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Ground Truth – says who?

Sir, I feel having Gary Nichols, Managing Director of Nautilus, “Largest single provider of field based training” make the case for field based training is like having the CEO of Ben ‘n Jerry’s make the case for ice cream.  Even worse, he doesn’t even make a good case.

We cannot walk along subterranean hydrocarbon reservoirs, but year-on-year enhanced recovery demonstrates we are doing something right. That would be the study of rock mechanics, fluid mechanics, porosity, permeability, reservoir pressures, injection pressures, flow rates, draw-down fluid contacts & so on.  Surely these are more laboratory sciences rather than field training?  It is not true that we can only study the vertical in well bores.  Most hydrocarbon based well paths now navigate horizontally through the reservoir with down-hole, real time tools which give fantastic resolution of rocks; particularly the measured physical properties so important  to evaluation & production.  We know there are commonly facies variations across reservoirs – no surprise there, but do field studies inform us on the best way to make reservoir fluids flow?

Continuing Personal Development (CPD) is an important aspect to everyone’s career & to companies’ success.  I would venture that the amount spent on Nautilus-type field training by energy sector companies versus everything else they put into individuals’ development approaches insignificance!

For our geological pioneers field study was indeed essential; they also rode around on horses & had no electric light.  Times change.  I like a day in the fresh air as much as the next person, so can’t we just be honest & say we go into the field because we enjoy it, rather than it being “essential or integral” to being a good geologist?

Now, where’s my ice cream?

P M A Carruthers