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.

Toyokawa Field Yields Oil, Prehistoric Asphalt  
By Eiichi Sasaki / October 2014

The Toyokawa field is a small oil field, covering an area of about six square kilometers, located in northeastern Japan’s Akita Prefecture. The hillock area where the Toyokawa oil field is situated formerly was covered with natural asphalt (tar) deposits that had erupted from the subsurface. The current scenery resembles the famous La Brea Tar Pit in Los Angeles.

Refraction Sparked Huge African Discoveries  
By Jean Laherrere / September 2014

Saharan fields Hassi Messaoud (10 Gb reserves, discovered in 1956) and Hassi R’Mel (100 Tcf gas plus 2.4 Gb condensate reserves, discovered in 1957) are by far the largest oil field and the largest gas field in Africa

Persistence Paid Off for Liuhua - Eventually  
By Bob Erlich / August 2014
The discovery of giant oil fields in new basins typically occurs only after multiple exploration periods and numerous unsuccessful wells. The first explorers might or might not have the right technical concepts, but for various reasons they fail to find the big prize. This pattern was repeated prior to the discovery of the giant (in place) Liuhua 11-1 Field, Pearl River Mouth Basin, South China Sea.
The Debate II: What’s On the Caribbean Plate?  
By Keith James / July 2014
Once we’ve completed a study most of us geologists feel that despite the incomplete data with which we started, our insight has overcome that basic limitation. Ours, however, is not an exact science– and the all-too-frequent dry wildcats return us to the level of fallible mortals.
 
By Ross Coen / June 2014

The history of oil development in Alaska is often presented as a heroic tale, but long before the 1968 discovery of the Prudhoe Bay field (16 billion barrels and counting), the industry experience was marked by a great deal of frustration and failure.

Remembering a Rich History at Turner Valley  
By David Finch, Clinton Tippett / May 2014

May 14, 2014, Marks the 100th anniversary of the initial petroleum discovery at Turner Valley. The field sits at the leading edge of the Foothills Belt of the Rocky Mountains, just to the southwest of Calgary, Canada.

Stratigraphy Vindicated by Cook’s Farm Coal Bust  
By Hugh Torrens, Peter Wigley / April 2014

Great Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was undergoing great change. The Industrial Revolution was in full flood and there was an insatiable desire for coal to turn the wheels of industry.

Evolution, Adaptation Continues for BULLETIN  
By John C. Lorenz / March 2014

The AAPG BULLETIN, the standard-bearer of AAPG publications, is still the benchmark for peer-reviewed scientific publications in the field of hydrocarbon-related geology, even though competition exists today from other societies and for-profit publishers.

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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.

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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