June 12, 2009
Contact: Don Drysdale
SACRAMENTO – Jim Campion of the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) clicked a few times on his computer screen and exclaimed, “There it is.”
Checking out the new DOGGR Online Mapping System (DOMS), which provides a wealth of data about California’s energy wells, Campion had zeroed in on the property formerly belonging to his family in the Wilmington oil field in Los Angeles. He clicked one of the more than 198,000 symbols representing wells shown on the map.
“That’s Exxon WTU 881,” he said, explaining that the acronym referred to the Wilmington Townlot Unit, well number 881. “The royalties from that well put my dad through USC.”
Now, anyone can find the family oil well using DOMS. Of course, those in the energy industry are the most likely users.
DOMS provides the capability to create, view and print custom maps wells via the Internet. Users can view wells either by type (there are 14, including oil, gas, geothermal, dry gas, water source and steamflood injection) or by status (new, active producers, active injectors, duals used for both production and injection, and plugged).
Each symbol is connected to a geographic information system database that provides background such as the well’s operator, production totals, “spud” or start-up date, wells logs, and well depth. Users can search by a well’s API number; by section, township and range; or simply by zooming in on a geographic area.
“We’re very excited that this mapping system is now available,” State Oil and Gas Supervisor Hal Bopp said. “This could be one-stop shopping for every oil, gas and geothermal well we know about in California, some of dating back to the late 1800s. This system will help industry with the basic research that goes into locating energy reservoirs. At the same time, members of the public can use it if they’re curious about who owns the well they can see from their back yard.”
DOMS also is helpful to regulators. DOGGR employees using the new tool rather than printed records
during the trial phase reported significant time savings in research projects.
“Online mapping is the way things are going,” Campion said. “DOMS is modeled on Google maps, which most people are familiar with. Every click on a point on the map zooms in ever closer, and ultimately the user can click on a single well. Once a user learns to navigate in DOMS, it’s a very useful tool, a big step forward over what we’ve had available in the past.”
California produced 238.6 million barrels of oil and 297.0 billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2008. More than 3,400 new wells were drilled in 2008.
California also produces more electricity from geothermal resources than any other state or country. About five percent of California’s total electrical power generation in 2007 (about 13,000 gigawatt hours) came from geothermal resources, according to the California Energy Commission.