A wealth of previously unavailable information about oil and natural gas resources and activity in Wyoming is becoming available through the auspices of two state agencies.

On Wednesday the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will make available on its website previously confidential information about more than 900 Applications for Permits to Drill (APD), most of which apply to horizontal wells in eastern Wyoming, an area dominated by the Niobrara Shale. In addition, APDs will no longer be approved as “confidential” without “adequate technical and other justification,” the commission said. The requests for confidentiality will themselves not be confidential.

The commission has the authority to authorize confidential status for wells determined to be located “outside known fields or new wells which are determined by the commission to have discovered oil or gas in a pool not previously proven productive,” according to the commission’s announcement.

“The commission feels that many wells now being permitted are in or near areas and formations already proven to be productive. The large amount of confidential wells hampers the commission’s efforts to accurately evaluate appropriate well drilling and spacing unit requests, and inhibits the timely dissemination of well information to the public.”

Wells located “within one mile of a section line boundary of established production from the same reservoir or defined pool” will be presumed to no longer qualify as confidential, the commission said.

Information kept from the public’s eyes in confidential reports includes drilling reports, sample descriptions, drill stem test results, lithologic and electric logs, formation fluid and core analyses, reservoir pressure data and completion reports.

Separately, the Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) recently released an updated map which illustrates oil and gas extraction activities across the state. It includes the boundaries of producing and abandoned oil and gas fields, producing (or produced) formations, dominate age or reservoir rocks, field designations, pipeline sizes and locations, refinery and gas plant locations and capacities, basin locations, as well as illustrates the extent of oil shale-bearing rocks.

Data for the map came from previously published WSGS materials on oil and natural gas resources in Wyoming. The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission provided information on the wells, and pipeline data from the Wyoming Pipeline Authority was used for some of the updates.

The map is available as a free download, on DVD or in a 42″x66″ print version on the WSGS website.