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Petroleum Well Location Maps: A Geographic Information System (GIS) Approach to Petroleum Mapping in Indiana



Indiana Geological Survey, Bloomington, Indiana


     For more than 100 years, the Indiana Geological Survey (IGS) has acted as a repository for petroleum well records for the state of Indiana. Historically, well records for Indiana’s approximately 70,000 wells were managed using a paper filing system, and well maps were produced using traditional drafting techniques. The IGS recently unveiled a new computer-based system (Petroleum Database Management System or PDMS) for managing well records. Maps of petroleum-related information are generated using information extracted from the PDMS.

     This new GIS-based map series, known as the Petroleum Well Location Map (PWLM) series, will replace the existing Petroleum Exploration Map series.  This series incorporates all functional aspects of the hand-drawn maps, and provides several significant enhancements over the traditional product. The basic map shows well locations, well symbols, and petroleum field outlines, and may include additional well information such as total depths or producing formations and pipeline locations. Especially significant is the ability to make customized maps showing information such as producing formations or initial production (IP) values.

     The PWLM series is offered as a print-on-demand GIS-based map product. Each map in the series is developed using the Environmental Systems Research Institute’s (ESRI) ArcGIS suite of GIS software. The methodology for generating maps relies on dynamically created layer files to display well and label locations stored in the IGS petroleum well database. This provides continuity between the PDMS and the PWML maps.