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Knowing Where to Drill for Oil

When oil and gas companies are looking for the perfect place to drill, they rely on various technologies to know exactly where they can make more money.
When oil and gas companies are looking for the perfect place to drill, they rely on various technologies to know exactly where they can make more money.

Among those technologies is the Geographical Information System (GIS).

“We're the black box that no one knows about,” said Bill Hodge, the GIS Division Manager for the City of Midland. “We are maps on steroids but we are so much more than that.”

GIS is a computer system that gathers all kinds of geographical data. All the gathered data is then put into a map, helping oil companies and many other industries.

“What we do is take the data and location and marry them,” Hodge said.
In the case of oil and gas companies, they are able to gather underground data, plus everything that is on the surface.

“We're going to show you all of the oil and gas wells, we're going to show you all the pipelines, all the houses, everything that's on the ground that could be a potential hazard,” said Danny Allen, GIS Coordinator at Dawson.

That information gives oil and gas companies a better look at where to invest in drilling.

“You're getting a better look underneath the ground. It's like an insurance policy,” Allen said.

And now oil and gas companies do not have to guess where they might find the most oil.

“It gives them a little bit more of an educated guess of where to drill rather than just go out and do a wild cat,” Allen said.

When it comes to the city, GIS provides data for mapping, addressing, permits, housing, zoning changes and many more. Even in the case of the city’s emergency systems.

“When you call 911 it automatically knows your location and automatically gives he ambulance the best possible, fastest route to get there,” Allen said.

GIS maps in the oil and gas industry are usually only available to clients, but when it comes to the city, the maps are online and available for anyone who wants to take a look.

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