Canadian academics launch WellWiki

New data resource scrapes public domain data from shale exploration to ‘foster transparency.'

A new data resource,, has just been announced which by now should hold data, news and history on oil and gas wells from the United States and Canada. The site provides data on some 420,000 wells in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, with an emphasis on Marcellus shale wells along with around 600,000 wells in the Appalachian Basin (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York).

Eventually, WellWiki is expected to cover the four million wells drilled in North America since Colonel Drake’s first effort in 1859. WellWiki was designed by Joel Gehman (University of Calgary) and Dror Etzion (McGill) to ‘foster transparency and public dialog’ by providing user-friendly, searchable data.

The site scrapes public data from state oil and gas agencies and published sources. This is compiled in a GIS system and linked to data on operators, waste facilities, well pads, impoundments, violations and more. Diego Mastroianni (McGill) built the infrastructure with a LAMP stack that includes Ubuntu, Apache, MySQL and PHP. Michael Hall, developed the Mediawiki front end. The (rather grand) ultimate aim is that WellWiki will become the ‘Wikipedia of oil and gas wells worldwide.’

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