The Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) has launched a new online oil and gas map that will complement and enhance the Survey’s traditional paper Oil and Gas Map of Wyoming by providing additional data and the ability to be updated more frequently as new information is acquired.
“New wells are constantly being drilled in Wyoming,” says Rachel Toner, oil and gas geologist for the WSGS. “The paper map is a static snapshot in time, but the online map is a dynamic product that will be updated more often.”
The online map displays the same oil and gas layers as the paper map, including pipelines, oil refineries, gas plants, oil and gas fields and their producing reservoirs, hydrocarbon products and production status. However, the online version also includes substantially more content, details and functionality. For example, with the online map, users can view oil and gas wells from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, including horizontal wells with bottomhole locations, in addition to the 1:500,000-scale bedrock geology and the Wyoming Bureau of Land Management surface and mineral ownership. With tools provided by the ArcGIS Online map, users can turn on or off layers they are interested in, view attribute tables for all layers, search and query datasets, and in general, create a customized map view specific to their interests.
“Providing fast, accurate, up to date and reliable information on oil and gas resources in the state is very important, and that was our goal in developing this product,” says Tom Drean, WSGS director. “Over the years, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Map has been one of the most popular products offered by the WSGS, and we believe the significant modifications and improvements we have made will make it even more accessible and useful to a wide variety of interested parties.”
A major difference in the 2016 maps, both online and paper, from previous WSGS oil and gas maps is the method by which the oil and gas fields are represented. Past oil and gas field boundaries were hand-drawn using processes specific to each author, which can introduce errors and inconsistencies. The newest oil and gas fields and their attributes were instead generated using an ArcGIS model designed by the WSGS. The model incorporates large datasets that define which wells to include or exclude from a field, calculates associated field attributes and uses iterative spatial analyses to mimic a hand-drawn aesthetic.
“Now that the initial data research and setup for the model has been done, future updates will have a solid base to build upon and won’t require rechecking all the wells and fields again. Only new data added since the last update will need review,” says Toner. “Automating the field polygons and attributes will ensure that future updates will be standardized and much less time consuming.”
Several external resources and web services were used in the creation of the online map, including the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Wyoming Geological Association, the Wyoming Pipeline Authority, the Wyoming BLM and WyGISC.
The paper version of the Oil and Gas Map of Wyoming will be available at the end of July as a downloadable PDF, Map Series MS-103. Hardcopies may be purchased by contacting the WSGS at (307) 766-2286.
The online map is free to use and requires no software to download. It can be found at: http://www.wsgs.wyo.gov/energy/oil-gas-maps-publications.