeline corridor status product delivers land cover change detection along the pipeline corridor RoW. Areas of change can be provided (vector polygons), including reporting documents.

Known restrictions / limitations

  • Given the extent of many pipeline networks, cost of high resolution satellite data can be a limiting factor for monitoring.
  • Cloud cover for optical imagery.
  • Ability to select imagery that follows pipeline routes.

Lifecycle stage and demand









Pre-License: N/A

Exploration: N/A

Development: Critical historical information for planning and design of infrastructure, to support understanding of geographic conditions and risks in a proposed development area.

Production: Information on potential hazards in remote locations such as geohazards or vegetation succession, water courses, erosion, etc.

Decommissioning: Monitoring of land cover changes in support of reclamation and remediation compliance.

Geographic coverage and demand

Demand and coverage is global, applicable to any areas with pipeline networks.

Challenges Addressed

OTM:024  Urban encroachment on O&G assets

OTM:039  Selection of development sites

OTM:040  Security of pipelines

HC:2401   Identify geohazards and landscape change rates

HC:4102   Land cover and land use for environmental baseline and/or impact assessment

HC:4204   Monitoring local communities and land use in the project area

HC:4209   Monitor onshore pipeline right of way (RoW) to evaluate successions of vegetation communities

HC:5401   Monitor pipeline corridor hazards

HC:5402   Detection of oil contamination and oil seeps

HC:5405   Monitor potential pipeline corridor encroachment by communities


Input data sources

Optical: VHR1, VHR2, HR1

Radar: VHR1, VHR2, HR1

Supporting data:

  • Digital Elevation Models (DEM)
  • Topographic map data, pipeline infrastructure and assets
  • 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. In case of radar images speckle effects may reduce the final resolution of images.

Coverage is typically 2 km to 3 km, plus expanded zones of influence of the pipeline route, and follows the pipeline RoW.

Minimum Mapping Unit (MMU)

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

Accuracy / constraints

Thematic accuracy: 80-90%.

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

Accuracy assessment approach & quality control measures

Ground-based or aerial validation.

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: Product delivery is a periodic report on the status of the indicators monitored along the pipeline route.  This is dependent on regulatory requirements, but is typically monthly.


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 formats (depending on customer needs)
  • Change areas report

File format:

  • GeoTiff
  • Shapefile or any other OGC standard file formats
  • Standard office formats


Download product sheet.


Lead author:


Peer reviewer:



Warren, Pierce

Document Title:

Pipeline Corrider Status

# of Pages:



Internal – Project consortium and science partners


External – ESA

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