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Bureau to digitize OCD historical documents

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Socorro, NM
— July 15, 2020

The Bureau of Geology received a $22,600 grant from the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division (OCD) to digitize historical documents. The project, led by Bureau Geological Archives Coordinator Amy Trivitt, will scan R-orders, legal documents made by OCD concerning legal proceedings, oil and gas production, well spacing, and creation of pools, which are named oil and gas reservoirs.

“These are all public documents. By having them scanned it makes it easier for OCD and the public to find and access the data,” said Trivitt. “All of these documents are the basis for OCD regulation, can help petroleum companies trying to conduct business in the state, and can support public discussions about petroleum.”

The documents will be scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) to collect data such as pool boundaries, water disposal regulations, and petroleum production. The documents will then be made available in digital format through the Bureau’s website, while the physical copies will be stored in archival boxes for long-term preservation.

“These records are the basis for the determination of pool boundaries in the Bureau’s New Mexico Oil and Gas Pool Maps,” said Trivitt. “With the public offices being closed due to Covid-19, everyone can use these scans from home and not worry about exposure.”

The project employs one to two undergraduates from New Mexico Tech that will help with the scanning and data formatting. They will learn data entry, archival skills, and how to make records readable across various formats.

“Having these records scanned, OCR’d, and archived makes it easier for state employees to do their job determining the regulations for the petroleum industry,” said Trivitt. “We have the space, time, and skills to do this job for them and it will make it easier for the public to access these records.”

For more information, contact Geological Archives Coordinator Amy Trivitt.