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Branner Earth Sciences Library


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Ameeican Institute of Mining






Vol. LXV

Containing Papbbs and Discussions on Petroleum and Gas



29 WBST 39th btbbet

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Copyright, 1921, by the

American Institttb of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers

[Incobporated] .

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In this volume are the papers and discussions on Petroleum and
Gas that were presented at the Chicago meeting, September, 1919, the
Lake Superior and St. Louis meetings, August and September, 1920,
the New York meetings of 1920 and 1921, and the Wilkes-Barre meeting,
September, 1921 ; also proceedings of the St. Louis meeting.


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St. Louis Petroleum and Gas Meeting, September, 1920 vii


Petroleum Resources of Great Britain. By A. C. Veatch (With Discussion) . . 3

Oil Fields of Persia. By Campbell M. Huntbb (With Discussion) 8

Oil Fields of Russia. By A. Beebt Thompson and T. G. Madqwicx

(With Discussion) 17

Petroleum in the Argentine Republic. By Stanley C. Hebold (With Dis-
cussion) 40

Petroleum in the Philippines. By W. D. Smith (With Discussion) 47

Petroleum Industry of Trinidad. By Geobqb A. Macbbadt (With Discussion) . 68
Oil Shales and Petroleum Prospects in Brazil. By H. E. Williams

(With Discussion) 69

International Aspects of Petroleum Industry. By Van H. Manning (With Dis-
cussion) 78

Foreign Oil Supply for the United States. By Geo. Ons Smith (With

Discussion) 89

Petroleum Resources of Kansas. By Ratmond C. Moore (With Discussion) . 97
Rise and Decline in Production of Petroleum in Ohio and Indiana. By J. A.

BowNoCKER (With Discussion) 108

Oil Fields of Kentucky and Tennessee. By L. C. Glenn (With Discussion) . . . 122
Oil Possibilities in Northern Alabama. By D. R. Sebimes (With Discussion) . . 140
R6sum6 of Pennsylvania-New York Oil Field. By R. H. Johnson and Stirling

Huntley (With Discussion) 161

Geology of Cement Oil Field. By F. G. Clapp 166

Irvine Oil District, Kentucky. By Stuart St. Clair 166

Genetic Problems Affecting Search for New Oil Unions. By David White

(With Discussion) 176

Petroliferous Provinces. By E. G. Woodruff (With Discussion) 199

Nature of CoaL By J. E. Hackford (With Discussion) 217

Value of American Oilnshales. By Charles Baskerville (With Discussion) . . 229
Industrial Representation in the Standard Oil Co. (N. J.) By C. J. Hicks (With

Discussion) 237

Petroliferous Rocks in Serra da Baliza. Bt Extzebio P. de Oliveira 241

Analysis of Oil-field Water Problems. By A. W. Ambrose (With Discussion) . . 246

Oil-field Brines. C. W. Washburne (With Discussion) 269

Secondary Intrusive Origin of Gulf Coastal Plain Salt Domes. W. G. Matteson

(Witii Discussion) 296

Application of Law of Equal Expectations to Oil Production in California. By

Carl H. Beal and E. D. Nolan 336

Essential Factors in Valuation of Oil Properties. ByCARLH. Beal 344

Appraisal of Oil Properties. By Earl Oliver (With Discussion) 363


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Variation in Decline Curves of Various Oil Pools. By R. H. Johnson (With

Discussion) 365^

Application of Taxation Regulations to Oil and Gas Properties. By Thomas Cox

(With Discussion) 374

Valuation Factors in Casing-head Gas Industry. By O. U. Bradley (With Dis-
cussion) 395

Modified Oil-well Depletion Curves. By Arthur Knapp (With Discussion) . . . 405

Barrel-day Values. By G. H. Alvey and A. W. Foster (With Discussion) . . 412

Isostatic Adjustments on a Minor Scale, in their Relation to Oil Domes. By M.

