History of Petroleum Exploration : principles interacting with technologies

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The history of petroleum exploration: how a handful of principles interacted with evolving technologies, with Tony Spencer.

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The history of petroleum exploration: how a handful of principles interacted with evolving technologies

Talk by Dr. Tony Spencer

The first geological principles explaining petroleum finds were established in the early 1900s in exploration on land. Petroleum exploration progressed when technologies enabled these first principles to be applied to ‘hidden’ prospects (e.g. offshore).

From the 1960’s on new principles emerged – the ‘play’ and ‘petroleum system’ concepts. This talk will illustrate the history and pattern of interdependence between geological understanding, the application of technology and the development of principles.

This event is dedicated to the memory of Ken Chew (1945-2019) HOGG member, geologist and history of geology enthusiast, who devised the first version of this talk in 2010.


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Frontispiece:

Oil-Field Exploration and Development: a Practical Guide for Oil-Field Prospectors and Operators; with which is Incorporated a Discussion of the Origin and Distribution of Petroleum, and Notes on Oil-Field Legislation and Customs , by A. Beeby Thompson, 1925. In 2 vols. Vol. 1: Oil-Field Principles. pp. xxiv+546+32. Vol. 2: Oil-Field Practice. Pp. xxiv+547–1177+32. London: Crosby Lockwood and Son.

Dr Tony Spencer has been a practising professional geologist since 1966. He enjoyed a long and distinguished career in petroleum exploration, first with BP and latterly with Statoil in Norway,where he published and edited a large number of key papers, books and memoirs on the petroleum geology of the Arctic regions, the NW European continental margin and the North Sea. He retired from Statoil in 2012 after a career in petroleum exploration spanning 41 years. In 2018 he was awarded the T. Neville George medal of the Geological Society of Glasgow in recognition for his work in Pre-Cambrian glaciations, which he continues to research.

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Organiser HOGG (History of Geology Group)

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HOGG is for anyone, anywhere, who is inspired by or curious about the history of geology and enjoys learning or finding out about the events, personalities and achievements that have influenced the way geology, earth history and associated aspects of geoscience has been understood, studied, represented and practised.

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