The Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) recently released the 2021 version of the Interactive Oil and Gas Map of Wyoming.
Since it was first published in 1943, the oil and gas map has been used by industry, educators, and the general public to explore Wyoming’s oil and gas fields and related infrastructure. Historically, the WSGS released updated editions of the map every 5 to 10 years, illustrating the growth of and changes to one of the state’s most important industries. The WSGS created an online interactive version of the map in 2016. This fifth update to the online Oil and Gas Map of Wyoming highlights the importance of the digital format. The map has been viewed more than 16,000 times in the last 12 months and more than 61,000 times since its inception.
Yearly map updates redefine oil and gas field boundaries and attributes to include wells drilled and producing during the previous year, reverify oil refinery and gas processing plant attributes and statuses, and revise well layers. Because wells targeting unconventional reservoirs are commonly not permitted as part of a spatially defined field, the 2021 update includes a new layer delineating the location of these wildcat wells.
“We found that the digital version of the map is a lot more informative for the end user,” says WSGS geologist and lead author Rachel Toner. “Users can customize the map to show and search for only the data and area in which they are interested. They can also view layer details and attributes that are not possible to display in a paper format.”
Information in the map is derived and compiled from several external resources and web services, but relies heavily on the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) database. Available datasets in the interactive map include:
- Oil and gas field boundaries, as defined by wells that have produced oil or natural gas.
- Oil and gas field attributes and designations, such as field status, number and types of wells, producing reservoirs, and non-oil or gas commodity production.
- Oil and gas wells, including those vetted and used to create the oil and gas fields, those that were excluded from the fields with explanation, and the latest WOGCC well header download without any WSGS corrections.
- Surface expressions of lateral direction and length for horizontal and directional wells.
- Interpretations of depth to formation and thickness for key strata in the Powder River Basin and the Greater Green River Basin.
- Locations of oil refineries, gas plants, and major pipelines.
- Useful base layers, such as surface land management, federal mineral ownership, and the state bedrock geologic map.
Tools on the interactive map provide additional functionality. Users can query the datasets by name, location, and other characteristics; create simple charts; measure distances; change the base map; and print directly from the online map or save a customized view for sharing with others.
“I’m proud of all the work our geoscience team has put into this map,” says Dr. Erin Campbell, WSGS director. “It’s our most popular WSGS product. Users range from oil and gas professionals, to consultants, to the federal government, to landowners.”
Nationally, Wyoming ranks eighth for oil production (89 million barrels in 2020) and ninth for natural gas production (1.47 trillion cubic feet in 2020).
“Production of these natural resources helps drive the state’s economy, and maps such as these are important for understanding statewide resource potential,” says Dr. Campbell.
The map is free to use and readily accessible with any up-to-date web browser. It can be accessed from the main WSGS website https://www.wsgs.wyo.gov/, or directly at https://wsgs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=3f7ab99343c34bd3ac5ae6ac8c04d95a/.
In addition to the online interactive map, a 42-inch-by-64-inch paper version, last published in 2019, is available for purchase at https://sales.wsgs.wyo.gov/oil-and-gas-map-of-wyoming-2019/.
Visit the WSGS oil and gas resources website for more information on oil and gas in Wyoming: https://www.wsgs.wyo.gov/energy/oil-gas-resources.aspx.