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Petrophysical Analysis and Geographic Information System for San Juan Basin Tight Gas Reservoirs
Project Number

The primary goal of this project is to create a geographic information system (GIS)-enabled database of information regarding a subset of wells in the Dakota formation of the San Juan Basin. These data will include general well information, plus core analysis data that have only been available in hard copy.

Secondary goals include using the core analysis data as well as log files to tune log analyses in the area and to use these data and more advanced computing techniques to generate improved maps of petrophysical properties within the study area.


New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Petroleum Recovery Research Center, Socorro, NM


The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources has archived a number of “Applications for Tight Formation Gas Area Designation”. Data in these records includes logs, core analyses (permeability, porosity, oil and water saturations, and less commonly other data items such as vertical or 90-degree permeability, grain density, and core descriptions, as well as other useful information. Data is in book format, thus not particularly useful for researchers wishing to incorporate the material into studies of the San Juan Basin. The project began as an effort to convert some of the paper records into digital format suitable for use in petrophysical analyses and mapping programs.

Well information for Dakota wells in the study area has been collected. Additionally, core analysis data for approximately 150 wells has been scanned and converted to digital data. Well logs have also been scanned and digitized, and relevant data has been input into a Microsoft Access database, and data has undergone extensive cleaning and quality control. Tops for the Dakota Formation and constituent members have been verified by log examination for core analysis wells. These tops have also been picked for a number of additional wells in order to work on the secondary goals of tuning log analyses and mapping log-derived petrophysical properties. Remaining work includes obtaining a few additional log files, adding pertinent image files to the database and creating a GIS project that will allow the data to be accessed online.

Benefits of this project will be threefold:

  • Improving access to important, yet difficult-to-obtain public data.
  • Improving understanding of one of the most important reservoirs in the San Juan Basin.
  • Converting paper data, including graphical information from core analysis reports, into digital data that can be imported into a variety of mapping and/or petrophysical analysis programs.

Public and private researchers rely increasingly on Internet searches and/or data made available in modern relational databases that can be manipulated and used in conjunction with other software programs. As computer technologies have matured, industry users expect more performance from data and tools. Improved reservoir models are useful, but tools that tie models and data back to logs, allow calculation of reservoir parameters, and allow users to incorporate proprietary data to further refine the models are of paramount importance.

This project seeks to take a significant amount of public data for a set of San Juan Basin Dakota wells and convert paper data including well information, core analyses, logs, and convert this into a digital database suitable for use in mapping and analysis programs. General data for a much larger set of Dakota wells will also be included in this database. Data from the final product will be accessed through a GIS-enabled web site, text-based queries, or as a stand-along product. Project tasks include: Data Collection, Data Integration, Data Analysis, and Creation of User Interface and Tools.

Current Status

(March 2009)
This project has been completed. The final report is listed below under "Additional Information".

This project was awarded under DOE solicitation DE-PS26-04NT42072-1 (Round 2).

Project Start
Project End
DOE Contribution


Performer Contribution


Contact Information

NETL – Frances Toro ( or 304 285-4107)
PRRC – Martha Cather ( or 505-835-5685)

Additional Information

Final Report [PDF-3.14MB]