Surveying: Pipelines

MEI Maverick Engineering employs a highly qualified oil and gas surveying team, located in the Yoakum Office. Our team has performed many successful oil and gas surveying projects including but not limited to: steel and poly pipeline as-built and after-built surveys, well locations surveys, well as-built surveys, new and existing facility design surveys, and flood study surveys to determine the flood zone impact of oil and gas activity. Our team utilizes both conventional and GPS RTK surveying styles, along with Trimble Business Center for data processing, and Microstation with GeoPak or AutoCAD for drafting purposes.


MEI has a great deal of experience and expertise in the field of pipeline surveying and has completed hundreds of miles of pipeline as-built surveys in the state of Texas. The following is a brief description of the surveying tasks and deliverables included in a start to finish pipeline project.

The route and boundary survey is typically the first order of business to gather spatial locations of all existing features along a proposed pipeline route and the property boundaries of the subject property. The exact route is then determined from this survey and aerial plats are created for client and landowner approval. Once the final route has been approved, the easement plats and metes and bounds descriptions are produced, one for each property being crossed by the pipeline. Also, if the pipeline is crossing any State or County roads, MEI will produce plan and profile crossing plats for permitting by the appropriate agency. Once the agreements are finalized with the landowner(s) and the road crossing permits have been issued, the preliminary alignment plats are produced, showing the routing of the pipeline within the easement with information regarding stationing, points of intersection, and other pertinent information critical to pipeline construction. During pipeline construction, the field crews gather all weld and pipe information (x-ray numbers, welder stencils, pipe length and heat numbers, serial numbers, etc.) as the line is constructed and survey each and every weld once the pipe is lowered into the trench. Upon completion of the as-built field work, weld maps documenting all pertinent weld and pipe information (per DOT requirements) are produced, as well as as-built plan and profile plats showing the completed pipeline routing and depths of cover. Upon client request, MEI will also create a custom or client supplied GIS Geodatabase (GDB) containing spatially correct points/lines/polygons representing the completed pipeline. All weld and pipeline data and information are input into the GDB in a very easy to use and useful fashion.


MEI performs many well location surveys each year. These involve staking the well in the field and creating a plat for the Texas Railroad Commission showing the well’s surface location, penetration point, first and last take points, and bottom hole location point, as well as distances from lease unit lines and original survey lines.

Well as-built surveys are performed once the well conductor has been set. The purpose of this survey is to verify that the well(s) are in the correct geographical location and the plat includes the well conductor and elevation, pad limits, cleared limits, access road(s), frac pit, and photos of the well(s) and well pad. The ground elevation at the well site is also represented on the plats to aid in future well operations.


MEI has performed an extensive variety of facility surveys, including field processing facilities, central gathering facilities, oil refinery expansions, and gas lift and compression stations. MEI has done facility expansion surveys, where all existing infrastructure is surveyed for the design team to use to engineer the new facility. On new facilities, MEI has produced plats and legal documents needed to acquire the land, as well as construction staking providing locational information of new features to be constructed. One large project completed by MEI is the 156 acre Brasada Gas Plant located in deep South Texas. The project included boundary surveying, topography surveying, design surveying, construction staking, and as built surveying. MEI worked closely with project engineers to complete the project in a timely and cost efficient fashion.


In the past, MEI has been contracted to perform flood impact studies in areas where there is existing oil and gas activity and infrastructure in place within FEMA flood zones. MEI surveyed cross sections from one edge of the flood plain to the opposite flood plain edge, perpendicular to the flow of the tributary. All existing oil and gas infrastructure is also surveyed in three dimensions. The data is then compiled and sent to MEI’s engineering team to perform hydraulic analysis studies to determine the impact that the existing infrastructure will have on the flood zone levels. Recommendations are then made by the engineers on how to protect the assets to avoid spills or other incidents. FEMA is also contacted and provided with the flood study results to update their flood zone mapping.