Client Holly Energy; Cimerex; Anadarko; Westall; Nuevo Energy; BHP Billiton
Location Texas, New Mexico
Scope Well-staking and pipeline surveying on projects from three to five miles each

Permian Basin Projects

Project Details

Westwood’s Role

  • Preliminary Surveying
  • Well Staking
  • As-Built Surveys


The Permian Basin is one of the two richest oil fields in the world. Westwood's Houston, Carlsbad, and San Antonio offices support a variety of clients with surveying efforts throughout the basin. Projects range in length from three to five miles each and include preliminary land surveying for routing of pipeline and well staking requiring drilling permits and drawings.

Because these projects are privately owned, the government does not require as-built surveys. However, Westwood provides high-level as-builts as a value-added service to ensure the integrity of the pipeline and determine exactly where that pipeline is located. As-builts increase the value of the pipeline and make connecting another pipeline easier, which eliminates the need to resurvey the project later and saves the client money in the long run.

Overcoming Obstacles

Varying terrain and unpredictable weather cause some of the biggest challenges on these projects. The wind blows hard through the mountainous areas causing bitter cold temperatures to hamper efforts during winter months. Southwest winds from Mexico bring in hot, dry air resulting in summer temperatures as high as 110 degrees. The high winds make the wide-open dessert prone to sand storms and project shut downs.

In addition, conservation agreements present environmental and archeological challenges by requiring the team to work around the protected dunes sagebrush lizard which means redirecting efforts and adding length to the pipe whenever a mound is encountered.