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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 56 (1972)

Issue: 9. (September)

First Page: 1899

Last Page: 1899

Title: Oil is Found in the Minds of Men: ABSTRACT

Author(s): M. T. Halbouty

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Wallace Pratt, one of the great and most eminent petroleum geologists of our time, stated that "oil is found in the minds of men."

It seems that in the decades from 1930 to 1970, a span of more than 40 years, the explorationists have forgotten this one fact. We have depended on black boxes, green boxes, small computers, big computers, and first-dimensional, second-dimensional, and third-dimensional processes and techniques to tell us where to drill a well.

This dependence on instruments has been our profession's greatest mistake and one which was compounded by the petroleum industry which supported and perpetuated this practice. In fact, petroleum management forced our profession to cease thinking about petroleum being found in the minds of men and told us that it could be better found in the transistors of the black boxes and the computers.

A point has been reached where we cannot find the so-called structures on land with these gadgets. Therefore, we have said to ourselves, and industry has said to itself, "A new breakthrough is needed." Unfortunately, in reference to this need, geologists and industry are still thinking of new gadgets for the "breakthrough." The breakthrough should be in the minds of the explorationist. This should be the paramount tool. All of the other gadgets, old and new, will have to be supplements to the minds of men.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists