Explorer Historical Highlights

Fate is defined by the American College Dictionary as, “fortune, destiny.” However, in life sometimes the outcome of fate is not so desirable, nor is it predetermined. This is the tale of two situations in which fate played a role in the early oil industry in the United States. The first instance had two fateful moments with very good outcomes, but the second led to some tragically unintended consequences.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

The idea of an oil-finding instrument was not new. Water dowsers were common throughout the United States and among most people of European descent worldwide, and they were quickly adapted to looking for oil. Soon after the Drake well in 1859, people started working on inventions to detect oil by geophysical methods.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Division Column DEG

The first U.S. oil well was drilled 1859 in Titusville, Penn., and the first commercial gas well was even earlier in 1825 in Fredonia, N.Y. There are two centuries of oil and gas drilling in the United States, and many of the wells in the first 150 years did not have the best plug-and-abandonment methods in place. Some of these wells are in urban areas and can endanger the residents. The number of orphaned and abandoned wells varies greatly depending on their definition. There might be millions of old and improperly plugged oil and gas wells leaking methane or contaminating groundwater in the United States, and plugging them will cost billions.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

In June of 2020, I set out to hike just the first 470 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Less than two weeks into my adventure, I thought to myself, “What the heck, why not do the whole thing?” It was then that I decided to hike the entirety of the nearly 2,200 miles that summer. I later decided that I would also write a book about it. “Rocks, Roots and Rattlesnakes” is that story of my daily adventures, as written from a geologist’s perspective.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

A love of geology can inspire creative self expression. Welcome to an interview with Carolyn Haas, a fine artist who has been inspired to connect histories of human and geological development by creating modern petroglyphs.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

Not wishing to split hairs over which is the world’s first oil well, the majority of oil historians recognize the drilling of the Drake Well as the birth of the modern petroleum industry. What is not so well known is that some seven miles southeast of the Drake Well, in Pithole Creek, lie the remains of a city that came out of nowhere as a new town, enjoyed great splendor, then disappeared in a few years. It is the legendary Pithole City in Venango County of northwestern Pennsylvania.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Regions and Sections

What is “unconventional wisdom?” It’s the wisdom obtained from half a century of important conferences organized by the AAPG Eastern Section, founded in 1971, which recently celebrated at its 50th annual conference in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Geological Society, founded in 1945, co-hosted the conference with the Pittsburgh Association of Petroleum Geologists, created in 1984. “The theme ‘Unconventional Wisdom’ is intended to reflect not only the unconventional resources and reservoirs that have brought life to the Appalachian basin, but also to appreciate the broad heritage of our science and vocation,” said conference General Chair John Corbett.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Director’s Corner

Lift foot, step. Lift foot, step. Lift foot, step, panting to catch my breath at high altitude under the midday sun. I’d been at this for nearly 12 miles already, one increasingly unsteady foot in front of the other, the pressure of a headache building. Sweat ran into my eyes as I lifted my head searching for the end of this path. The unending series of switchbacks winding their way up a steep scree slope was not spirit-lifting. Somewhere up there was the summit of Pikes Peak.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The Eastern Section of the AAPG will host its 50th Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, Pa. on Oct. 2-6, 2021. The meeting, themed “Unconventional Wisdom,” is planned as an in-person event that will feature a range of subjects for geologists from all aspects of the petroleum industry and beyond. It will be held in downtown Pittsburgh at the Point – the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer President’s Column

Listening to “Togetherness (K’a jo se)” as I write prompted me to think about community. AAPG has been a pillar of the scientific community for more than 100 years, with a lengthy history of collaboration and rewarding relationships that extend beyond the Association. Like the rise to international success of Nigerian musician King Sunny Adé, AAPG has grown beyond its American roots to serve a global community of energy geoscientists as well as professionals working in adjacent functions like data science, carbon capture, use and sequestration, and various engineering disciplines.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Thursday, 29 February 2024, 7:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Tuesday, 27 February Wednesday, 28 February 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Learn about the new opportunities and best practices for plugging orphan, idle, and abandoned wells, and to comply with new requirements for funding, methane emissions measurement and monitoring, groundwater protection, and more.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 28 July 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This presentation discusses one operator’s approach to fully integrate data captured in the Marcellus Shale in order to optimize horizontal well performance.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 12 July 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This presentation will look at well placement vertically in the pay, well azimuth and well trajectory with explanations of how geology and post-depositional effects can make the difference between a successful well and a failure.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 20 August 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium covers advances in geothermal energy, integration with petroleum operations, and lessons learned in recent cases.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 3 June 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to describe faults and fractures in carbonates, black shales, and coarser clastics as they occur in the northern Appalachian Basin.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 9 February 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Projects in several shales will be discussed, including Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Fayetteville, Montney, and Barnett, as will several seismically-detectable drivers for success including lithofacies, stress, pre-existing fractures, and pore pressure.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

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