Abstract

Over a period of 3 years, more than 100 new or little-known methods of seeking underground petroleum deposits were impartially evaluated. Most of these methods were the products of independent inventors. A large proportion of the methods proved to have little or no scientific foundation; nevertheless, the protagonists were afforded ample opportunity to prove the value of the methods by field performance. The results with every such method on which adequate data were accumulated were either negative or inconclusive. The methods which possessed some degree of technical merit included a few worthy of careful scientific study. These belonged to the general fields of seismic improvements, geochemical and radioactivity techniques, and electrical techniques. Some of these methods have received a degree of attention from laboratories of major oil-producing companies. Several examples of unorthodox methods are described. Scientifically trained persons can often detect fallacious methods by the protagonists' gross misuse of technical language. However, a study of the principles involved and statistically valid field testing are more conclusive.

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