Preparation of Northern Mid-Continent Petroleum Atlas
Reporting Period: July 1, 1998 - September 30, 1998

Cooperative Agreement No.: DE-FG22-97BC15008
Contractor Name and Address: The University of Kansas Center for Research Inc.
Date of Report: June 1, 2000
Award Date: August 12, 1997
Government Award for Current Fiscal Year: $ 250,000
Principal Investigators
  Lee C Gerhard (Principal Investigator
  Timothy R. Carr (Program Manager)
  W. Lynn Watney
Project Manager: Chandra Nautiyal, NPTO, Tulsa


As proposed, the third year program will continue and expand upon the Kansas elements of the original program, and provide improved on-line access to the prototype atlas. The third year of the program will result in a digital atlas sufficient to provide a permanent improvement in data access to Kansas operators. The ultimate goal of providing an interactive history-matching interface with a regional database will be demonstrated as the program covers more geographic territory and the database expands. The atlas will expand to include significant reservoirs representing the major plays in Kansas, and North Dakota.

Primary products of the third year prototype atlas will be on-line accessible digital databases and technical publications covering two additional petroleum plays in Kansas and one in North Dakota. Regional databases will be supplemented with geological field studies of selected fields in each play. Digital imagery, digital mapping, relational data queries, and geographical information systems will be integral to the field studies and regional data sets. Data sets will have relational links to provide opportunity for history-matching, feasibility, and risk analysis tests on contemplated exploration and development projects. The flexible "web-like" design of the atlas provides ready access to data, and technology at a variety of scales from regional, to field, to lease, and finally to the individual well bore. The digital structure of the atlas permits the operator to access comprehensive reservoir data and customize the interpretative products (e.g., maps and cross-sections) to their needs. The atlas will be accessible in digital form on-line using a World-Wide-Web browser as the graphical user interface.

Regional data sets and field studies will be freestanding entities that will be made available on-line through the Internet to users as they are completed. Technology transfer activities will be ongoing from the earliest part of this project, providing data information sets to operators prior to the full digital atlas compilation.

Summary of Technical Progress

As a continuation of the first two years of the project "Pages" and data schema for the atlas overview and field studies were enhanced and made accessible through the world-wide-web. The atlas structure includes access to geologic, geophysical and production information at levels from the national, to the regional, to the field to the individual well. Several approaches have been developed that provide efficient and flexible screening and search procedures. Database queries are now routed through a improved database design that provides the individual access to production, well-log, core and other databases. The continually evolving digital atlas is accessible through the Kansas Geological Survey Petroleum Research Section (PRS) HomePage (The Universal Resource Locator [URL] is ). The Digital Petroleum Atlas (DPA) HomePage is available directly at Technology transfer is underway through presentations at national and regional meetings and through the use of monthly electronic updates and the on-line availability of the DPA products. Project information and Quarterly Progress Reports are linked to the Digital Petroleum Atlas HomePage. This quarterly report will focus on the additions to the number of reservoirs incorporated into the atlas structure.

Additions to Atlas Content

As the DPA began, the primary task was gathering data at the field and well scale and placing this data online. As a home page, we created an interactive map of Kansas linked to all the counties in the state (Figure 1). The Kansas DPA Home Page remains the primary portal, and provides numerous paths to access Kansas petroleum information and technology at the various geographic scales and topical areas. Access is provided to reviews of the regional geological setting, overviews of oil and gas plays and to information and technology at the county, field and well levels. The total number of static web pages exceeds 6,000, but this is a decrease from previous years. Pages constructed using programs that access relational databases are replacing static web pages.

The DPA provides access to a number of regional maps, studies and data sets (e.g., gravity and magnetics, and discussions of Kansas oil and gas provinces). In year 3, the major addition to regional maps was an extensive linked set of statewide structure and isopach maps with overlays of oil and gas production (Figure 2). These regional maps permit the user to toggle among a number of maps covering all major oil and gas producing intervals. The user can also select map type (i.e., structure or isopach), and type of production overlay (i.e., oil or gas).

Figure 1. Interactive map of Kansas Digital Petroleum Atlas (DPA) showing counties that contain fields and plays that have been added to the DPA. Regional maps on key horizons are available for all highlighted counties. Counties not added to the DPA have oil and gas field maps and links to annual field production. During year three, county-scale maps were added covering Meade and Rice counties, and access to current production and well data was automated.

Figure 2. Regional structure map on the top of the Lansing Group showing the distribution of all leases in Kansas that reported oil production from Lansing and Kansas City groups. Similar structure and isopach maps with overlays of oil and gas production are available for all major-producing intervals (

As part of third year of the DPA project, studies were undertaken at two Kansas fields and producing areas. These were added to the previously existing field studies. The two additions are:

The Chase-Silica Field is notable because of its geographic extent (eight townships), number of wells (> 10,000) and development of new methodologies to reduce the number of static web pages. The McKinney Field provided the first application of "zoom" and "pan" to access and navigate detailed geologic and field maps (Figure 5).

New data and research products continue to be added to each field study, as they become available. Publication in the DPA is an ongoing process that continuously updates the data and technology associated with each field study. The addition of the ability to query relational databases increased the efficiency of updating previously completed field studies. Each field study homepage provides a map of the field area, basic field and discovery information, and a standardized set of links to additional geologic, geophysical, engineering and production data.

For each county and field page in the DPA a paper mockup of a standard set of field pages was created on a bulletin board. The paper mockup allowed for flexible thinking in terms of button layouts, numbers of buttons, and basic navigation issues. Based on trial and error a basic page style evolved and appears to be stable.

Figure 3. Sample county page from the Digital Petroleum Atlas that contains a field study showing navigation buttons and page layout. Map and stratigraphic column are interactive and linked to other county scale and field pages.

Figure 4. Sample field page covering McKinney Field, Meade County from the Digital Petroleum Atlas. Map shows navigation buttons, page layout, field outline. The field page contains links to topical data, maps, cross-sections and technical discussions. Clicking on a selected township provides a detailed geologic map (Figure 5). Not shown is stratigraphic column that controls selection of horizon for structure or isopach map.

Figure 5. Sample of detailed geologic map covering a portion of McKinney Field, Meade County. Page shows navigation buttons, panning controls to move map location and selection of stratigraphic horizons. Map contains links to topical data, maps, cross-sections and technical discussions.

Technology Transfer

The world-wide-web and publish as-you-go design of the Digital Petroleum Atlas Project provides immediate and ongoing technology transfer activities. Based on increased usage statistics and informal industry feedback, the DPA model appears to provide an efficient method of technology transfer to the geographically dispersed high technology petroleum industry (Figure 6). The pages that comprise the DPA are among the most visited on the Kansas Geological Survey web site and usage continues to grow (Figure 6). Periodic email updates provided to interested operators and individuals have been well received. The Digital Petroleum Atlas Project has been integrated into the Internet for the Petroleum Professional Course. This is a popular course for oil and gas producers and is taught as part of the North Midcontinent part of Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (For example see online version of the Internet course at

Table 1. Presentations undertaken from 1 July through 30 September as part of third year of the Digital Petroleum Atlas Project.

Figure 6. Monthly usage statistics measure separate pages viewed from the Petroleum Research server. Miscellaneous graphics and access from Kansas Geological Survey computers are removed prior to analysis. Current usage statistics are collected daily and are available on the Petroleum Research Section of the Kansas Geological Survey web site (

Updated June 2000
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