A Commonly Used Word in Oil and Gas: Where?

The most commonly asked question in oil and gas is… WHERE?  Given the amount of location-based data we work with every day and the importance of location to everything we do in this industry, “where?” questions should be asked incessantly.  My question is, are we asking them enough and in the right way to get real value from all of the location data at our finger tips?  If not, there are data, tools, and resources that can help your “where?” questions save time, reduce costs, and help you make more informed decisions.

Location, Location, Location

Did you know that as much as 80% of data you work with has a spatial component?  Legal descriptions, county names, well locations, and zip codes are just a few illustrations of spatial data that you see every day.  Go ahead, open up one of your spreadsheets and take a look.  My guess is you’ll find lots of location-based data.  The great part is that anything you see with a location associated with it is inherently spatial meaning that you can easily see it on a map.  And, if you can see it on a map, a whole range of possibilities open up for better understanding any area you’re interested in.


See your location data in “Smart” Maps

So how could this actually benefit you?  Well, for starters, it means that your data can be used in a Geographic Information System (GIS) to create extremely “Smart” maps, especially when it’s combined with other spatial data. For instance, you can see active drilling areas, competitor positions, expiring acreage and where the most productive sections are.


Reduce cost, save time, and make better investment decisions with “Smart” Maps

This is the point at which “Where?” questions help you make more informed decisions.  You can ask a GIS as many questions as you can think of to help you size up an opportunity, devise an investment strategy, and execute your plan.  You can even create “what-if?” scenarios to see how your decisions might play out.  Here’s a few examples:

  • Where are the largest operators in this area?
  • Where are there leases expiring within the next 90 days?
  • Where are the most productive wells and who drilled them?
  • Where could I acquire the most contiguous leasehold?

Answer your “Where?” questions with GIS

You’re probably thinking to yourself that using “smart” maps may sound expensive and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be.  In fact, many states, including Oklahoma, provide much of the location-based data you need at no cost. In addition, there are free GIS applications you can download and begin using to make maps right away.

If you’re not the do-it-yourself type or simply have too many other things on your to-do list, I know just how you feel and I can help. Just email me using this link.

In my next article, we’ll look more deeply at answering “where” questions with GIS.  Also, be on the lookout for “smart” maps illustrating some of the articles in future issues of this newsletter.  Thanks to Gib Knight for this great opportunity to introduce geospatial technologies through OklahomaMinerals.com.

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