Advertisement

Technique and Exploration: The Beginning of Micropaleontology in the Brazilian Oil Industry

  • Drielli Peyerl
  • Elvio Pinto BosettiEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Historical Geography and Geosciences book series (HIGEGE)

Abstract

In 1953, the creation of Petrobras contributed not just for the Brazilian oil policy and economy, but also for the creation of a department focused on the research and exploration of oil in the Brazilian territory. Created in 1955, the Department of Exploration—DEPEX was divided in and performed by local districts situated in basins with oil potential, all directly subordinate to the Chief Superintendent, the North American geologist Walter Karl Link (1902–1982). It is necessary to point out the importance of the investments of Petrobras, and mainly of the Department of Exploration, in the laboratories of paleontology, stratigraphy, and subsequently in sedimentology. In the 1950s, the first Paleontology Laboratories were situated in Belém (Pará State), Ponta Grossa (Paraná State) and Salvador (Bahia State), and incorporated by these districts. Huge advances in scientific and technical expertise related specifically to micropaleontology were achieved. Professionals of the company performed their activities during this period, in particular the Brazilian paleontologist Frederico Waldemar Lange (1911–1988), who started developing the first studies on microfossils in 1955, mainly chitinozoans. From 1958 onward, we also have in the lab in Belém, the Danish Johannes Christian Troelsen (1913–?) and the German geologist and micropaleontologist Karl Krömmelbein (1920–1979), who continued their researches on foraminifera from the coastal basins in the north and in the northeast. The activities of the professionals continued to expand, contributing significantly for oil field research. Since the beginning, Petrobras invests in the qualification of his own labor force with courses and internships abroad. As two specific examples, we have the advanced course in micropaleontology, offered by the “Centro de Aperfeiçoamento e Pesquisas de Petróleo”—CENAP/Petrobras (Improvement and Oil Research Center), in 1961—with 6 months of duration, and the internship in micropaleontology (foraminifera and nannofossils, in oil companies abroad), in 1968. Thus, this summary confirms the first steps of the paleontological researches, highlighting the technic and scientific improvements of micropaleontology in the Brazilian development of oil exploration.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Drielli Peyerl thanks especially the current financial support of grant Process 2017/18208-8 and 2018/26388-9, São Paulo Research Foundation (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo—FAPESP) and also to Linda Hall Library for primary sources used in this paper and the Residential Fellow between September and November 2017, and she gratefully acknowledges the support from SHELL Brasil and FAPESP through the “Research Centre for Gas Innovation - RCGI” (Fapesp Proc. 2014/50279-4), hosted by the University of São Paulo, and the strategic importance of the support given by ANP (Brazil’s National Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency) through the R&D levy regulation.

Elvio Pinto Bosetti (Process 311483/2014-3) is grateful to Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for the Produtividade em Pesquisa fellowship.

