Oil & Natural Gas Projects
Exploration and Production Technologies
Geographic Information System Approach for Play Portfolios to Improve Oil
Production in the Illinois Basin
The project was selected under the Preferred Upstream Management Practices (PUMP)
solicitation DE-PS26-01BC15304 (Round 2) issued in 2001. PUMP is aimed at pairing
"best practices" and solutions coming from new technologies with an
active campaign of disseminating information to domestic producers. PUMP goals
are to slow the decline of domestic oil fields and to maintain the infrastructure
to continue to produce oil as a vital part of National Security.
Opportunities for increased oil production have been overlooked in Illinois
due to complex development histories, multiple stacked pays, heterogeneous reservoirs,
and commingled production. The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) has developed
a new geographic information system (GIS)-referenced database that is delivered
via the Internet. It is being used successfully to identify new fields and bypassed
oil in underdeveloped areas.
Illinois State Geological Survey
An interactive map website called ILoil was created and activated in February
2003. ILoil has enabled easy public access to well data information from over
a century of drilling in Illinois. Response to the new ILoil website has been
very positive, and, since January 2004, the number of daily visitors has more
than tripled to over 6,200. Oil and gas operators, using only their web browsers,
can easily manipulate very large databases by activating different combinations
of layers, creating customized maps that can be used for development and exploration
The following are anecdotes from ILoil website users exploring for oil.
Ron Perkins, vice-president of Residuum Energy in Durham, NC, attended a workshop.
He states, "The ILoil site has been extremely useful. I don't know how
I could continue to work in Illinois without it. It is relatively easy to survey
an area of potential interest to determine the density of wells, the producing
intervals in each field, and the current status of each well. The ability to
screen for individual pay zones allows one to generate production distribution
maps of specific horizons. The capability to overlay well data on topographic
maps or aerial photographs is extremely valuable."
Alex Booth, a geologist with Continental Resources of Illinois in Mt. Vernon,
IL, has used the ILoil site in combination with GeoGraphix software to check
the accuracy and completeness of his company's in-house well database. He commonly
uses the site to generate maps showing the producing formations within a particular
area to illustrate complex, multi-pay production characteristics of a prospect
and to enhance prospect reports. The site has saved his company time and money
by making data available quickly and easily via the Internet.
Bruce Schonert, a geologist in Olney, IL, attributes a new oil discovery to
using the ILoil website. Historically, the Mississippian-age Aux Vases sandstone
reservoirs exhibit a complex depositional pattern, and a somewhat hit-and-miss
approach has been used to find reserves. Schonert has used the ILoil site to
delineate intricate stratigraphic trends that successfully identified new prospective
Major constraints to production in the Illinois Basin are data management, accessibility
of data, identification of reservoir compartments, and implementation of efficient
and effective reservoir management strategies keyed to specific types of reservoir
Computerization, particularly of waterflood, well status, and producing formation
data, can assist in identifying underdeveloped areas with the most potential
for bypassed petroleum. Color-coded pay maps can readily illustrate producing
trends and highlight areas with additional potential for development, as well
as regions with exploration potential.
Highlights of the project include:
- Development of an ArcIMS website to deliver well data pertinent to exploration
and development of oil reservoirs in Illinois.
- Pay zones layers compiled and made available.
- Contoured structure maps on the Barlow limestone, Ste. Genevieve Limestone,
and New Albany Shale incorporating over 100,000 formation depths calculated
for this project were compiled and made available as website layers.
- Over 168,000 core analyses were compiled, edited, and made available on the
- Waterflood unit boundaries and production and injection data were compiled
for over 1,600 waterflood areas and made available on the ILoil website.
- Digital Orthophotographic Quadrangles are available as base maps on the ArcIMS
- US Geological Survey topographic maps are available as base maps on the website.
- There are over 2,700 daily users of the ILoil ArcIMS website.
- Technology transfer training in use of the website has occurred at 6 workshops
ISGS has developed a methodology that is being used by industry to identify
underdeveloped areas in and around petroleum reservoirs in Illinois using
a GIS approach. ESRI software has been used to extract and compile data from
the ISGS Oracle database and to present it in interactive map layers on a
new website at http://meltwater.isgs.uiuc.edu/website/iloil_arc/mapviewer.htm.
