US Gas Utilities Focus on Safety, Rely on Esri Technology

April 20, 2011

Redlands, California—For the utility division of MDU Resources Group, a diversified natural resource company, Esri technology emerged as the logical framework on which to build its Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP). DIMP regulations, put forth by the US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, aim to ensure better overall management of the risks that impact gas distribution infrastructure.

The utility division of MDU Resources Group is made up of Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., Great Plains Natural Gas Co., Cascade Natural Gas Corporation, and Intermountain Gas Corporation.

“With pipelines and public safety coming under greater scrutiny, Esri technology is becoming crucial to gas utilities,” said Rob Brook, Esri gas and pipeline industry manager. “Every threat to pipeline integrity is defined by the interaction of factors at a specific geographic location, and Esri is helping companies connect their distribution data to its location.”

For MDU Resources and many other gas companies in the United States, Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) technology helps fulfill DIMP requirements by allowing users to combine multiple layers of data for risk identification, modeling, and spatial analysis.

“GIS is already an essential repository for information about the gas distribution system,” said Lance Elroy, GIS manager for Intermountain Gas Company. “Since GIS is a configurable technology, we are able to point to different data sources and link to that data from the GIS. We are working with Esri staff to adapt the Esri Risk Calculation Model to fit our specific DIMP compliance needs.”

For more information about GIS technology for DIMP compliance, visit

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