Albertson 418

Anthony F. Lucas — Biographical Notice. By H. B. Goodrich 421

Rock Classification from the Oil-driller's Standpoint. By Arthur Knapp. . . . 424

Investigations Concerning Oil-water Emulsion. By A. W. McCoy, H. R.

Shidel and E. A. Trager (With Discussion) 430

Drilling and Production Technique in the Baku Oil Fields. By Arthur Knapp

(With Discussion) 459

Determination of Pore Space of Oil and Gas Sands. By A. F. Mblcher (With

Discussion) 469

Water Displacement in Oil and Gas Sands. By R. H. Johnson (With Dis-
cussion) 498

Composition of Petroleum and its Relation to Industrial Use. By C. F. Mabery

(With Discussion) 505

Carbon Ratios of Coals in West Virginia Oil Fields. By David B. Rkgbr (With

Discussion) 522

Cjreneral Notes on the Production, Marine Transportation and Taxation of

Mexican Petroleums. By V. R. Garfias 528

Efficiency in Use of Oil as Fuel. By W. N. Best (With Discussion) 568

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Petroleum and Gas Meeting at St. Louis

A SPECIAL meeting arranged by the Petroleum and Gas Committee
of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers was
held on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 21 and 22, 1920, in the Assembly
Room of the American Annex Hotel, St. Louis, Mo. Those in attendance
were guests of the St. Louis Local Section.

Preceding the first session on Tuesday morning, the members and
guests were registered and presented with the usual Institute badges.
The morning session was opened at 10:30 by Ralph Arnold of Los Angeles,
CaUf., chairman of the Petroleum and Gas Committee. In his opening
remarks, he suggested that the petroleum section specialize more and
more on the technical problems of the oil industry and that an effort be
made to enlarge the membership of the Institute among the technical
men of the industry. The following program was presented:

Oil Fields of Russia, by A. Beeby Thompson and T. G. Madgwick, of London,
England. Presented by H. A. Wheeler; discussed by Arthur Knapp and R. Van A.

This most comprehensive paper was one of what is hoped to be a
series to be presented by some of our foreign members. It is by far the
best description in English of the world-famous Baku and other fields of

Extended Life of Wells Due to Rise in Price of Oil, by Willard W. Cutler, Jr., of
Chevy Chase, Md. Presented by the author; discussed by J. L. Daraell.

This paper brought graphically before the audience the fact that the
economic Ufe of a well lengthens as the price of oil goes up.

Urgency for Deeper Drilling on the Gulf Coast, by A. F. Lucas, of Washington,
D. C. Presented by Mowry Bates; discussed by David White, W. E. Pratt, Mowry
Bates, R. Van A. Mills, J. L. Henning, Arthur Knapp and E. DeGolyer.

This paper opened up the always interesting subject of salt domes on
the Gulf Coast and the possibility of the occurrence of oil at great depth
in these structures.

Petroleum Industry of Trinidad, by George A. Macready, of Los Angeles, CaUf*
Presented by R. A. Conkling; discussed by Arthur Knapp, R. A. Conkling, E. De-
Grolyer, Ralph Arnold and R. Van A. Mills.

Oil Shales and Petroleum Prospects in Brazil, by H. E. Williams, of Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil. Presented by J. Elmer Thomas; discussed by David White, Mowry Bates,
B. O. Mahaffy, J. Elmer Thomas and Ralph Arnold.

The latter paper brought out the point that there are possibilities of
developing oil from oil shales, and in addition that there are certain
localities along the eastern flanks of the Andes in Brazil that may
eventually yield commercial quantities of oil.

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viu pbogeedinos of the st. louis meeting

Tuesday Afternoon Session

The afternoon session was opened at 2.30 and was presided over by
Vice-chairman E. DeGolyer. The following papers were given:

Determination of Pore Space in Oil and Gas Sands, by A. F. Melcher of Washing-
ton, D. C. Presented by W. E. Pratt; discussed by R. Van A. Mills, Walter M.
Small, W. W. Cutler, Jr. and David White.

