The Petroleum Museum

January 7 journal

12:10 -The Petroleum Museum, – Midland, tx

Looked at 6 different oil and gas ‘traps’.  The traps are classified according to the geological processes which form them.

Anticline, fault, lens, pinch-out, reef, and truncation traps

The first time geology was used to help locate oil sites was looking for lifting of the crust of the earth which indicated a possible anticline trap.  Then geologists started mapping depths

In 1924 oil prospectors starting using a torsion balance to map minute gravitational differences due to rock density below.

Then they started using a magnetometer to measures variants in the magnetic fields caused by different kinds of rocks

The most powerful tool used today is the use of compression shocks and geophones to  map the subsurface.  Strings of geophones are plugged into a truck which records the return of the shock waves from the compression shock to produce detailed maps of density of the rock formations below.

Side note : Geophones are also used in border patrol efforts allowing border patrol to listen in on the activities of geographic areas. (neat to note the crossover uses of technologies)

The reef exhibit is probably the most impressive artistic reproduction I’ve ever seen. It’s real really well done.

The air patrol exhibit highlighted a job previously invisible to me.  Somebody has to fly up and down the oil pipeline and look for leaks.  There’s a job I could get into!  (step one – become pilot)

1:45 – One of the school vans backed into a car in the parking lot here at the museum in Midland.  Looks like we’ll be getting in a bit later today.