Probably the greatest event in the exploration history of the American petroleum industry was the discovery of oil at Spindletop, near Beaumont. Texas, on January 10, 1901. That historical find revolutionized industry and spawned the industrial development that the world enjoys today. It also focused the petroleum industry’s exploratory efforts on the search for other domes and anticlines. This search sustained the growth of our profession of petroleum geologists. The second great event that had significant implications for our profession and the industry we serve was the discovery of the East Texas field on October 5, 1930. On that day the discovery well (“Dad" Joiner’s Daisy Bradford 3), located in Rusk County, was completed as a 300 bbl/day producer. The East Texas field has two outstanding features: Its tremendous size and the simplicity of its geologic trap. It has produced 5,311,152,697 bbls through the year 2001, and probably will produce many more millions of barrels.
Figure 1 shows that the trap is stratigraphic and occurs where the eroded edge of the Woodbine sand crosses regional nosing on the west flank of the Sabine uplift and is truncated between the overlapping Austin Chalk and the Wichita limestone below.
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Geoscients who believe that a study of history is extremely valuable will enjoy this volume. It contains case histories of both exploration triumphs and breakthrough concepts. Fascinating stories of early discoveries, landmark technologies, and modern innovation are told by authors with privileged glimpses into critical thought processes. The 17 papers in the book include: A history of oil production in California; Subtlety of the east Texas field; Methane from coalbeds; Giant gas fields of Saudi Arabia; and History of a new play–Thunder Horse discovery, deepwater Gulf of Mexico.