Luncheon – August 1, 2012

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Talk: South Dakota’s Oil and Gas Potential and Data Availability through an Interactive Map

Speaker: Derric L. Iles, South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Location: Denver Marriott City Center

Description: Published in the August 2012 Outcrop

Examples of South Dakota’s unexplored, or under-explored, potential are the Red River Formation, which has been producing oil in South Dakota since 1954, the Three Forks Shale, which is productive in neighboring North Dakota, and the basal Minnelusa Formation. The basal Minnelusa is an oil producer in southwestern South Dakota and is equivalent to a producing unit in North Dakota named the Tyler Formation. The Three Forks Shale and Minnelusa Formation have been drilled through many times in South Dakota but with perhaps no intent to assess hydrocarbon potential as these units were simply rocks above if there is no exploration and if the exploration program is not designed to perform the necessary tests in the appropriate stratigraphic intervals

The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is promoting exploration and development of South Dakota’s oil and gas resources through its Oil and Gas Initiative. One aspect of the initiative is to make state-held information, which is pertinent to the exploration and development of South Dakota’s oil and gas resources, searchable and readily available online. Therefore, DENR is developing an online, “one-stop shop” for oil and gas information.

The initiative has already resulted in an online, searchable, and interactive map containing several data layers drawing information from DENR’s Minerals and Mining, Geological Survey, and Water Rights Programs.

Presently, the data layer that is probably the most important to the traditional oil and gas industry contains links to (1) the complete records of oil and gas drilling. Other data layers in the interactive map presently contain (1) non-oil-and-gas geophysical logs, (2) water well completion reports, (3) other descriptive logs of non-oil-and-gas drilling, and (4) records of water-level measurement and water quality from a network of regulatory observation wells. Datasets and data layers presently under development include oil and gas production data, injection data, Board Orders of DENR’s Board of Minerals and Environment, field, units, and land/mineral rights belonging to the Office of School and Public Lands.

The interactive map and associated online databases are designed to make all of this information readily available from one web site as opposed to sometimes having to physically visit three different cities to acquire the information. Available information is relevant to not only to deep thermogenic hydrocarbons but also to the topic of shallow, late generation, biogenic gas.