Oil and Gas Well Records (2022)

The Railroad Commission of Texas maintains historical information that is used by employees, other state agencies, local government, the oil and gas industry, and the general public in its Central Records and Imaging units. An estimated 132 million pages of analog and digital documents encompassing the history of each Texas oil and natural gas well from the drilling permit application to the final plugging report are preserved.

Search Oil and Gas Well Records- Oil and Gas Well Records can be searched by key fields or full text. TheOil and Gas Potential profileincludes applications to drill, oil and gas completion reports, plugging reports, producer's transportation authority and miscellaneous records from 1964 to present. TheWell Log (WL) profileincludes images of all well logs received since July 2004.

How to Request Well Records

When requesting copies of well records, production, inkjet plots, well data reports and geological data, whether by mail, phone, fax, Internet, or in person, please provide as much of the following information as possible:

  • County name (where property or well is located)
  • Approximate date of drilling activity
  • Lease or well name and well number
  • Original or current operator name
  • Field name and reservoir
  • Commission number (API, Drilling Permit, Oil Lease number, and/or Gas ID number)
  • Location (survey name, abstract, section, block, etc.)

Please review theDocument Price Listfor the costs associated with records research and copies.

There are several ways to request information from the Information Services’ Central Records Section:

Fillable Adobe Acrobat Form

  • If you are viewing the form using theAdobe Reader, print the form and and fax (512-463-7200) or mail (P. O. Box 12967, Austin, Texas 78711) the form to the Railroad Commission of Texas.
  • If you are viewing the form using theAdobe Acrobat software, save the form and attach it to an email and send toims@rrc.texas.gov.


Word 2000

  • You can print and fax (512-463-7200) or mail (P. O. Box 12967, Austin, Texas 78711) the form to the Railroad Commission of Texas.
  • You can save the form and attach it to an email and send toims@rrc.texas.gov.


Call, Fax, Email or Visit

Call: 512-463-6882
Fax: 512-463-7200
Email:ims@rrc.texas.gov
Visit: 1701 North Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701; 10th Floor, Room 10-100
Hours: 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday

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General Information Pertaining to Leases and Royalites

This outline is provided as an informal guide to members of the public seeking information or legal services the Railroad Commission of Texas cannot provide. Since the Texas Legislature has given the Railroad Commission of Texas limited authority to regulate the oil and gas industry in Texas, our staff cannot advise you in all oil and gas matters. Areas over which the Railroad Commission of Texas has no authority include lease and royalty matters (including leasing, payment of royalties and the right to receive royalties), the financing of or investment in oil and gas activities, property rights matters and bankruptcy.

Information Available in Central Records

Oil and Gas Well Records (1920 to Present)

Oil and gas well records for all RRC districts for the period 1964 to the present are available through theOil and Gas Imaged Records Query,as well as through thePublic GIS Viewer andWellbore Query.

Oil and gas records prior to 1981 are also available on microformat (microfilm, microfiche, unit jackets).

The contents of these records are:

  • application To Drill (W-1 and location plat)NOTE: Applications to Drill submitted to the Commission after May 2005 are in electronic format only and available through theDrilling Permit (Form W-1) Application Query;
  • gas/oil completion reports (G-1/W-2 and attachments);
  • plugging reports (W-3 and attachments);
  • P-4’s (Producer’s Transportation Authority); and
  • miscellaneous (correspondence, back pressure curve, dual completion packets, directional survey, etc.)


Well Logs

In July 2004, the Railroad Commission of Texas began imaging well logs received as a result of regulatory compliance requirements. These images are available through theOil and Gas Imaged Records Query,as well as through thePublic GIS Viewer. Well logs from September 1985 to the present are also available in paper format and on microfiche; however the paper logs are stored off-site.

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Oil and Gas Hearing Files (1920 to Present)

Types of hearings:

  • New Field Designation
  • Statewide Rules (SWR 38/39, SWR 10, etc.)
  • Field Rules
  • Fluid Injections
  • Miscellaneous (Administrative, Exception To Rules, etc.)

