Gushers, science and luck: Everette Lee DeGolyer and the Mexican oil upsurge, 1909–19
Published:January 01, 2017
Francesco Gerali, Paolo Riguzzi, 2017. "Gushers, science and luck: Everette Lee DeGolyer and the Mexican oil upsurge, 1909–19", History of Geoscience: Celebrating 50 Years of INHIGEO, W. Mayer, R. M. Clary, L. F. Azuela, T. S. Mota, S. Wołkowicz
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Despite the political controversies surrounding it, in Mexico as in other countries, oil exploration and production between 1900 and 1920 was primarily an economic activity developed by scientists, technologists, skilled workers and entrepreneurs. The Mexican oil fields were both drilling sites and ‘smithies of ideas’ where new cadres of oil professionals were producing fresh knowledge on the oil-bearing formations. Along with Mexican and British professionals, young US geologists with more books in their hands than oil on their shoes emerged and managed, in spite of having little experience, to push Mexico in less than one decade to the top-three list of petroleum-exporting countries. This article aims to present the business and scientific activities of one of the most relevant individuals among them, Everette Lee DeGolyer, assessing his contribution to petroleum exploitation and oil geology in Mexico.
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History of Geoscience: Celebrating 50 Years of INHIGEO
The study of the Earth’s origin, its composition, the processes that changed and shaped it over time and the fossils preserved in rocks, have occupied enquiring minds from ancient times. The contributions in this volume trace the history of ideas and the research of scholars in a wide range of geological disciplines that have paved the way to our present-day understanding and knowledge of the physical nature of our planet and the diversity of life that inhabited it.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the International Commission on the History of Geology, the book features contributions that give insights into its establishment and progress. In other sections authors reflect on the value of studying the history of the geosciences and provide accounts of early investigations in fields as diverse as tectonics, volcanology, geomorphology, vertebrate palaeontology and petroleum geology. Other papers discuss the establishment of geological surveys, the contribution of women to geology and biographical sketches of noted scholars in various fields of geoscience.