Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush’s Energy Map of Texas Showing Significant Events and Well & Pipeline Locations Between 1543 and 2015
This compilation map features 472 years of Texas energy history, and points towards its bright future.
Prominently featured are oil and gas well locations from two time periods: before the year 2000 indicated in blue, and from 2000 to the present in red. During the twentieth century, oil and gas exploration took place throughout the state. A noticeable trend on this map is the presence of hundreds of clusters of wells along the Gulf Coast, which indicate the existence of salt domes, a naturally occurring geological formation that oftentimes points to large oil and gas deposits. Wells found before 2000 are located across the state, with concentrations in the Permian Basin, East Texas, the Panhandle, and throughout north Texas.
Wells located after the year 2000 indicate the recent activity throughout South Texas, as well as around Dallas/Fort Worth, the Permian Basin and in East Texas. In many cases, these wells are identifying instances of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
Commissioner Bush’s map also illustrates that Texas is not just a top oil and gas producing state; it also has a thriving wind industry. Wind farms are identified on the map with green dots. The farms located throughout South Texas take advantage of Gulf winds. Turbines identified in the Gulf of Mexico are located on state-owned lands managed by the General Land Office, and generate money for the Permanent School Fund (PSF). Wind farms are also found throughout North-Central Texas, in the Panhandle, and on the mountain tops of West Texas.
Another important feature on this map is the depiction of interstate pipelines crossing the state, many of which end in and around Houston, and throughout the entire Gulf Coast.
There are three insets featured on Commissioner Bush’s map. On the lower left portion of the map, the 26 different Geologic Provinces of Texas, as well as Texas fault lines, are highlighted. In the upper right are two tables — one takes a historical look at the deposits from energy contributions into the PSF, and the other features historical deposits from mineral contributions into the Permanent University Fund (PUF). In both cases, the time period from 2005–2015 surpasses any other for the amount of money earned for education from state and university lands.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Commissioner Bush’s map is the display of the history of Texas energy through the use of a bisected timeline on either side of the map. The left side shows the dates 1543–1908 — covering the reporting of oil off the coast between Sabine Pass and High Island in 1543, Spanish Mining Ordinances in 1783, and the establishment of the Permanent School Fund in 1854. This timeline continues through the beginning of the twentieth century when the Spindletop well erupted in 1901. It also indicates Land Commissioner Charles Rogan’s reservation of minerals on all School Land, and the opening of the Goose Creek Oil Field in Harris County in 1908. Along the right side of the map are the dates 1913–2008, indicating twentieth and twenty-first century Texas energy events such as the first high voltage lines being constructed and the drilling of the first wells in the Eagle Ford Shale in La Salle County.
Commissioner Bush’s map indicates that Texas has abundant natural resources that have allowed the Lone Star State to be the leader in energy for a century and positions Texas to continue leading into the future.
Visit www.commissionerbushmaps.com to take an interactive look at this map.
Correction: An earlier version of this post misidentified horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing as the same process.