Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Geographic information system (GIS)-based maps of Appalachian basin oil and gas fields

March 24, 2015

One of the more recent maps of Appalachian basin oil and gas fields (and the adjoining Black Warrior basin) is the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) compilation by Mast and others (1998) (see Trippi and others, this volume, chap. I.1). This map is part of a larger oil and gas field map for the conterminous United States that was derived by Mast and others (1998) from the Well History Control System (WHCS) database of Petroleum Information, Inc. (now IHS Energy Group). Rather than constructing the map from the approximately 500,000 proprietary wells in the Appalachian and Black Warrior part of the WHCS database, Mast and others (1998) subdivided the region into a grid of 1-mi2 (square mile) cells and allocated an appropriate type of hydrocarbon production (oil production, gas production, oil and gas production, or explored but no production) to each cell. Each 1-mi2 cell contains from 0 to 5 or more exploratory and (or) development wells. For example, if the wells in the 1-mi2 cell consisted of three oil wells, one gas well, and one dry well, then the cell would be characterized on the map as an area of oil and gas production. The map by Mast and others (1998) accurately shows the distribution and types of hydrocarbon accumulation in the Appalachian and Black Warrior basins, but it does not show the names of individual fields. To determine the locality and name of individual oil and gas fields, one must refer to State oil and gas maps (for example, Harper and others, 1982), which are generally published at scales of 1:250,000 or 1:500,000 (see References Cited), and (or) published journal articles.

Other recent USGS Appalachian basin oil and gas field maps show the distribution of oil and gas production with a cell size as small as 0.25 mi2 , such as the maps converted by Trippi and others (this volume, chap. I.1) from proprietary well-location maps used in the USGS 2002 assessment of oil and gas resources of the Appalachian basin (Milici and others, 2003). Another set of Appalachian basin oil and gas cell maps (based on a cell size of 0.25 mi2 ) was created for the USGS 1995 National Assessment of United States Oil and Gas Resources (Gautier and others, 1995; Beeman and others, 1996).

Between 1991 and 1994, R.T. Ryder (with R.E. Mattick, J.B. Roen, and J.R. San Filipo, USGS, Reston, Va.) compiled oil and gas fields on stable-base mylar greenline base maps (scale 1:500,000) for selected plays in the Appalachian basin. These map compilations included field names and field numbers where assigned by State agencies. The purpose of the maps was to provide supporting data for the USGS 1995 National Assessment of United States Oil and Gas Resources (Gautier and others, 1995). In particular, the greenline oil and gas field maps were linked, where possible, with production data from State records and (or) published literature in order to determine ultimate sizes for conventional fields and estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) values for wells in continuous accumulations (for definitions of the conventional and continuous terminology, see USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment Team, 1995; Schmoker, 1997; Schenk and Pollastro, 2002). This approach was used in the 1995 national oil and gas assessment because ultimate field size and EUR data were unavailable in the Appalachian region from Petroleum Information, Inc., and other commercial sources.

In 2006 and 2007, the greenline Appalachian basin field maps were digitized under the supervision of Scott Kinney and converted to geographic information system (GIS) files for chapter I.1 (this volume). By converting these oil and gas field maps to a digital format and maintaining the field names where noted, they are now available for a variety of oil and gas and possibly carbon-dioxide sequestration projects. Having historical names assigned to known digitized conventional fields provides a convenient classification scheme into which cumulative production and ultimate field-size databases can be organized. Moreover, as exploratory and development drilling expands across the basin, many previously named fields that were originally treated as conventional fields have evolved into large, commonly unnamed continuous-type accumulations. These new digital maps will facilitate a comparison between EUR values from recently drilled, unnamed parts of continuous accumulations and EUR values from named fields discovered early during the exploration cycle of continuous accumulations.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2014
Title Geographic information system (GIS)-based maps of Appalachian basin oil and gas fields
DOI 10.3133/pp1708C.2
Authors Robert T. Ryder, Scott A. Kinney, Stephen E. Suitt, Matthew D. Merrill, Michael H. Trippi
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Professional Paper
Series Number 1708
Index ID pp1708C.2
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Energy Resources Science Center