World Wide Web Wildcatters

Wherein the oil well goes high-tech

Austin, TX  May 29, 2001  Oilfields are the domain of really rugged wildcatters who chew barbwire and consider a 2,000-degree well fire a good place to barbecue. At least that's what I envision  and they're the last place I'd see as being a leader in supply chain technology. But I'd be wrong., a Web application designed by four independent oilmen, is among the most popular Web applications in the U.S. oilpatch. (And oilpatch sounds even cooler than oilfield.) The Web application is a relational database and imaging application that monitors and maps production, drilling permits, completions and leasing activity, while mapping all information to the underlying geological plays and providing valuation and predictive tools for wells and new projects. It also incorporates utilities that let users list and relate into the database prospects, production, equipment and seismic data they may want to sell, as well as a lease level crude oil marketing utility that integrates lease crude bid/purchase transactions with the Drillinginfo oilpatch activity information.

The Web site, rolled out in late August 2000, now has over 700 paying companies as members, and its memberships and revenues are growing at a 50 percent per quarter rate, according to Bill Fowler, the company's CEO. The member companies include several major oil companies, large to small independents, consultants, service companies, banks, law firms, and mineral royalty management groups.

Drillinginfo recently included onshore Louisiana in its coverage area and will roll out Wyoming shortly. We will have Drillinginfo up and running in a majority of the domestic oilpatch before the end of the year, commented president and co-founder Mark Nibbelink. The Virtual OilpatchSCOUT we recently unveiled is an example of several of the unique applications we are developing, added Nibbelink, referring to the patent-pending integrated tool that allows mineral royalty owners, trusts, working interest owners, or operators to monitor and manage their oil and gas holdings. The tool automatically notifies the user of any oil field activity or commercial listing that shows up in the user's area of interest.

We are trying to stem the tide that is sweeping away the small independents and consultants created by the added capital requirements introduced by our colleagues in the 3-D seismic and software industries, said co-founder and chairman Allen Gilmer.