Printed Sources

  1. Bosetti EP, Grahn Y, Melo JHG (2011) Essays in honour of Frederico Waldemar Lange—pioneer of Brazilian micropaleontology. Interciência, Rio de Janeiro Google Scholar
  2. Carlson CG (1965) Arville Irving Levorsen (1864–1965)—Memorial. Am Assoc Petrol Geol Bull 49:1534–1537Google Scholar
  3. Cassab RCT (2000) Histórico das Pesquisas Paleontológicas no Brasil. In: de Souza Carvalho I (org.). Paleontologia. Interciência, Rio de Janeiro, p. 13 à 17Google Scholar
  4. Croneis C (1941) Micropaleontology—Past and future. Bull Am Assoc Petrol Geol 25(7) (July):1208–1255Google Scholar
  5. da Silva Caminha SAF, Leite FPR (2015) Microfosseis: pequenos organismos que geram grandes informações sobre o passado. Cienc Cult São Paulo 67(4): 24–27, DecemberGoogle Scholar
  6. de Dias JLM, Quaglino MA (1993) A Questão do Petróleo no Brasil: Uma História da Petrobrás. Fundação Getúlio Vargas, Rio de JaneiroGoogle Scholar
  7. de Ramos JRA (1986) Os paleontólogos brasileiros. Anuário do Instituto de Geociências. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de JaneiroGoogle Scholar
  8. Eugênio Gudin quer mandar muito mais do que café! 15 December 1954. Newspaper Última Hora. Rio de Janeiro. Accessed on 10 Dec 2015Google Scholar
  9. Diógenes de Almeida Campos: pedras e ossos do ofício. Available in http://revistapesquisa.fapesp.br/2005/02/01/pedras-e-ossos-do-oficio/ Accessed in 25 July 2011
  10. Lange FW (org.) (1954) Paleontologia do Paraná. Paraná: Vol. Comemorativo 1º Centenário do ParanáGoogle Scholar
  11. Link W (1960) Exploração—PETROBRÁS—October 1954 to December 1960. Report in Frederico Waldemar Lange’s Archive (1911–1988), State University of Ponta Grossa. Box 110, pp 1–14Google Scholar
  12. Mendes JC (1981) A Pesquisa Paleontológica no Brasil. In Ferri MG, Motoyama S (eds) História das Ciências no Brasil. E. P. U., São PauloGoogle Scholar
  13. Organograma Básico da Petrobras (1955) Rio de Janeiro, RJ: CENPES/Petrobras Rare Books LibraryGoogle Scholar
  14. Pal/Rel. 1 Resumo das atividades da Secção de Paleontologia e Geologia de Sub-Superfície. Report. April 25, 1955Google Scholar
  15. Petró SM (2017) Micropaleontologia ou paleomicrontologia? Ajustando a morfologia da palavra. Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi Ciências Naturais 12(1):129–134Google Scholar
  16. Memórias da Bioestratigrafia e da Paleontologia nos 50 anos da Petrobras (2003) Rio de Janeiro: Centro de Pesquisas e desenvolvimento leopoldo a. Miguez de MelloGoogle Scholar
  17. Peyerl D (2008) A trajetória do paleontólogo Frederico Waldemar Lange (1911–1988) e a História das Geociências. Thesis of Master Degree, Ponta Grossa, Paraná State, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  18. Peyerl D (2010) A trajetória do paleontólogo Frederico Waldemar Lange (1911–1988) e a História das Geociências. 116 f. Dissertation (Mestrado em Gestão do Território)Google Scholar
  19. Peyerl D (2011) Frederico Waldemar Lange (1911–1988). In: Bosetti EP, Grahn Y, Melo JHG (eds) Essays in honour of Frederico Waldemar Lange—pioneer of Brazilian micropaleontology. Interciência, Rio de JaneiroGoogle Scholar
  20. Peyerl D (2017) O Petróleo no Brasil: exploração, capacitação técnica e ensino de geociências (1864–1968). EdUFABC, São Bernardo do Campo, SP, 278 pGoogle Scholar
  21. Peyerl D, Figueiôa SFM De, Bosetti EP (2016) The North American geologist Walter Karl Link and oil exploratory research at Petrobras (1954–1960). Earth Sci Hist 35(2):387–398Google Scholar
  22. Singh A (2008) Micropaleontology in Petroleum Exploration. 7th International Conference & Exposition on Petroleum Geophysics. Hyderabad, pp 01–07Google Scholar
  23. Soares O, Soares HF (1996) Coletânea de trabalhos Pioneiros do Paleontólogo Frederico Waldemar Lange (1942–1955). Edição comemorativa, ParanáGoogle Scholar
  24. Technical Report on the Assignments and Organization of the Stratigraphy Sector—Report: Signed by F. W. Lange. Section of Paleontology—DIVEX/DEXPRO. Petrobras Exploration Department, Report, Belém, March 29, 1968Google Scholar
  25. The paleontologist Frederico Waldemar Lange (on the right) in field work for Petrobras (Mid-1950s) Frederico Waldemar Lange’s Archive (1911–1988), State University of Ponta Grossa. Box. [undated]. Caixa 82Google Scholar
  26. The paleontologist Frederico Waldemar Lange in the Paleontology Lab for Petrobras (Mid-1950s). Frederico Waldemar Lange’s Archive (1911–1988), State University of Ponta Grossa. Box [undated]. Caixa 82Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Energy and EnvironmentUniversity of São PauloButantãBrazil
  2. 2.Geoscience DepartmentState University of Ponta GrossaPonta GrossaBrazil

Personalised recommendations