Petroleum has assumed such a position in the industrial world in the last few years as to place it in the first group of minerals essential to civilization, and as its discovery and recovery are so obviously problems of applied geology, it is peculiarly fitting that the Geological Society of America should devote especial attention to it at this time.
It is the purpose of this paper, which is intended to open the discussion, to briefly outline the present conditions surrounding the oil industry and the problems confronting it, especially the most important problem, that of future supply.
The world’s production of crude petroleum in 1915 was 427,695,347 barrels; the 281,104,104 barrels of this produced in the United States was worth an average of about 80 cents per barrel, or a total of $224,883,-283; the balance of the world’s production was . . .