By legislation, the Kentucky Geological Survey is designated as the official agency for carrying out geological and mineralogical studies throughout the state. In 1960 KGS was designated as the repository for oil and gas drilling records, along with well samples, under the provisions of Kentucky Revised Statute 353. This statute, also known as the Oil and Gas Conservation Law, requires that samples of rock cuttings from selected oil and gas test wells drilled in Kentucky be saved. In addition to collecting rock cores and well cuttings to comply with this mandate, the Survey has also made a concerted effort to collect valuable cores and samples from other exploratory efforts, including those for coal and industrial minerals.
Samples and cores submitted to the Kentucky Geological Survey are stored, cataloged, indexed, and protected for immediate or future use for anyone wishing to examine them. Cores are generally donated by private companies or obtained from research projects. Samples are requested from specific wells drilled for oil and gas. The ultimate objective is to obtain a representative set of well samples for each Carter Coordinate section in the state. (A Carter Coordinate section equals approximately 1 square mile.)