Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Drilling Info, Inc.

Fall 2011

Student: Geography Senior
Position: GIS Tech I

Drilling Info, Inc. is a company that provides up to date information on oil and gas well data for North America to oil and gas companies.   The service is provided through a website, and customers subscribe annually.  The Drilling Info website’s main feature is an interactive map with many layers providing valuable information about current oil or gas leases and wells, and even current plays.  This information is updated daily, as this is a very dynamic industry.  Apart from marketing and website maintenance, the fuel for Drilling Info’s website success is with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). 

My role with Drilling Info is as a GIS technician, level 1.  The GIS portion of the office is called “the plotshop,” of which there are about 20 GIS technicians.  There are multiple roles that the GIS technicians have, including plotting oil and gas leases to build the “land tracs” layer on the website’s map, plotting major units of well leases dominated by one drilling company, and any tasks needed to take each individual technician’s plots to the website format.  My job here is to plot oil and gas leases for land tracs.  Drilling Info hires a team of “gatherers” that go to county courthouses and photography every mineral rights property leases (as these are public) and sends them to the office.  As a land tracs plotter, I look at these lease images and plot each lease according to the surveyor’s metes and bounds description.  To help us do this, we use aerial maps and parcel layers of the counties we are working on.  There is a system in place for labeling each lease plotted, and even weekly evaluations by our team leaders to make sure we are plotting up to speed.  While my task alone may seem monotonous, there are opportunities to show initiative and acquire other GIS tasks.  Other tasks include geo-referencing old plats, managing large merges of every plotter’s shapefile, and much more.  A major reason working for Drilling Info is a great way to gain GIS job experience is the flexible work schedule.  The office is open to employees 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.  As an intern I am required to clock in 20 hours per week, which can be done any time Monday through Sunday.  This flex-schedule has been key to my success this semester.  The atmosphere here is relaxed, I wear chacos and jeans to work everyday, and have enjoyed getting to know everyone in the office.  Most of the plotshop consists of Geography majors from UT, Texas State, and ACC.  Overall I have had a great experience working for Drilling Info, and I am grateful that this company employs individuals with no previous work experience.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508