mobile regnow


page content

History of Petroleum Geology

Wednesday, 30 September 2020, 3:30 p.m.–4:55 p.m.  |  Houston, Texas

short course image

The History of Petroleum Geology Committee will again hold its annual forum in a special session of high-quality papers. Its program will be very diversified, with presentations dealing with various aspects of petroleum geology and petroleum industry. Our frequent speaker Ray Sorenson will start the session with presentation on very early days of petroleum industry talking about oil and gas wells that were drilled before Colonel Drake spudded his first well in 1859 in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Sorenson's talk will be followed by a presentation from another active member of HoPG, Rasoul Sorkhabi, on establishment of the concept of petroleum system and development of basin modeling techniques. Then, D. Dunn and K. Giles will describe the role and impact of the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund. B.A. Blackstone’s story is one of the case studies and will be devoted to the Destin Dome Anticline structure located in eastern Gulf of Mexico. Another case study will be provided by the presentation on the history of exploration in the Western Snake River Plain (Idaho and Oregon) by Allen et al. Sollid et al. will take us for trip to the Barents Sea with their talk on the Johan Castberg, the first giant oil discovery in this basin. This talk will be followed by M. Silverman and C. Altmann speaking on hydrocarbon exploration in the Mesoproterozoic Beetaloo Basin, Northern Territory, Australia. R. Hardy et al. will review the history of exploration from shallow shelf to deep-water basins in Latin America. Finally, N. Khan, and J.D. Esquito will take us through the exploration history of the Columbus Basin, Trinidad, with particular focus on development of seismic imaging techniques. 

This promises to be a memorable session full of fine examples of the challenges petroleum geology has faced over decades of its development.

The purpose of the History of Petroleum Geology Committee is to preserve and promote the history and heritage of the evolution of geological concepts and technologies used in the search for oil and gas worldwide, and to honor the memory of the men and women who moved history forward.


  • Pre-Drake Oil and Gas Wells: R. P. Sorenson
  • Technological Developments Leading to the Petroleum System and Basin Modeling: Implications for Shale Plays: R. B. Sorkhabi
  • Six Decades of Research Support for Petroleum Science from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund: D. A. Dunn, K. A. Giles
  • “Duster Dome” and the Fear of Missing Out in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico: B. A. Blackstone
  • History of Petroleum Exploration in the Western Snake River Plain of Idaho and Oregon: J. L. Allen, S. Wood, D. H. Hawk, J. L. Allen, D. Smith, M. McMennamy
  • From Accidental Oil Shows to the First Gas Flows: The Evolution of Hydrocarbon Exploration in the Mesoproterozoic Beetaloo Basin, Northern Territory, Australia: M. R. Silverman, C. Altmann
  • The Quest from Shallow Shelf to Deep Water in Latin America – How We Got Where We Are, and Where We Are Going: R. Hardy, J. Peck, G. Fegerson
  • Exploration History of the Columbus Basin, Trinidad: Evolution of Seismic Imaging and its Role in Unlocking Resources: N. Khan, J. D. Esquito


Included with registration


Piotr Krywiec and Mitchell Grimm


History of Petroleum Geology
George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida De Las Americas
Houston, Texas 77010
United States
(713) 853-8000