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Historical Overview of Petroleum and Seismology

  • Christopher L. Liner
  • T. A. (Mac) McGilvery
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Earth Sciences book series (BRIEFSEARTH)

Abstract

A brief history of petroleum exploration in the United States from the late 1850’s to the present illustrates the progression of scientific thought and techniques that evolved globally during this period. The first subsurface drilling specifically targeting hydrocarbons is credited to Colonel Edwin L. Drake in 1859 along Oil Creek, Pennsylvania. Exploration efforts following his discovery through the remainder of the 19th century focused on location of surface seeps and slicks. After the turn of the 20th century the need to locate larger hydrocarbon accumulations required better understanding of the subsurface. Two foundational tools were developed in the 1920’s that would revolutionize subsurface interpretation; well logs as direct down hole measurements and seismic refraction profiles. The emphasis was location of large structural closures. The seismic application advanced to include source and reservoir prediction as well as fluid type as 3D seismic data were developed in the 1970’s and 80’s. Image quality and resolution were greatly enhanced as well as interpretation of seismic attributes such as coherency, curvature, dip azimuth, and near vs. far offset AVO analysis during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Advanced application continues with the evaluation of rock properties and micro-seismicity associated with unconventional plays.

Keywords

3D seismic 4D (time-lapse) seismic Anticlinal theory CDP shooting Digital signal analysis Oil boom Rotary drilling Seismic geomorphology Stratigraphy Subsalt imaging 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher L. Liner
    • 1
  • T. A. (Mac) McGilvery
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA

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