Contents (dependent on type of hearing):

  • Notice of Hearing
  • Final Order/Special Order
  • Electric logs
  • Maps (Contour, Structure, Cross Section, etc.)
  • Engineer notes/reservoir data
  • Exhibits


Oil and Gas Production

1993 to Present: Available on the Internet; click onOnline Research Queriesfor the Production Data Query (PDQ) application: http://webapps2.rrc.texas.gov/EWA

1992 & prior: On microformat (microfilm/microfiche)

  • Reported monthly and annually
  • Lease production (oil is reported by lease and gas is reported by well)
  • Field production


Guide To Filing System in Central Records

Oil and Gas Potential Well Records

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OIl and gas well records for all Railroad Commission of Texas districts for the period 1964 to the present are available through theOil and Gas Imaged Records Queryas well as through thePublic GIS Viewer.

Oil and gas records prior to 1981 are also available on microformat (microfilm, microfiche, unit jackets).

  • Contains all well record information filed on completed/plugged wells.
  • Oil and Gas Potential Well Records filming cycles:
    • 1964 - 1967
    • 1968 - 1972
    • 1973 - 1980
    • 1981 - 1985 (Districts 01 through 7B only)


Wildcat by County
(Dry Hole Files)

  • 2000 - Current available through the Oil and Gas Imaged Records Query
  • 1966 - 1999 in microfilm format

These are inn order by District, County name and Operator name. The records are filmed at the beginning of each district’s suspense filming.

  • Wildcat by County filming cycles:
    • 1968 & Prior
    • 1971 & Prior
    • 1974 & Prior
    • 1978 & Prior (Districts 01 & 02 only)
    • 1980 & Prior
    • 1985 & Prior
    • 1999 & Prior


Suspense Files (Dry Hole Files)

Suspense files house all incoming Applications To Drill (form W-1) until the well is either completed or plugged. Expired drilling permits as well as drilling permits (form W-1) and plugging reports (form W-3) for dry holes remain in the Suspense file. Suspense files are in numeric order by API number.

  • Suspense files dated 2000 through present are available through the Oil and Gas Imaged Records Query.
  • Suspense files dated 1966 through 1999 are on microfilm and can be located in the following filming cycles:
    • 1968 & prior (only 20,000 API numbers assigned by the Commission)
    • 1971 & Prior
    • 1974 & Prior
    • 1978 & Prior (Districts 01 & 02 only)
    • 1980 & Prior
    • 1985 & Prior
    • 1999 & Prior


Oil and Gas Well Records Located on Microfilm

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Unit Jackets and Well Records Runs consist of Application for Permit to Drill (Form 1), Oil or Gas Completion Report (Form 2), Application to Plug and Well Record (Form 2A), Plugging Report (Form 4), plats, driller’s logs, Producer's Transportaton Authority and Certificate of Compliance (form SW-1), letters and miscellaneous forms. These records cover approximately the years between 1920 to the mid 1960s.

  • Material dated approximately 1920 through 1962 (if filed) can be located on Unit Jackets. These are in order by operator control number (assigned by Central Records staff for tracking purposes) and lease name. Each lease has its own jacket filed by the operator’s control number.
  • The J-run, also called a Major run, covers the approximate years of 1920 through 1966 for well records filed by all major operators. The records are in order by operator number and lease name.
  • The K, L and M runs cover the approximate years of 1963 to April 1966.
  • Records are in order by operator number and lease name. They are as follows:
    • J - Run: includes material dated 1920 - 1966
    • K - Run: includes material dated 1963 - 1964
    • L - Run: includes material dated 1964 - 1965
    • M - Run: includes material dated 1965 to April 1966


Oil and Gas Closed Potential Records Located on Microfilm

  • Potential records were filed approximately 1930 through 1963.
  • Closed Oil Potential records include Form 3 (Initial Potential Test for Oil), Salt Water Disposal permits, and miscellaneous plats. The records are in order by district, field, operator, lease name, and well number.
  • Closed Gas Potential records include letters, plats, miscellaneous documents, and form GWT-1 (Initial Potential Test for Gas) for District 10 only. The records are in order by district, field, and operator name.
  • Form GWT-1 for Districts 01 through 09 for this time period will be found on the GWT microfilm. The index to the microfilm is organized by district, operator, well name and number, and completion date. This information is necessary to determine the roll of film on which a specific record may be located.