This paper brought out the point that there are other determining
factors affecting the oil saturation of rocks than the size and shape of
the grains.

Application of Taxation Regulations to Oil and Gas Properties, by Thomas Cox,
of Oakland, Calif. Presented by E. B. Hoplqns; discussed by Ralph Arnold, J. L.
Henning and W. E. Pratt.

Oil Possibilities of Northern Alabama, by D. M. Semmes, of Uniyersity, Ala.
Presented by Walter M. Small; discussed by David White and Mowry Bates.

Efficiency in Use of Oil and Gas as Fuel, by W. N. Best, of New York. Presented
by James H. Hance; discussed by S. O. Andros, H. P. Mueller, J. L. Henning, I. N.
Enapp, and C. H. Matthews.

Industrial Representation in the Standard Oil Co. of N. J., by C. J. Hicks, New
York. Presented by John L. Henning; discussed by Ralph Arnold, W. E. Pratt, and
Mr. Trowbridge.

Valuation Factors in Casinghead Gas Industry, by O. U. Bradley* Muskogee,
Okla. Presented by W. B. Wilson; discussed by W. E. Pratt, E. DeGolyer, J. L.
Henning, W. M. Small and Mr. Reeves.

Nature of Coal, by J. E. Hackford of London, England. Presented by David
White; discussed by Ralph Arnold, David White, W. E. Pratt and E. DeGolyer.

In the evening an informal smoker was given to the visiting members
and guests at the American Annex Hotel. Moving pictures were shown;
some short speeches were given and suitable refreshments provided.
The evening was greatly enjoyed by those present.

Wednesday Sessions

The Wednesday morning session was called to order at 10 o'clock
by Ralph Arnold, who presided. The following program was presented:

Analysis of Oil-field Water Problems, by A. W. Ambrose, Bartlesville, Okla.
Presented by C. E. Beecher; discussed by R. A. Conkling, R. Van A Mills, E. De-
Golyer, Mr. Reilly and Mr. Compton.

Contribution of Oil Geology to Success in Drilling, by F. G. Clapp, of New York.
Presented by W. E. Wrather; discussed by E. DeGolyer.

Ultimate Source of Kentucky Crudes, by W. R. JiUson, of Frankfort, Ky. Pre-
sented by title, as manuscript was not received in time for preparing abstract.

Oil-field Brines, by C. W. Washbume of New York. Presented by Walter M.
Small; discussed by R. Van A. Mills, E. DeGolyer, W. M. Small, R. A. Conkling,
Mr. Reilly, W. E. Pratt and W. E. Wrather.

The last paper brought out further discussion regarding the theories
of origin of salt domes.

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The above list completed the formal papers. Following the formal
meeting the ensuing papers were presented without discussion:

Gulf Cretaceous Oil Fields, by Julius Fobs. Presented by the author.
Oil Eesources of Illinois, by Mr. Mylius, of Urbana, 111. Presented by the author.
Influence of Faiilts in the Illinois Fields, by H. A. Wheeler, of St. Louis, Mo.
Presented by the author.

Prior to the adjournment of the meeting a resolution was passed
extending the thanks of those present to the St. Louis Local Section for
its hospitality and for the courtesies extended during the meeting, with a
special vote of thanks to Dr. H. A. Wh|3eler for his untiring efforts in
making the meeting a success.

The afternoon of the twenty-second was spent in a trip to interesting
points about St. Louis, in automobiles provided by the St. Louis Section.

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VOL. LXV. 1.

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Petroleum Resources of Great Britain

By a. C. Vbatch, Nbw York, N. Y.

