Celebrating the 25th year of Petroleum Geoscience

A guest post from Philip S Ringrose, Chief Editor of Petroleum Geoscience – a co-owned journal of the Geological Society of London and the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE). 

2019 is an important milestone for applied geoscience – Petroleum Geoscience is 25.

Over the last 25 years, the Journal has been publishing leading research papers on exploration and development of sub-surface hydrocarbon resources and related themes in applied geoscience. The first issue was published in January 1995, and it has been all uphill since then – by which I mean progress in climbing the hills of Earth science.

What has changed in 25 years?

The topics and themes addressed have been recognisable and fairly constant over that period (seismic imaging, stratigraphy, tectonics, basin analysis, reservoir modelling, etc.), but what has changed most are the advances in the techniques applied.

Seismic imaging has moved on in leaps and bounds (e.g. waveform analysis and imaging), computer simulations now employ multi-physics analyses to multi-million cell models and the scales of analysis now go from the nanoscale (e.g. pore imaging) well past the basin scale to crustal-scale tectonic analysis.

Hopefully, careful geological observation of rock samples (at outcrop or in core) is still a foundation for any geoscience discipline, but the analytical methods used to take those observations into analysis and interpretation have moved on in leaps and bounds. If you have a moment, take a look at back issues of Petroleum Geoscience to see how this branch of Earth science has moved on over the last 25 years.

Looking to the future, we are publishing this year’s Journal with a special front cover to celebrate our anniversary with some inspiring images which capture our multi-disciplinary coverage, and which demonstrate the significant advances we have made in imaging and interpreting the subsurface. The front cover for this issue is a multidata view of the Gulf of Mexico offshore basin – an image which captures features from seismic imaging, stratigraphy, fault interpretation and salt tectonics. Another aspect relevant to the Journal’s coverage of topics in geoenergy and applied Earth science is that this basin, which has functioned as a vital petroleum resource, is now the focus of evaluation as a regional geologic sink for large-scale CO2 storage.

Inspiring images aside, I do hope our 25th anniversary edition inspires you to benefit from and contribute to the excellent research papers found inside.

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