Abstract

The advent of exploration geophysics in the United States was in late 1922 when torsion balances were brought over to the United States from Germany by both the Roxana (the predecessor of Shell) and the Amerada Petroleum Corporation. The first survey in the Gulf Coast of Texas was at Spindletop in December, 1922, under the direction of Donald C. Barton, who later and at the time of his death in 1939 was Humble's chief research geologist. It was Donald Barton's idea that the known shallow piercement-type salt dome at Spindletop would furnish a testing ground for this new method. It should be recorded that an excellent anomaly was found in this survey. Discouraging results followed, however, as other known structures were found to give no significant anomaly, and in other instances where anomalous areas were outlined they were condemned by the drilling of exploratory wells. In March, 1924--about a year and a half later--however, an outstanding anomaly was found in the Nash area, Fort Bend County, Texas. In November of that same year dome material was found by the drill, and the discovery of the Nash Dome was a reality. It was not until January 3, 1926, though, that oil was found on the flank of the dome, and this is probably the first oil found as a result of the use of geophysical methods in the United States.

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