Wells information System

The Wells Information System (WIS) is a comprehensive database created by the Pennsylvania Geological Survey that stores and organizes details associated with drilled oil and gas wells, as well as undrilled, canceled, void, or expired drilling permits. The database resides in a commercial software package known as Oracle. This "relational database" package allows for the entry, storage, access, and analysis of data through any number of linked data fields. The data connects through some common factor, usually the state-assigned permit number.  The WIS database is augmented on a daily basis, as our staff members enter, revise, and interpret data reported by oil and gas companies via completion reports, location plats, geophysical well logs, and other reporting forms.

Inquiring About Well Details

The WIS database may be queried using the “Inquire Well Details” screen, shown below in Figure 1.  In looking at this screen, you can quickly search for a particular well in the database and view basic location, owner/operator, geology, and well details.  In addition, the bottom of this screen tells you what type of reporting information is available for the particular well.  As shown in Figure 1, the James Noble No. 9 (Permit No. 125-21890) has one completion report, one stratigraphic information record (Strats) and one geophysical well log (Logs), but no plugging certificate, production reports (Prods), or drill cuttings/core samples (Samples).  By clicking on the buttons that have records associated with them, you can view supplementary screens that show that information.


Figure 1 – “Inquire well details” screen.

By reviewing the completion report screen for this well, you can see that the James Noble No. 9 was drilled in 1998 to the Upper Devonian Age Venango Group. It reached a total depth of 2,615 feet and produced oil from one of the Venango Group sands at a depth of 2,495 feet.

A search of the stratigraphic interpretation screen provides, among other things, information on the depth and thickness of the Burgoon and Murrysville Sandstones, and the top of the Venango Group.  The Burgoon and Murrysville Sandstones occur within the intervals 1,572 – 1,772 feet and 2,110 – 2,178 feet, respectively.  The top of the Venango Group was recorded at 2,300 feet.

The geophysical logs screen indicates the type(s) of logs and the interval(s) logged. The James Noble No. 9 has a merged composite log that was generated for the interval of 30 – 2,615 feet.

Although the Inquire Wells screen shows that no annual production reports are available for this well location, the WIS database actually contains production data for four years.  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s oil and gas law mandates that oil and gas production data be held confidential for a five-year period. WIS is programmed to reveal this data only after the confidentiality period has expired. For James Noble No. 9, this means that the annual production for 1998 will become available in 2004, production data for 1999 will be available in 2005, etc. However, the oil and gas law does allow reporting of recent production in aggregate statistics. This means that we can point anyone interested in the James Noble No. 9 well toward the annual and cumulative production in the Washington-Taylorstown field, which contains numerous wells in central Washington County.

In addition to providing verbal information regarding an oil or gas well, the Pennsylvania Geological Survey can also generate reports in digital or hard-copy format for any and all wells in WIS. Reports can be created using standard report templates, or can be customized to suit the specific needs and data requirements of a client.  One commonly requested report is the “Well Header Report”.  It generally contains fields shown in Figure 2.   This table may be exported in ASCII, Excel, Lotus, or a variety of other file formats.  Because several location fields are included in the report, the table can be imported into most proprietary Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the wells plotted on a map.


 Figure 2 – Well header report..