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Farmline Maps

What is a Farmline Map?

The term farmline map generally refers to any historic, hand drawn oil and gas well location map. Oil and gas companies would typically use county property line maps as a basemap when developing a farmline map. Companies used their own well numbering system to identify wells on the maps. The companies also had their own symbols which were used to depict different types of wells (gas, oil, combination oil and gas, and plugged wells). Each well on the map had an associated “well card” which was kept in a catalog system and included detailed information about the well.

Separate numbering systems and symbols were used for wells not owned by the company making the farmline map. Well cards were also created for these wells owned by other companies. Such wells were often found by “well scouts” whose job was to canvas the region looking for and documenting drilling and production activity and reporting it back to their employer.

Most historic information related to early oil and gas development in Pennsylvania is sourced from these company farmline maps. It is important to note that the well locations identified on the maps may not be recorded on modern maps or database resources. For this reason, they may be useful as a historic informational resource for those interested in specific areas of oil and gas development. They are an invaluable resource; however, they should not be considered definitive or comprehensive.

How to Use

The farmline maps available in this collection are organized by county. Maps covering multiple counties are included in all relevant county compilations. If searching an area close to a county boundary, it may be helpful to also look under adjacent counties, in case of overlap.

Map names reflect characteristics of the original physical map as well as general locational information. Map names have not been changed from those originally assigned to them by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Geologic Survey. The original map package can be accessed from DCNR here.


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