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*|
* Number of permits issued is an estimate only. At various times sequences of permits were skipped.