Field Services

Abacus Datagraphics has been a trusted source of line locating and field services for more than 20 years. Based out of our head office in Red Deer and with crews dispatched from several Alberta communities, Abacus provides numerous types of underground pipeline and utility locating services province wide. Abacus is constantly enhancing and improving its services by taking advantage of emerging technologies.

Watercrossing Crew in the Field
GPS Receiver in the Field

Line Locating

Our Line Locating crews use the latest equipment and technology to perform numerous types of locating jobs throughout the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Some of the Line Locating services Abacus offers include:

Line Locating the Field
Line Locating the Field
  • Locating and marking underground facilities for new pipeline and well construction
  • Alberta One Call locating to ensure ground disturbance is clear of buried facilities
  • Verification that environmental test holes or dig sites are not in conflict with any underground facilities
  • Locating for service station reclamation
  • Well or pipeline abandonment/reclamation locating
  • Locating for sign or gate installation
  • Member of Alberta Common Ground Alliance and Canadian Association of Pipeline and Utility Locating Contractors
  • Abacus Datagraphics puts safety at the forefront and holds a Certificate of Recognition

Pipeline Signage

Abacus has developed a complete solution to help companies efficiently manage pipeline signage.  Our pipeline signage services offer a safe and effective way of meeting regulatory requirements while keeping field costs to a minimum.

Whether you want us to manage all aspects of your signage program, or just have us help out with specific parts of it, you won’t find as wide a range of signage services anywhere else.  Our signage services include:


Abacus Datagraphics Signage Discovery
  • Performing a complete audit of pipeline signage, identifying and mapping all road, rail and watercourse crossing points
  • Cross-referencing physical pipeline crossings against Alberta Energy Regulator licensing data to verify Environment Code accuracy in AER database


Abacus Datagraphics Pipeline Signage
  • Design of client signage according to AER signage standards including: pipeline type, client logos and emergency contact number.
  • Because Abacus prints and assembles high-quality UV-resistant signs customized for each client, there are no delays waiting for sign delivery.


Installing Signage in the Field
  • Dispatching field crews to check signs using signage audit maps to verify sign installations and identify any locations where signage is deficient
  • Immediate installation of missing signs using hydrodig method (no ground disturbance occurs, although crews do line locate to verify location of pipeline)
  • GPS-referenced photographs taken of existing/new pipeline signage


  • Creation of PDF map showing pipelines and signage locations, linked to pictures of signs from fieldwork
  • Integration of signage mapping and photographs into your AbaData account, allowing you to view your proprietary data in our robust oilfield GIS

No other company offers as extensive an array of signage services which allows you to ensure AER compliance, and once completed gives you the ability to pro-actively manage your pipeline signage.

Abacus also offers a complete signage solution to non-oilfield clients like Rural Municipalities looking to install rural signage in a safe and cost-effective manner.

Pipeline Watercourse Inspection

The advancing age of much of the energy industry’s pipeline infrastructure – along with environmental impacts like flooding and other weather events – create challenges in meeting regulatory requirements for pipelines crossing watercourses.

Abacus has developed a comprehensive suite of services to help pipeline owners identify watercourse crossings, check the state of those crossings and manage the data collected during the field work.

Identify Crossings

Pipeline Watercourse Identification
  • A comprehensive listing of all pipeline watercourse crossings is generated by Abacus using our proprietary systems and mapping tools. This listing includes both crossings visible at the 1:1,000,000 scale, as well as the 1:50,000 and 1:20,000 scales.  Using multiple mapping scales ensures that all potential watercourse crossings are identified.
  • All potential watercourse crossings are mapped out for the client and are delivered both digitally and via hard-copy map.
  • Field visits are conducted on all identified crossings.

Crossing Inspections

Watercrossing Inspections
  • Because not all locations identified by the mapping will have current watercourse crossings (historic changes in water levels and seasonal waterflow fluctuations mean some historic waterways no longer transport water) field visits will verify if there is in fact a pipeline crossing a watercourse.
  • If a watercourse crossing is found, the crossing will be inspected.
  • Using specialized locating equipment, the depth of cover of the pipeline will be determined along the entire crossing from bank to bank.
  • An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) will be deployed and a high-resolution image of the crossing will be generated. A three-dimensional rendering of the crossing will also be compiled.

Managing Crossing Data

Managing Crossing Data in AbaData
  • Using the information collected, pipeline regulatory status can be audited to verify that all watercourse crossings are registered with the appropriate AER Environment Code.
  • A hard-copy report is produced for each crossing providing the details of the crossing as well as a map of the pipeline location and a cross-section map showing the depth of the pipeline relative to the watercourse and banks along the length of the inspected area.
  • Pipelines with inadequate depth-of-cover are identified to facilitate any subsequent action plans
  • Collected map data and reports are incorporated into the AbaData Internet Mapping Program, providing clients with a valuable reference and AER information.
  • The High-Resolution image and Three-dimensional model of the crossing will be viewable on AbaData from the crossing location.