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The continuing large numbers of students majoring in geology in our colleges and universities is a phase of our development which warrants the thoughtful attention of our membership. Since half or more of those who enter the field of geology enter petroleum geology in some form or other, an awareness of the problem is recommended to student, teacher, and employer.
We have witnessed, in the development of the methods of oil-field discovery, a progressive change from the relatively simple methods of surface geology of two and three decades ago to the complex approach of the present in which various techniques of geology and geophysics are employed. Each technique has risen to a peak of usefulness and then declined as the areas in which it would function were worked out. At present all of the methods of oil-field discovery previously used are past the crest of their usefulness and are in various stages of declining value. With the continuing demand for petroleum, what are the discovery and exploration methods of the future? This symposium is designed to bring out discussion of some of the elements which must be considered in attempting to formulat an answer to the problem.
In so far as petroleum geology is concerned, the dominant trend seems to be toward a more intensive and detailed study of stratigraphy, sedimentation, reservoir rocks, geologic history, and the varying environments of deposition. The materials used in this approach are the vast quantities of well cuttings, electric logs, and porosity and permeability data. Heretofore the study of this material has merely been an accessory to other methods of discovery. However, under the increasing influence and understanding of sedimentation--"the philosophy of the well cuttings"--this field of activity is changing from a passive to an active approach to discovery. As such, our horizons are pushed back enormously.
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