Monitoring oil reserves with satellite imagery

When we were having a look around Rio de Janeiro for yesterday’s post we noticed a large oil refinery (Refinaria de Duque de Caxias) with many oil tanks, and it reminded us that monitoring oil reserves in large oil tanks is one of the possible commercial uses for high frequency satellite imagery produced by companies like Planet Labs and Terra Bella. Many of the large tanks used for storing oil have a floating roof, and the amount of oil stored in the tank can be determined by the height of the tank roof. For more technical details see this interesting article.


Full tanks on left. The same tanks but not so full on the right. Imagery from Google Earth, copyright DigitalGlobe.

We also created the animation below showing the tank levels changing over time. Google Earth historical imagery does not line up perfectly because the images are taken from different angles. We have tried to line up the ground in the different frames.



You can adjust the speed of the animation by dragging the slider.

The tank in the centre, second row from the bottom has its roof renovated during the animation.

Find the refinery in Google Earth with this KML file

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.






PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.

Comments

  1. ben reuter says

    Hi Timothy! It sems that Severodvinsk / Archangelsk got new image. The Naval Yard reveals the 175m long BS-64 submarine. Thank you google.
    Cheers

  2. ben reuter says

    Hi Timothy! You once said that there are some “restrictions” to google not to show new images of Syria. Look at Terraserver and you will find brand new sat image from 29th April 2016 made of the airport at Latakia showing vital Russian Equipment.
    Seems that google is always late and lazy



PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.