We decided to see how many oil and natural gas wells have been drilled in the state of Colorado.
It’s got a long history of drilling, and is currently in a booming phase of drilling for natural gas that is having both good and bad impacts on the economy, society, public health and the environment. We downloaded the latest data on wells and permits for new drilling from the State of Colorado’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission website. Then we sorted the data to make four Google Earth KMZ files:
- All currently active natural-gas and oil wells (34,516 wells)
- All temporarily or permanently abandoned wells (32, 214)
- All currently valid permits to drill new wells (6,142)
- And a single large KMZ file that contains all of the above
Those without Google Earth yet (what’s holding you back?) can see statewide images of the well distribution in our online gallery. Google Earth users are invited to download the KMZs and explore Colorado drilling at your own speed. Leave us a comment to let us know if you think this is useful, and tell everyone about the interesting things you find.