New Year Marks JPT’s 75th Anniversary
We’re excited to begin the year with the commemoration of JPT’s 75th anniversary. This issue launches our special features dedicated to JPT’s reporting of technology and practices over the past 7½ decades.
We’re excited to begin the year with the commemoration of JPT’s 75th anniversary. This issue launches our special features dedicated to JPT’s reporting of technology and practices over the past 7½ decades. Emerging Technology Senior Editor Stephen Rassenfoss and Senior Technology Editor Trent Jacobs penned this month’s articles highlighting innovations in drilling, completions, and reservoir engineering.
Each month, our editors will dive into the archives to round up milestones of industry advancements and achievements as reported in JPT.
Since its inaugural issue in January 1949, JPT has remained true to its mission of reporting the technological and scientific learnings and advancements in the global oil and gas industry. Built upon a strong technical foundation, it continues to draw upon the expertise and knowledge of industry experts to disseminate up-to-date, relevant information to SPE members from all disciplines.
JPT’s evolution began with The American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME), founded in 1871 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It was one of the first national engineering societies established in the US.
In subsequent years, AIME was joined by four other engineering founder societies—The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (now the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE]), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)—and formed the United Engineering Foundation. (US President Herbert Hoover, a mining engineer, served as AIME’s president in 1920.)
As AIME itself continued to grow, it decentralized and formed four independently operated member societies: SME (Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration); TMS (The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society); AIST (Association for Iron & Steel Technology); and SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers).
AIME had as part of its membership a small, but growing, number of petroleum engineers. These members had specific technological issues far removed from their peers in the older, more-established engineering disciplines.
The AIME Petroleum Branch Executive Committee (whose members represented companies such as The Pure Oil Co., Dowell Inc., Humble Oil and Refining Co., and the Texas Co.) determined that the best way to meet this group’s needs was to develop a “publication so dominantly petroleum as to secure wide reader interest,” one that would “rapidly gain the respect of the industry.”
Over the years, that goal was achieved. JPT came to be recognized worldwide as the source for authoritative technical information in the petroleum industry.
JPT's first issue included four technical papers, one of which was “A Hydraulic Process for Increasing the Productivity of Wells.” The paper’s author, J.B. Clark, noted, “To date the process has been used in 32 jobs on 23 wells in 7 fields, resulting in a sustained increase in production in 11 wells.”
The hydraulic fracturing techniques for well stimulation that he discussed have been responsible for the subsequent recovery of billions of barrels of oil.
Also, bear in mind that the world’s total crude oil production in 1949 was about 3.8 billion bbl, less than the projected total US annual production in 2023—4.7 billion bbl.
Other articles related to the oil and gas business were “Private Financing of Oil-Producing Properties” and “Middle Eastern Oil and Its Importance to the World.” Interestingly, although the content is outdated, both topics remain relevant today, 75 years later.
Join us each month to explore our rich history and follow us on LinkedIn. All issues of JPT from 1949 to date are available in OnePetro. Even a cursory glance at the titles of the papers will show the remarkable evolution of technology over the years.
We wish you the best in 2024, both in your professional and personal lives.