The Greatest Political Scandal of the American Oil Industry  
By M. R. Silverman / December 2015

Warren G. Harding’s presidential administration was arguably the most corrupt in American history, and the oil industry was right in the middle of the scandal. The 1920s affair surrounding Teapot Dome Oil Field was the most infamous presidential scandal to happen in the 100-year period between the Grant administration in the 1870s and the Nixon administration.

Venezuela's Oil: Crucial in World War II  
By Luis Grisanti / November 2015

As the world commemorates the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, it is worth recognizing the role Venezuela played in securing the oil needs of the Allied Nations.

How the Jusepin Deep Field Was Discovered - And Lost  
By Bob Erlich / October 2015
The discovery and untimely loss of the Jusepin Deep Field in Venezuela is a story of creativity, perseverance, technical excellence and emotion – which are qualities we as geoscientists like to feel we bring to our jobs every day.
Digging the Roots of Hydraulic Fracturing  
By Lawrence Skelton / September 2015
Hydraulic fracturing of rock formations has been hotly debated during the past several years, and public opinions have resulted in numerous legislative actions that closely control or even ban the practice in different parts of the nation. Fracturing, however, actually has been used in the oil and gas industry for 67 years and in the granite quarrying business in North Carolina since 1903.
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.

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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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