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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 51 (1967)

Issue: 7. (July)

First Page: 1185

Last Page: 1201

Title: Expanding Role of Computer in Geology

Author(s): E. L. Dillon (2)


The marked increase in the use of computers by geologists is having a pronounced effect in the fields of both oil and gas exploration and management reporting. The number of geologists who are using new computer techniques effectively is increasing, but unfortunately at a rate slower than is justified by the versatility of these techniques. Some geologists risk falling behind professionally because they are not remaining abreast of the latest technology which can be applied to their chosen field.

One of the problems facing the oil and gas industry is the assimilation of the large quantity of information which is being made available for the very first time through various computer file and retrieval systems. During 1966 the various well data systems, which include most of the United States and parts of Canada, released to their subscribers approximately 1 billion characters of basic well information in machinable form. The continuation of the work of these systems during 1967 will increase this volume of machinable data to approximately 2 billion characters of information. This is not new information; it is information which has been buried in the files of the oil and gas companies and the individual geologists because previously it was in a form which could not be analyzed ef ectively. A natural partner to this generation of large machine files is the development of programming techniques that offer much more powerful methods for analyzing geological data. In most cases, the publication of these new programs has been limited to special releases by state surveys and universities. There has been too little publication of the results of applying these programs to the analyses of geologic data in oil- and gas-producing basins of economic importance. Through simple illustrations and a few direct examples, it is possible to show how these techniques may lead directly to the finding of oil and gas prospects.

One of the most active areas of progress in management reporting has been the development of statistical data gathering and compilation techniques, led by the AAPG's Committee on Statistics of Drilling. This effort has come at an opportune time for it fits in perfectly with a greatly increased demand for information, as voiced by the United States Department of Interior, with the increasing awareness of company management and state surveys of the importance of well statistics, and the efforts of the American Petroleum Institute to establish certain basic standards for the handling of well data.

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