(New York Meeting February, 1930)

Thb Midlands of England contain large areas of important oil lands,
which, however, will not become of commercial importance for at least
5 years, because the ownership of the oil has become a political issue.
In Great Britain, except in certain special areas, all minerals, except for
gold and silver, belong to the surface owner. The leasing of minerals on
the large estates is a very complicated business, as the family solicitors
have many forms and formalities that must be observed. In the case of
one of the large estates, the principal revenues of which for several hun-
dred years have been from coal leases, the average time between the agree-
ment on terms for a coal lease and the signing of the same has been 8
years. In 1916, one coal lease on this estate had been pending for 16
years, and was still unsigned, although the important terms had been
agreed upon 16 years previously.

Under war conditions, and considering the extreme importance that
the production of petroleum in England would have had, such delays
could not be tolerated. Most of the British landlords, relying on the
almost universal opinion of their own countrymen that there were no
commercial deposits of petroleiun in Great Britain, were prepared to give
all their oil rights to the government, but they feared that such action
might establish a precedent with respect to coal. For years the Labor
Party and extreme radicals have protested against the payment of royal-
ties to landlords on coal. The government, therefore, introduced a biU
taking over all the oil rights and providing for the payment of a small
royalty to the landlords, to safeguard the principle of compensation in
case the coal mines should ever be nationalized. The provision of this
bill, with respect to the payment of royalty to landlords, was defeated by
a vote of 44 to 35 in a night session of the House of Commons on Oct. 25,
1917, when most of the members were absent, but when a group of labor
members and extreme radicals were present. The resubmission of the
point to the House of Commons was prevented by the labor members of
the coalition government, who reminded the cabinet that the agreement
on which they were members of the government was that no contentious
legislation should be passed during the war; and as one of the doctrines
of their party was that landlords had no rights to minerals on their land,


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they could not remain in the government if such legislation was passed as
a government measure. The compromise reached was that a bill should
be passed declaring that no one could sink a test well for oil or gas in
Great Britain without a license from the government, and the question
of royalty and ownership would be dealt with after the war. The govern-
ment gave an undertaking to Parliament that it would not recognize the
payment of royalties on oil until Parliament had acted. This legisla-
tion was passed in October, 1918. The government then took the land
necessary for nine well sites (seven in Derbyshire and two in Stafford-
shire) under the powers given it by the Defence of the Realm Acts.
This gave the right of occupancy, but not of ownership. Later, two
additional sites were taken in Scotland; as one of these was taken after
the signing of the armistice the validity of the action is now the subject
of a lawsuit. The present condition is, therefore, that while the govern-
ment may still legally, for the time being, have the power to take sites
under the Defence of the Realm Acts, it cannot justify the expediency of
so doing; it cannot acquire such sites by agreement, because this would
involve the payment of a royalty to the landlord, or the recognition of his
ownership of the oil, and it cannot grant a license to anyone else because
this also would involve the same recognition indirectly.

The first well sunk by the government found commercial oil, and while
it would have been relatively easy to pass legislation giving the ownership
of the oil to the government when the majority of the landlords had no
belief in its existence, the laborites and extreme radicals have now been
furnished with the politically effective argument that the oil was found
with government money. Even the utilization of the oil found in the
test wells, which will be limited to the ones already started, is subject to
the serious handicap that whenever the government starts to remove the
oil from the tankage at the well site the landlord will immediately start
injunction proceedings.

Future Commercial Prospects

In the center of England the Mountain limestone (Mississippian) is
exposed along the axis of the Pennine fold. Like the similar carbonif-
erous limestones in Kentucky and Missouri, it is cut by spar and lead
veins, but unlike these, it contains numerous important seepages of
petroleum. The upper 100 to 150 ft. (30 to 45 m.) of this limestone is
dolomitic. Overlying the Mountain limestone are the Yoredale shales
and sandstones, which in the important area to the east have a thickness
of from 400 to 700 ft. (121 to 213 m.) and in the area to the west, 2000 to
2500 ft. The Yoredale shales are followed by the Millstone grits series
of shales and important porous sandstones with a total thickness on
the east (rf 700 to 900 ft., and on the west of about 300 ft.; these, in turn,

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are succeeded by the productive coal measures. On each side of the
main Pennine fold, subsidiary folds produce a whole series of local domes,
anticlines, and terraces in the regions where the limestone is overlaid by
the Yoredale and succeeding rocks. There is considerable faulting, but
the character of the oil produced in the limestone is such that, while it is
of a paraffin base, it oxidizes even more rapidly than an asphaltic oil.
There are no surface exudations of oil of importance on either side of the
main limestone mass, but for the last century the coal mines on either
side have encountered important flows of oil on fault planes.

