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Can We Keep Exploration Alive: Abstract
Even with the present day surplus of oil, there are two impelling motives for pursuing an aggressive search for new oil reserves; to support the increasing domestic requirements and to offset the Communists' attempts to neutralize the oil centers of the free world.
In the Rocky Mountain area many billions of barrels of oil are yet to be discovered in the older basins which have been prolific producers. A basic concept to follow is to look for more oil where oil has been found. A study of the history of supposedly "worn out" basins is frequently very interesting. The partially drilled basins, such as the Great Basin of western Utah and Nevada, offer unlimited petroleum possibilities.
The bulk of the future oil in this territory will occur in stratigraphic traps. To find the oil the explorationist must apply the fundamental components of petroleum geology. This includes consideration or reconsideration of the following: thorough knowledge of the surface exposures, more sample examination, improvement of rock classifications, new subsurface mapping techniques, use of magnetic and gravity data, and better application of the seismic method. Stratigraphic accumulations are no more difficult to locate now than were most of the subsurface structural ones processed by pioneer geologists before modern exploration methods were developed.
It will also be necessary to check the rising costs of exploration. The following will help to accomplish this.
1. Work for enactment of strong state conservation statutes.
2. Use only exploration methods most feasible and economical for the area under consideration.
3. Produce more crude with fewer wells by means of wider spacing.
4. Develop and operate a field as one unit.
5. Reduce the cost of drilling and completing wells.
6. Aggressively tell others about the problems of the oil industry.
We must also resist to the utmost the creeping Socialism and strangling governmental controls being used to shackle the oil industry. If we cannot, as the most highly industralized nation in the world, meet this challenge with the "know-how" and technical excellence which we possess, then indeed, we will have no right to complain about our lot.
Acknowledgments and Associated Footnotes
1 The Carter Oil Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Copyright © 2006 by the Tulsa Geological Society