Unlocking the Williston Basin’s Success with Asset Intelligence

GDM Enhanced Pipeline and Facility Data in the Williston Basin.

The Williston Basin exploded onto the scene early in the 1950s with Amerada Hess and Shell being the biggest companies in the area. At times, production would ebb, but technology advances have meant the period of peak production in the 80s was overcome by the introduction of unconventional technologies.

Success in the basin continues today, and according to the DOB, the operators in the region are reporting excellent results.

This is not a surprise that Saskatchewan plays a big part in the basin’s success. The 2024 Saskatchewan Oil & Gas show focuses on Saskatchewan’s place in the growth of the energy industry both in North America and globally. The recent Williston Basin conference focused on advancements in energy systems and deployment of technology with the goal to drive basin progress forward.

Regardless of the direction the basin is going, there are fundamental challenges that advances in technology and investment in high quality data have been able to solve. Problems include understanding who is operating or has assets active in the basin for business development. For example, assets to divest or acquire or companies that require field support to execute on company plans like integrity management.

Another key problem is satisfying regulatory requirements like preparing documentation when asked that provide details on how companies are operating. A recent example includes the Saskatchewan regulator’s retroactive licensing program which we believe is the beginning of programs that will affect the industry in future years.

These problems exist industry wide and affect companies that require a solution to support asset integrity programs, whether by internal integrity teams or third parties that create and/or execute on those plans.

GDM provides solutions for the companies working in the Williston Basin by providing access to asset intelligence, including data gathered from multiple sources and enhanced to build knowledge. We also provide GDM’s Converge application, an easy way to collect, manage, and store data, creating asset intelligence for our clients.

We make this intelligence easy to access to empower asset integrity by providing consistency across all companies working in the Williston Basin, supporting data-driven decisions, and provide insights that support strategic planning.

GDM’s carefully curated database provides advanced intelligence unavailable anywhere else. With our comprehensive data that crosses both borders, GDM is the only company offering asset intelligence in the Williston Basin that can show:

  • There are 70,000 pipelines within the Williston Basin with 96% in Canada (67,319)  and 4% in the US (2,570).
  • 77%  of the Canadian pipelines are in Saskatchewan alone (53,710).
  • 43,572 pipelines are retroactively licensed Saskatchewan lines and half are operating. 
  • 6,600 of these pipelines are considered high or severe-risk.
  • There are 125,576 wells within the Williston Basin with 64% in Canada (80,760) and 36% in the US (44,500).
  • 54% of the Canadian wells are in Saskatchewan (67,600).
  • There are 16,073 facilities within the Williston Basin and 99% are in Canada (15,965) and 1% in the US (108).
  • 96% of the Canadian facilities are in Saskatchewan (15,449). Most of these facilities are batteries or satellites.


Over the years, many companies have come in and out of the basin through mergers and acquisitions. Our data not only captures the changes of who these companies are (inclusive of structured or unstructured data, historical data, water crossings, etc.) but also helps those companies transition asset records seamlessly. So, while ownership may change, the data remains constant and available to both companies on either end of the transition.

When the Saskatchewan government implemented a retroactive flowline licensing program, it became clear that companies didn’t just need current data but also a complete picture of how assets changed hands and their life story.

Historically, GDM was the only source of information for unlicensed lines in Saskatchewan and we worked with operators and surveyors to include all available information in our data. With the advent of the retroactive licensing initiative, we combined that historical data with regulatory information to provide the most complete picture of assets in Saskatchewan.

We also established close relationships with operators, allowing them to manage their data within our database (things like crossings and risk that aren’t necessarily a part of the licensed information). This means GDM can provide and/or calculate on current assets, ensuring the data we provide clients gives them the competitive advantage.

Pipelines Crossing the Border Between Canada and the US.
Pipelines Crossing the Border Between Canada and the US in the Williston Basin.

The Williston Basin stands as a testament to the resilience and innovation of the energy industry, with Saskatchewan playing a pivotal role in its ongoing success. As the landscape continues to evolve, challenges persist, but advancements in technology and data management have proven instrumental in toppling them.

GDM remains at the forefront, providing innovative solutions to companies navigating the complexities of the basin. Through our comprehensive database and specialized applications, we empower informed decision-making, facilitate seamless transitions in times of mergers and acquisitions, and ensure compliance with evolving regulatory requests. With our commitment to delivering advanced asset intelligence, GDM continues to drive the future of the Williston Basin towards greater efficiency, sustainability, and prosperity.

Contact us for more information on how GDM supports Saskatchewan growth plans in the national and global energy industry.


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