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The best site for finding information on individual gas wells is the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey web site called “Pipeline”. The newest feature is very cool and useful. Once you have the page showing the well data for the well you are looking for, look near the top for “View Map”. Clicking on this will take you to a map of where the well is. You can click and drag a smaller square around the well in question to get a closer view that will show well numbers of surrounding wells. And then on the left under “Layers” be sure to click on the “Base Layers” folder and then when that folder opens, near the bottom, check “WV SAMB Orthophotos”, and then the “Refresh map” button.
To use it to find information about a particular well you have to know the well’s API number, which is like a well’s social security number. The API number will have three sets of numbers divided by hyphens – like a social security number. The three sets of numbers stand for state-county-well. For example in API well number 047-001-03456, the numbers 047 stand for West Virginia, the numbers 001 stands for Barbour County, and the numbers 03456 identify the particular well in Barbour County, West Virginia. (More on “API” numbers and how to find them and use them to find oil and gas wells.)
The WVGES “Pipeline” site is a West Virginia only site, so it does not ask for the state number. You do have to know what county the well your are looking for is in – either by knowing the middle numbers of the API number or just by knowing the county the well is in. And you have to know the well’s 5 digit individual number. (You have to have 5 numbers. Do NOT leave off the initial 0’s – and if you are having trouble and do not have 5 numbers for the individual number, then try adding a 0 or two on the front.)
If you cannot find the well’s API number from the records you have or by contacting the company or looking on royalty check statements (if you are getting royalty statements) there are two other methods you might be able to use to find it.
First, the well’s API number it should be marked on the well itself somehow – painted on, attached on a tag etc. If not call the oil and gas inspector for your area and tell him about the problem. It is a violation of law for the driller not to have it on there.
Second, the web site of the State Office of Oil and Gas lets you search their oil and gas database
The newest best over all site for at least finding wells (and seeing where the newest horizontal well bores are that have been permitted (not necessarily drilled)) may be the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection “tagis” site. You can locate well information just by drilling down to where you think it is on the maps and aerial photos of the State using the up arrow in the upper left corner and by dragging if the location you want to the center as you go through stages of magnification. You can change from topo maps to aerial photos from two sources and also to street maps. And using the tabs at the bottom you can search by API number, some other information, and even latitude and longitude.