FAQ: Why do some Kentucky permit numbers have letters?


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Permits for oil and gas wells have been issued in Kentucky since some time in the 1930's. Prior to 1958 permits were issued in the coal field areas of eastern and western Kentucky. These permits have a suffix of either "EF" (eastern field) or "WF" (western field). While there is no list or record of permits issued prior to 1948, records for a few of these wells show numbers identified as permits. EF and WF series permits were issued sequentially from 1948 to 1957. EF and WF series permits were issued primarily to an operator and may apply to more than one well. Occasionally, an additional permit might be issued to cover other wells or redrills. These have the same number and suffix but include an "A" or "B" designation as in 123WF and 123AWF or 123WFA.

From 1958 to June 30, 1960 permits were issued with a suffix of either E or W followed by the last digit of the year (E8, W0, etc.). During this time, the permits were issued to individual wells. The numbering started with permit 1 in each area.

Statewide permitting and reporting requirements (KRS 353) were adopted in 1960 and became effective July 1, 1960. For permits issued January 1, 1960 to June 30, 1960 the E0 and W0 suffixes were renumbered. The E0 designation was dropped resulting in permits numbered 1 to 472. The W0 was dropped and 472 added to the original number resulting in permits 473 to 748. The first permit issued after July 1, 1960 was 749. This renumbering of permits in 1960 was administrative and many records on file at the KGS still bear E0 or W0 format permits.

There are a few special alphanumeric permits being issued. The Division of Oil and Gas began assigning pseudo-permit numbers beginning with "N" in early 90's. These numbers were assigned to old wells with no permit that are either plugged under state contract or transferred to another operator. The Division added a "T" prefix to wells with existing permit numbers to indicate the permit had been transferred to a new operator. This practice has been intermittent since the 1980's and is not now in general use. The Kentucky Geological Survey has not added the "T" to entries in their data base. When known, the current operator is indicated by an entry in the appropriate data field.

Year First Permit Issued Eastern Field Western Field Number Issued*
First Last First Last
1948 1EF 1WF 34
1949 17EF 19WF 703
1950 197EF 542WF 1285
1951 526EF 1498WF 1407
1952 877EF 2554WF 2252
1953 1253EF 4430WF 1613
1954 1880EF 5416WF 1607
1955 2487EF 6416WF 1536
1956 3096EF 7343WF 1853
1957 3659EF 5143EF 8633WF 9595WF 2448
1958 1E8 971E8 1W8 873W8 1844
1959 1E9 980E9 1W9 718W9 1698
1960 1E0 472E0 1W0 276W0

1960 Renumbered

1 472 473 748 2048
1961 2049 3328
1962 5377 2847
1963 8224 2758
1964 10982 2316
1965 13298 2470
1966 15768 2712
1967 18480 1842
1968 20322 1612
1969 21934 1351
1970 23285 1130
1971 24415 1039
1972 25454 1150
1973 26604 980
1974 27584 1160
1975 28744 1399
1976 30143 1566
1977 31709 1283
1978 32992 1357
1979 34349 2728
1980 37077 4132
1981 41209 5553
1982 46762 6659
1983 53421 6795
1984 60216 6258
1985 66474 5143
1986 71617 2414
1987 74031 1838
1988 75869 1663
1989 77532 1570
1990 79102 2020
1991 81122 1758
1992 82880 1417
1993 84297 1253
1994 85550 976
1995 86526 961
1996 87487 827
1997 88314 1007
1998 89321 733
1999 90054 785
2000 90839 1063
2001 91902 1323
2002 93225 1206
2003 94431 1135
2004 95566 1265
2005 96831 1759
2006 98590
* Number of permits issued is an estimate only. At various times sequences of permits were skipped.
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Created 4-Dec-2002