The discovery well is located on a faulted dome at Hardstof t, Derby-
shire, where none of the coal mines had found oil in the fault planes.
It started in the coal measures, found wax in drilling through a fault, a
conmiercial supply of gas in the Millstone grits, which was muddied
off, and oil in the top of the limestone at a depth of 3078 ft. (938 m.).
This well has been flowing at the rate of 12 bbl. per day since June of
this year, and is estimated to have a pumping capacity in excess of 50 bbl.
The well has not been ''shot;" first, because the transportation of
nitroglycerine on the roads of England is not permitted, and, second,
because the war emergency being over, the question of the ownership
of the oil has become acute, and when the present tankage is filled the
removal of the oil will undoubtedly involve a legal fight.

Two wells, located on domes south of Hardstof t, both started in the
coal measures, penetrated the Millstone grits without finding gas in
any considerable quantities, showed a little oil in the top of the limestone,
and are now drilling in the limestone, where they have encountered a
little gas. It is planned to "shoot" these wells whenever conditions
permit. Three wells on different structures to the north of Hardstof t
have encountered commercial gas in the Millstone grits, but have not
yet reached the limestone. The two wells which have been started on
the west side of the Pennine axis in Staffordshire have not yet reached a
sufficient depth to be interesting. The area in the center of England
that has important petroleum possibiUties is between 20,000 and 30,000
square miles.

The two wells that are being drilled in Scotland are in an entirely
different category. They are merely "wildcat" wells, with a moderate
chance of being successful. One is located at West Cidder, on a dome in
the oil-shale fields, 16 mi. southwest of Edinburgh, and the other on a
dome at Darcy, 10 mi. southeast of Edinburgh — both in Edinburgh-
shire. They both start in what is considered the northern equivalent
of the lower part of the Mountain limestone, which is here for the most
part the oil-shale series. They will both penetrate between 2000 and
2500 ft. (609 and 761 m.) important untested sandstones underlying the
oil shales, and are expected to reach the old red sandstone (Devonian) at
from 3300 to 4000 ft. A certain amount of free oil and wax has been

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found in connection with the shale mining — sometimes in the associated
sandstones; sometimes on the faces of the igneous sills. This free oil
has always been considered as due to destructive distillation of the shale
by heat from the igneous rocks, but Mr. J. E. Hackford finds that it has
many things which distinguish it from an oil that could be produced by
the destructive distillation of the shales, and reaches the conclusion that
it has come from below after the igneous rocks had cooled. This, taken
in connection with the fact that the Devonian sandstones show some oil
in the north of Scotland and in the Orkneys, has led to the location of the
two test wells in Scotland.

The present work in Great Britain had its inception in 1914, when the
outbreak of the war enabled the writer and his associates to carry out a
long deferred desire to see just what the numerous indications of petro-
leum in Great Britain really meant. Thanks to the great mass of funda^
mental geological information which the Geological Siurvey of Great
Britain had collected and published, and particularly to the detail work
carried out in certain coal fields, it was possible in a short time to
present to Lord Cowdray the conclusion that the petroleum possibilities
of the Midlands of England were of a most amazing and striking
character. Lord Cowdray, after a momentary hesitation, shared our
enthusiasm. With the increase of the submarine menace, he offered to
place the services of his firm and his petroleimi staff at the disposal of
the nation, free of cost, for carrying this work forward as a war measure.

Online LibraryMetallurgical American Institute of MiningTransactions of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Incorporated → online text (page 1 of 60)