Author Topic: Billion Dollar Boxes (Photo Essay)  (Read 199 times)

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Offline Sanguine

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Billion Dollar Boxes (Photo Essay)
« on: July 26, 2019, 01:16:03 PM »
One of the assets of a large research university is its ability to store the objects, treasures and memories important to the society it serves.

From left to right: This drawer of vials has newspaper packing material dating from 1938, when President Franklin Roosevelt was in office. The State of Texas authorized funding for the core research archive in 1937. Each drawer along the aisle holds vials of well cuttings used during the past 80 years by UT and industry scientists to characterize rock formations at great depth. Photo by Marsha Miller. This collection of vials of tiny shards of rock called “cuttings” was the first acquisition by UT’s Bureau of Economic Geology. Photo by Marsha Miller.

By: Sara Robberson Lentz. Photos by Marsha Miller.

hy would someone hold on to a cardboard box of dirt and rock for more than half a century? Because what might look like plain dirt to one person is treasure to another. That was the case for the famous Eagle Ford discovery. Buried within the cavernous hallways of UT’s Austin Core Research Center were three boxes. Largely forgotten for more than 60 years, these unassuming packages sat among thousands of other small tan boxes stacked up to 15 feet high. Inside was a sample that led to the discovery of South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale, one of the most prolific hydrocarbon-producing fields in the world.

Just one aisle of the Austin Core Research Center holds more than 2 million vials of cuttings for use in geological research by anyone, public and academic alike. It is maintained by the Bureau of Economic Geology in UT’s Jackson School of Geosciences.

“It is the Library of Congress of rocks,” says Scott Tinker, state geologist and director of the Bureau of Economic Geology....

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Offline Smokin Joe

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Re: Billion Dollar Boxes (Photo Essay)
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2019, 05:59:35 AM »
The State of North Dakota has a core/sample library which is similar, if not as old. Every log from every well ever drilled in the State has been digitized as well, and the logs, production reports, etc. are available online. Full access requires a fee of $175/year, but downloads are unlimited, and I have used that ability in the past to gain additional information on offset wells while in the field, a far cry from the old days of having to get paper copies from information vendors, something which could take weeks.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2019, 06:01:40 AM by Smokin Joe »
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