Oil and Gas Potential Records Located on Microfilm

  • Oil and gas Potential files on microfilm include the time period from 1964 to 1985.
  • RRC districts 1 – 7B are on microfilm from 1964 – 1985; Districts 7C – 10 are on microfilm from 1964 – 1981.
  • Potential files include Application To Drill (form W-1 and location plat), Gas/Oil completion reports (G-1/W-2 and attachments), Plugging reports (W-3 and attachments), P-4’s (Producer’s Transportation Authority), and Miscellaneous (correspondence, backpressure curve, dual completion packets, directional survey, etc.).
  • Oil and Gas Potential Well Records filming cycles:
    • 1964 - 1967
    • 1968 - 1972
    • 1973 - 1980
    • 1981 - 1985 (Districts 01 through 7B only)


Customer Service Survey

As part of our ongoing effort to provide better customer service, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) is requesting your thoughts and feedback on your Central Records experience via a short survey. The survey should take no more than a couple of minutes to complete.

Click to take survey

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FAQs

What is the deepest oil well ever? ›

The world's deepest oil well, known as Z-44 Chayvo, goes over 40,000 ft (12 km) into the ground – equal to 15 Burj Khalifas (the tallest skyscraper) stacked on top of each other. That's also equal to 2x the record height for air balloon flight.

What is the average life of an oil well? ›

The average life span of an oil or natural gas well is 20 to 30 years. However, new technologies are being developed to find new ways to extend the life span. The life span of a well is based on the active years the well is in production.

What is the longest oil well in the world? ›

The worlds longest drilled oil well is BD-04-A, with a total length of 40,320 ft MDRT. It was completed in May 2008 by Maersk Oil Qatar and Qatar Petroleum, in the Al-Shaheen offshore oil field off the coast of Qatar. The well includes a horizontal section measuring 35,770 ft. MDRT (measured depth below rotary table).

Who owns the most oil wells? ›

#1 Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco) (Tadawul: 2222) Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world across all industries, as well as the largest global oil company by revenue.

Is there still oil from Deepwater Horizon? ›

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was not a short-lived catastrophe. Over 10 years after one of the largest environmental disasters in human history, a sticky oil residue still coats some marshland in the Gulf of Mexico, a new report reveals. Its impacts are still not fully understood.

How deep are Russian oil wells? ›

And the world's deepest oil well - Sakhalin-I in Russia - reaches an incredible 40,604 feet.

Do old oil wells replenish themselves? ›

Oil reappears from time to time in old deposits and long ago exhausted oil wells. Oil sometimes rushes in or sometimes floods back.In the researchers' opinion, to overhaul old oil deposits is currently much more profitable and efficient than expensive geological exploration works at new locations.

Do oil wells dry up? ›

Once the drill bit reached the seafloor, it bored another 10,000 feet until it had reached down 17,000 feet — more than three miles. But, after $20 million in work, the well is said to have come up dry. If so, that's not unusual: about half of all prospective wells do.

What is an oil well worth? ›

Onshore wells can be considerably cheaper, particularly if the field is at a shallow depth, where costs range from less than $4.9 million to $8.3 million, and the average completion costing $2.9 million to $5.6 million per well.

Why isn't the US drilling more oil? ›

As to why they weren't drilling more, oil executives blamed Wall Street. Nearly 60% cited "investor pressure to maintain capital discipline" as the primary reason oil companies weren't drilling more despite skyrocketing prices, according to the Dallas Fed survey.

Why isn't the US producing more oil? ›

The reason that U.S. oil companies haven't increased production is simple: They decided to use their billions in profits to pay dividends to their CEOs and wealthy shareholders and simply haven't chosen to invest in new oil production.

Where is the richest oil field in the world? ›

The Ghawar oilfield, located about 100km southwest of Dhahran in the Al Hasa Province of Saudi Arabia, is the world's biggest conventional oil field both by oil reserves and production.

