By Peter Wigley / August 2015
Geological investigations in the Weald area of southeast England have occurred for the past two centuries, but recently there has been a flurry of speculation, particularly in the popular press, over the possibility of the Weald basin becoming a major hydrocarbon province with billions of barrels of oil in place.
Encore! A New Case for the Caribbean’s Origin  
By James Pindell / July 2015
The Caribbean has become a classic locus for unraveling regional paleogeographic evolution. Although there are a few who continue to question it, the collective efforts of these many geoscientists have led to numerous principles that demand a Pacific origin for the Caribbean oceanic lithosphere.
A Surprise in the Colombian Foothills  
By Jaime Castillo / June 2015
This is the story of the drilling of a costly ($60 million) Lahee A-1 well in the Colombian foothills, which presented significant deviations from the prognosticated stratigraphy halfway to the objective – and became an operational nuisance. Nonetheless, it is mainly a story of successful management and prompt response to the geological uncertainty.
The Unsung ‘Father of the Natural Gas industry’  
By Gary Lash , Eileen Lash / May 2015
In the numerous histories written of the development of natural gas and oil in the United States, one name rarely encountered is that of Preston Barmore. This oversight likely is more a reflection of the sadly short life of this unassuming young man rather than any lack of contribution on his part to the burgeoning hydrocarbon industry of the late 19th century.
Yemen: The Final Frontier  
By Michael Morton / April 2015
Although Yemen is a single country today, it once consisted of three separate political entities. The territory’s first geological survey took place aboard the HMS Palinurus in 1862, when Henry Carter of the Geological Survey of India made a series of observations of the coastline; but the region was rarely visited and was considered as a poor oil prospect in the first decades of the twentieth century.
Spindletop Was Feted, And She Met a Hero  
By Ellen Walker Rienstra / March 2015

I must have tugged on his coattails. Actually, I don’t really remember how it all came about. But at the 1951 Spindletop 50th anniversary celebration in Beaumont, Texas, I, a 10-year-old schoolgirl, somehow found myself talking to Allen William “Al” Hamill, one of the drillers of the famed Lucas Gusher – the well brought in 50 years before, January 10, 1901, on the low mound just south of town that came to be known as Spindletop Hill.

Going Deeper: Blue H-28 Was a Whale of a Tale  
By Tako Koning / February 2015

The well drilled in the Gander Block was called “Blue” after the world’s largest mammal, the blue whale, since it was going to be drilled on one of the world’s largest prospects. In mid-1979 Blue H-28 spudded in 4,876 feet (1,486 meters) of water and was drilled problem-free to a drill depth of 20,023 feet (6,103 meters).

Oil for Life: Russian Pioneers Chose Wisely  
By Arkady I. Galkin, Francesco Gerali, Irena G. Malakhova / January 2015

When referring to the early Russian oil industry, one almost always hears the names of the fields located in the southern Absheron Peninsula, in Azerbaijan. Rarely does one hear about the oil heritage of the northern Russian lands close to the basin of the Izhma-Pechora River.

200-Year-Old Ohio Well Still Worth a Visit  
By Jeff A Spencer / December 2014

A commemorative event was held in October to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the historic Thorla-McKee oil well and salt works of southeastern Ohio. It is an important historical site for the history of North America’s petroleum industry. Much like the 1818 traveler who visited the “natural curiosity” and wrote about the well, the site is still well worth a visit.

West Africa Offers Lessons in Pre-Salt Exploration  
By André Coajou / November 2014

The relatively recent, very large discoveries offshore Brazil have put pre-salt exploration in the South Atlantic back in the foreground. Pre-salt exploration history, however, is far more ancient and marked with some major successes – but also many failures. Here’s a brief overview of this exploration in West Africa until the M’Boundi discovery, which will be described in detail as it brings some lessons that readers can discover for themselves.

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Historical Highlights

Historical Highlights - Hans Krause

Hans Krause is an AAPG Honorary Member, Distinguished Service Award winner and former chair of the AAPG History of Petroleum Geology Committee.

Historical Highlights

A history-based series, Historical Highlights is an ongoing EXPLORER series that celebrates the "eureka" moments of petroleum geology, the rise of key concepts, the discoveries that made a difference, the perseverance and ingenuity of our colleagues – and/or their luck! – through stories that emphasize the anecdotes, the good yarns and the human interest side of our E&P profession. If you have such a story – and who doesn't? – and you'd like to share it with your fellow AAPG Members, contact the editor.

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