Drilling Permit Verbiage - Please Explain

 280' FSL and 1580' FWL, WC, WILDCAT, 'Tight Hole', 2030' Ground, API #33-105-02186

Hey Kevin -

As always, I am sure there are plenty of people out there who can give you better answers, but I'll give it a shot:

"280' FSL" = 280 Feet From South Line and "1580' FWL" = 1580 Feet From West Line

These measurements are used to indicate the physical location of the Surface and/or Bottom Hole Location(s) of a well, based upon Lease Lines, Survey Lines or Section lines - the form should indicate which. A Permit should have a map or plat of the proposed Well that would have these measurements drawn out in it;

"WC" I would imagine is an abbreviation for "Wildcat" - you weren't quite clear on it's usage in the Permit form;

"Wildcat" = The company is requesting permission to drill to an unproven, perhaps even previously undiscovered formation in the area (for which no Field has been designated). They're gambling big money in hopes of an even bigger return: Not for the faint of heart;

"Tight Hole" = The company is requesting that the Well Logs of the well, copies of which must be submitted the State's oil and gas regulatory agency, be kept secret (unavailable for a competitor's or even public viewing) for a period of time (in Texas I believe you may request for up to 2 years);

"2030' Ground" I'm not sure about: May indicate the elevation of the ground at the well bore, as opposed to using the Elevation at the Kelly Bushing ("KB") [the round thing that spins on the derrick floor. You need to know what the elevation is where you start to drill your well so that you can tell where you are underground;

By the way: If you run across "MSL", that means Mean Sea Level

"API" = The American Petroleum Institute. The first two numbers indicate the State, the next three numbers indicate the County or Parish, the last five numbers the physical hole in the ground. This nomenclature will be complimented by a State Serial Number for a particular Well (State Serial Numbers are not typically found on a Permit). You can have more than one Well (State Serial Number), per physical hole in the ground (API Number).

I'm sure that organizations like the National Association of Royalty Owners (www.naro.org) will have definitions for things like this on their web pages.

Hope this helps -


Charles Emery Tooke III

Certified Professional Landman

Fort Worth, Texas

713-408-2850 Cell



I've read over all that Charles wrote and confirm all. Good work Charles... and some added nice detail.

Thats what I needed to know. Thank you for the information.

Hi Folks,

The only thing Charles didn't mention is that NARO is a pay for membership organization @ $150.00 yr.

Wes Luke