How deep down is oil found? ›

Oil and gas wells can range in depth from a few hundred feet to more than 20,000 feet. In some parts of the world, wells go as deep as 30,000 feet, Zdarko says. Ranging from 1,000 to 2,500 feet deep, Aera's San Joaquin Valley wells are considered shallow.

What is the deepest oil well in the United States? ›

*Until 2004 the Bertha Rogers No. 1 well was the deepest in the United States.
...
CharacteristicDepth/length in feet
By true vertical depth: BP Deepwater Horizon (Tiber field, Gulf of Mexico, U.S.)35,000
3 more rows
4 Aug 2020

What is the shallowest oil well? ›

The shallowest well (TVD) drilled to date with a vertical rig, as per available record, was in Brazil (TVD: 600 ft) with lateral section of 850 ft.

How much did BP pay the families of Deepwater Horizon? ›

As of July 1, more than 260,000 private parties had submitted claims, and the company had paid nearly $12 billion to more than 130,000 unique claimants, according to the Deepwater Horizon Claims Center.

Is BP still paying for Deepwater Horizon? ›

Total BP money paid out pushing $60 billion

Almost 10 years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and five years from the settlement was announced, BP oil money is still coming to Tampa Bay. Clearwater officials confirmed the Crest Lake renovation is all of the money from their settlement.

Where did the oil go after Deepwater? ›

It evaporated, emulsified into foam, naturally dispersed, and/or dissolved. A significant, but unknown, portion was broken down by microbes and the sun. Responders recovered oil at the wellhead, burned, skimmed, and used dispersants on some of the surface oil out at sea, but some oil still lingered in the environment.

Who has the most oil in the world? ›

Venezuela

Do we still buy oil from Russia? ›

The European Union, the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. have agreed to stop buying (most) Russian oil, but Russia is still selling huge volumes—albeit at a discount from the world price—to India, China, and other energy-thirsty economies.

How much oil is left in the earth? ›

World Oil Reserves

The world has proven reserves equivalent to 46.6 times its annual consumption levels. This means it has about 47 years of oil left (at current consumption levels and excluding unproven reserves).

Which country has the most untapped oil reserves? ›

Venezuela has the largest amount of oil reserves in the world with more than 300 billion barrels in reserve. Saudi Arabia has the second-largest amount of oil reserves in the world with 297.5 billion barrels.

Does the US have enough oil? ›

Oil Reserves in the United States

The United States has proven reserves equivalent to 4.9 times its annual consumption. This means that, without imports, there would be about 5 years of oil left (at current consumption levels and excluding unproven reserves).

Why is a barrel of oil 42 gallons? ›

Soon after America's first commercial oil well of 1859, a small group met in northwestern Pennsylvania and decided a 42-gallon barrel was best for transporting their oil. When filled with oil instead of fish or other commodities, a 42-gallon “tierce” weighed 300 pounds.

Does the Earth still produce oil? ›

It took millions of years for it to form, and when it is extracted and consumed, there is no way for us to replace it. Oil supplies will run out. Eventually, the world will reach “peak oil,” or its highest production level. Some experts predict peak oil could come as soon as 2050.

Will the earth run out of oil? ›

It is predicted that we will run out of fossil fuels in this century. Oil can last up to 50 years, natural gas up to 53 years, and coal up to 114 years. Yet, renewable energy is not popular enough, so emptying our reserves can speed up.

How many barrels a day does an oil well produce? ›

Most U.S. oil and natural gas production comes from wells producing between 50 barrels of oil equivalent per day and 1,600 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Wells within this range accounted for 9% of active wells that produced 66% of crude oil production and 62% of natural gas production.

How much money can you make if you find oil on your land? ›

Typically $200-$500 per acre. The bonus will be paid once at the time of the signing of the lease, and it may be the only money the landowner will get. The second is the oil and gas royalty which is the percent of the money generated by the oil and gas from his property.

How much royalties do you get from an oil well? ›

They generally range from 12–25 percent. Before negotiating royalty payments on private land, careful due diligence should be conducted to confirm ownership. Mineral ownership records are often outdated.

