Max W. Ball, 1951. "Possible Future Petroleum Provinces of North America: Foreword", Possible Future Petroleum Provinces of North America, Max W. Ball, Arthur A. Baker, George V. Cohee, Paul B. Whitney, Douglas Ball
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Nine years of growth.—Nine years have passed since the 1941 symposium. In those nine years our outlook has grown both geographically and geologically. The 1941 volume, for example, contained no mention of the Continental Shelf and no suggestion of the importance of reefs; it gave little consideration to possibilities in deeper strata in geologic basins already productive in upper beds; and it considered no possibilities deeper than 15,000 feet.
These limitations were due to no lack of mental reach; they reflected the 1041 state of knowledge and of physical techniques. To cite a single example, the deepest well theretofore drilled had stopped at 15,004 feet, and no well had produced oil or gas from below 14,000 feet. Since that time several wells have been drilled below 15,000 feet, one to 20,520 feet; two wells are producing from depths below 15,000 feet; the Continental Shelf is producing oil off California, Texas, and Louisiana; reefs have become prolific producers; and important production has been developed in deeper beds in basins that formerly produced mainly from shallower formations. Our concept of where to find oil and gas has both widened and deepened.
Origin of present symposium.—These facts led the program committee for the 1950 annual meeting, of which Lynn K. Lee was chairman, to propose a new symposium based on our 1950 concept of where oil and gas may be found. The proposal was promptly endorsed by C. W. Tomlinson, president of the Association, and the other members of the executive committee. A