The interactive maps are available to anyone with a web browser. Map layers
can be manipulated to produce customized maps that meet individual user needs.
Interactive maps and map layers have enhanced development and exploration
capabilities in Illinois. These tools have revolutionized display and access
of petroleum-related data in Illinois. This technology/methodology addresses
the long-standing constraints related to information access and data management
in Illinois by significantly simplifying the laborious process that industry
previously used to identify exploration and development opportunities in Illinois.
The combination of ArcGIS-generated maps, upgrade of the ISGS Oracle database,
and implementation of ArcSDE 4.0 and ArcIMS has vastly improved the institutional
capability at ISGS to create interactive map layers and provide map and data
layers over the Internet.
Response to the website has been very positive. Training for over 1,000 potential
users has taken place at workshops, presentations, and demonstrations at industry
meetings. User feedback shows that users find the website to be effective
and beneficial to their work in petroleum exploration and development in Illinois.
The project performer is paying close attention to user suggestions for upgrades
to the website.
The ISGS uses WebTrends software to monitor and tabulate use of all aspects
of the ISGS web page. Since the ILOIL application was launched, many people
have accessed the online mapping service. These statistics provide an indication
of how the ILOIL application is being used. Statistics for May 2005 indicated
that the ILOIL application received 193,984 hits, or about 6,200 per day.
The ILOIL application was used by 622 unique visitors, including 350 people
who used the site more than once. Perhaps most revealing is that the average
visit is about 21 minutes, indicating that users are finding the site and
very likely using it to access and download information. All reports from
the field indicate that the oil and gas community is very satisfied with the
ILOIL application. ISGS has received anecdotes of individuals developing and
successfully drilling prospects using information from the ILoil website.
Current Status (August 2005)
The Illinois Petroleum Resources Board, which is funded by a voluntary checkoff
of production-based contributions, was approached for funding to scan paper
petroleum well records based on the popularity of the ILoil website. The board
consists of Illinois petroleum industry representatives. ISGS requested a
modest amount of funding for start-up expenses. The board agreed to fund the
project at three times the initial request because they were impressed with
the ILoil project results and supported the proposal to add scanned images
of geophysical logs and well documents to the site. This new funding will
allow ISGS to start archiving paper well records from over 180,000 wells.
The ILoil website is being updated and maintained through Petroleum Technology
Transfer Council funding. Well data on the website is updated as it is entered
into the ISGS Enterprise basic well database by state-funded staff. New layers
and upgrades of existing layers are planned for the near future.
Gustison, S., Grube J., and Seyler, B., Internet Access to Well Information,
World Oil, 2005, V. 226, No. 2, pp. 94-95.
Cokinos, J.S., Huff, B.G., Frailey, S.M., Seyler, B., and Grube, J.P., Reservoir
Management Using the Illinois State Waterflood Database, SPE 91440, SPE Proceedings
Volume of the Eastern Papers presented at the Eastern Section Meeting of the
Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2004, pp. 1-7.
Johanek, Phil, Cokinos, James, Grube, J., Seyler, B., and Huff, B., GIS Approach
to Improve Oil Recovery in the Illinois Basin, poster presentation (poster
displaying PUMP II, Iloil website, and map images and concepts), annual ESRI
convention in San Diego, CA,A ugust 8-13, 2004.
Seyler, B., Geographic Information System Approach for Play Portfolios to
Improve Oil Production in the Illinois Basin, final contract report submitted
to DOE, December 2004.
Seyler, B., Gustison S., Huff B.G., Korose C., Crockett, J. E., Johanek ,
P., and Grube, J.P.,
An Interactive ArcIMS Based Approach to Access, Display, and Manipulate Geologic
Data and Maps, program with abstracts, American Association of Petroleum Geologists
33rd Annual Eastern Section Meeting, 2004, pp. 122-124.
Project Start: February 28, 2002
Project End: September 30, 2004
Anticipated DOE Contribution: $425,602
Performer Contribution: $431,377 (51% of total)
NETL - Chandra Nautiyal (firstname.lastname@example.org
ISGS - Beverly Seyler (email@example.com or 217-244-2389)