NWGS Projects

The Montana Geological Society and the Northern Rockies Geologic Data Center are offering for sale a unique collection of well sample logs produced by the Northwest Geologic Service (NWGS). The NWGS was founded by geologists Paul Lewis and Herb Hadley in 1952 in Billings Montana. During the next fifteen years the company described well cuttings and core samples from over 2,500 wells stretching from the eastern Dakotas to western Montana. Many of the wells the NWGS geologists reviewed were the discovery tests for important oil and gas fields in Montana and North Dakota. Significant deep tests and exploratory wildcats across the three-state region were also analyzed. A valuable component of the logs is a discussion of the stratigraphic framework of the sedimentary section seen in each well. Additional data preserved on the logs are core descriptions, drill stem test information, and completion work. The NWGS geologists performed their sample work during the drilling boom in the Williston Basin and Central Montana in the 1950’s. This was a time when our understanding of the stratigraphic framework of these areas was being assembled, and it was through the efforts of men such as Paul and Herb that this irreplaceable data set was created.

A project was initiated by Montana Geological Society (MGS) members, to preserve the rapidly deteriorating NWGS paper sample log archive and make the collection more readily available to the geologic community. The Northern Rockies Geologic Data Center (NRGDC) provided the logs through a generous donation from Pamela Woodward, the daughter of the late Paul Lewis. Members of the MGS and the NRGDC, lead by John Mitchell, donated their time and efforts to this project scanning and archiving all 2500+ sample logs from the NWGS sample log collection. The AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Foundation provided the initial funding. Underwriting support from Nance Petroleum and Ocean Energy assisted in completing the project and preparing the collection for market.

Now the NWGS sample log collection is available for purchase on CD. The entire data set of over 2500 logs is available in TIFF format for black & white sample logs and JPEG format for color logs. The data set can be purchased in its entirety for $2500 (less than $1 per log) or in geographic subsets based on your area of interest. For a list of the sample logs available and maps showing the sample log well locations, please click here. A downloadable order form that can be mailed or faxed to the MGS is available here. The NWGS sample logs are a valuable asset to any geoscientist working the northern and we hope you will add them to your data collection.

In addition to the NWGS log data set mentioned above, the public can access a set of scanned NWGS logs with photos of thin sections hosted by the Montana Bureau of Mines at the link here.