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The application of computers to geologic exploration is being influenced strongly by nongeologists. Experience suggests that management acceptance of and dependence on computer-produced information may exceed their understanding of how the information is produced. Deterioration of exploration efficiency and loss of influence by geologists may be expected unless geologists seize the initiative and dictate both the direction and priority of computer applications in their area of responsibility.
The tremendous amounts of information required by petroleum geologists create special problems in computerized data storage and retrieval. The solution to these problems requires imagination, logical ability, and knowledge of both the computer hardware and the geological significance of the data. Thus far poor communication between geologists and computer analysts, and inadequate understanding of each other's problems have prevented much meaningful progress in this area.
Merely storing and retrieving large amounts of exploration data with a computer are economically unjustifiable. The use to which the data are put once it is available is the key to success or failure of the program. It is here that active participation by geologists is absolutely essential.
Geologists need to familiarize themselves with computers, particularly the computers which their company is using. Exploration management must be willing to pay both for computer education and for a geologist's ability to use effectively the computer in petroleum exploration.
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