The Division’s Oil and Gas Program field inspectors perform many types of inspections on approximately 16,000 oil and gas wells statewide. Inspections are critical to protecting the citizens and environment, while promoting responsible development.

Over the last several years, staff has worked with the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC) to develop and implement a Field Inspection Prioritization Program designed to display in a spatial and report form which oil and gas sites should be inspected according to various inputs.

All oil and gas wells were given a priority rating from one (highest priority) to four (low priority). Prioritization is based on operational factors such as compliance issues and history, age of the well and how long since the last inspection. Geographic factors include well proximity to surface water, groundwater, human population density and wildlife habitat. 

The program has been operational since January 2020 and has already helped our inspectors increase their inspection efficiency. The field application allows real time data collection that is automatically uploaded to the database saving inspectors time and reducing input errors. The program empowers inspectors to consistently make decisions leading to reduced risk and more effective regulation through timely inspections.

This is an effective tool that will give management and staff the ability to make data driven decisions ensuring protection of Utah’s resources, while promoting responsible development.