'Uniformity in Geological Reports' (1917) by Josef Theodor Erb, petroleum geologist and manager (1874-1934)
'Uniformity in Geological Reports' (1917) by Josef Theodor Erb, petroleum geologist and manager (1874-1934) (in History of the European oil and gas industry, J. Craig (editor), Francesco Gerali (editor), F. MacAulay (editor) and Rasoul Sorkhabi (editor))
Special Publication - Geological Society of London (May 2018) 465 (1): 381-390
One hundred years ago, standards in geological report writing were formalized within the Royal Dutch Shell Group. Chief Geologist Josef Theodor Erb defined these standards in an internal report aimed at geologists working for Shell subsidiaries. His purpose was to raise the level of scientific reporting and to provide a measure of uniformity in geological reports sent to head office from all parts of the world. Ultimately, 'Uniformity in Geological Reports' was to allow the chief geologist to readily identify and follow-up on the better business opportunities. With time, Erb's report developed into the Shell 'Standard Legend'. Erb's career is symptomatic of a developing company culture, which he embraced as his life's goal. Realizing the shortcomings of this narrow personal philosophy of life may have been at the root of the mental problems that led to his death.