How much do oil well owners make? ›

As of Oct 12, 2022, the average annual pay for a Crude Oil Owner Operator in the United States is $263,522 a year.

What is the deepest oil well in the United States? ›

*Until 2004 the Bertha Rogers No. 1 well was the deepest in the United States.
...
CharacteristicDepth/length in feet
By true vertical depth: BP Deepwater Horizon (Tiber field, Gulf of Mexico, U.S.)35,000
3 more rows
4 Aug 2020

How deep in the earth can you find oil? ›

The earliest year where data is available, 1949, shows the average depth of oil wells drilled was 3,500 feet. By 2008 the average rose to 6,000 feet. And the deepest well currently existing is a massive 40,000 feet deep. That's 11,000 feet more than the height of Mount Everest.

How deep are the oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico? ›

Nearly all offshore oil and natural gas leasing and development activity currently occurs in the central and western Gulf of Mexico, where thousands of platforms operate in waters up to 6,000 feet deep.

How deep are oil wells in Saudi Arabia? ›

Reservoir rocks are Jurassic Arab-D limestones with exceptional porosity (as much as 35% of the rock in places), which is about 280 feet (85 m) thick and occurs 6,000 to 7,000 feet (1,800 to 2,100 m) beneath the surface.

What is the deepest drill hole on Earth? ›

The deepest hole by far is one on the Kola Peninsula in Russia near Murmansk, referred to as the "Kola well." It was drilled for research purposes beginning in 1970. After five years, the Kola well had reached 7km (about 23,000ft).

How hot are oil wells? ›

The main feature in oil wells is that, in most cases, the fluids produced have temperatures within the range of 50º C up to 260º C that can be considered quasi-constant throughout the life of the field.

How deep do oil rigs dig in the ocean? ›

These rigs can operate anywhere from 200 to 2,000 meters (660 to 6,560 feet) below the surface. Tension-Leg Platform - The Tension-leg Platform consists of a floating structure, held in place by tendons that run down to the seafloor.

Why we will never run out of oil? ›

So, will we ever run completely out of oil, to the point where there is none at all? In short no, it is physically and economically not possible. Crude oil will only continue to be extracted so long as it is profitable to do so.

Why isn't the U.S. producing more oil? ›

The reason that U.S. oil companies haven't increased production is simple: They decided to use their billions in profits to pay dividends to their CEOs and wealthy shareholders and simply haven't chosen to invest in new oil production.

Will the earth run out of oil? ›

It is predicted that we will run out of fossil fuels in this century. Oil can last up to 50 years, natural gas up to 53 years, and coal up to 114 years. Yet, renewable energy is not popular enough, so emptying our reserves can speed up.

How many gallons are in a barrel of crude oil? ›

So, how many gallons in a barrel of oil? A standard 42-gallon crude oil barrel contains approximately 45 gallons of salable refined crude oil products per barrel. Prices of crude oil are measured in barrels, while production totals across all producing countries are measured in million barrels per day (mmbd).

Is there still oil in Texas? ›

Oil and the Texas Economy

As of October 2021, Eagle Ford produces over 782,000 BPD while the Permian Basin produces over 2.7 million barrels of oil per day.

Are there abandoned oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico? ›

The Gulf of Mexico is littered with tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells, and toothless regulation leaves climate warming gas emissions unchecked.

Who has most oil in world? ›

Venezuela

Where does most of Russia's gas go? ›

Lithuania and Finland got about 80% of their oil from Russia in November last year, the latest data available. However, EU countries can buy oil from other producers.

Who has the largest oil fields in the world? ›

Venezuela is the leading country in terms of oil reserves, with over 304 billion barrels of oil beneath its surface. Saudi Arabia is a close second with 298 billion, and Canada is third with 170 billion barrels of oil reserves.

Videos

1. Understanding Oil and Gas Well Ownership
(Mire Petroleum Consultants)
2. Why are oil and gas companies making huge profits? | Al Jazeera Newsfeed
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3. Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Decommissioning US Oil and Gas Wells
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4. PetroChina sets new domestic record with 9,010-meter deep onshore gas well drilling
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6. Oil Search has announced record oil and gas production in 2016.
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