Oil scout humor

Aug. 14, 2000
Your high-interest article "Oil scout humor" (OGJ, July 24, 2000, p. 17), might well become a regular feature.

Your high-interest article "Oil scout humor" (OGJ, July 24, 2000, p. 17), might well become a regular feature. It would not surprise me if you receive other somewhat similar examples.

I began my first professional job as junior geologist in July 1948 at Stanolind Oil & Gas Co.'s San Antonio office after being graduated by Yale with a BA degree in geology in June. In early 1949, Stanolind decided to broaden my basic petroleum industry knowledge by assigning me to the San Antonio scout check for that year. This was a good year indeed-easy job, work-free weekends, balanced travel and office work, and report writing that proved invaluable later when I competed with your fine publication as an editor of World Oil during 1955-1968.

Another member of this weekly check was a major company scout deemed a parasite because he habitually contributed only minimal current drilling information both from his company and the counties to which he was assigned to scout. The suspicion existed that he was prematurely advising his royalty-buying cronies with information on new discoveries. He also had an annoying habit of copying, without prior permission, from the Amerada scout's loose-leaf book the current well data for the last few counties to be discussed, then summarily leaving check early.

Finally, Amerada's young scout decided that he had had enough of this, and loaded a scout ticket of a just-plugged dry wildcat with bogus information detailing prolific oil and gas flows on multiple open-hole drill stem tests. Then-current well status was misstated as having run casing and waiting on cement to set. Sure enough, the senior scout duly copied these data, closed his book, waved goodbye, and departed-and as soon as he was out of earshot, the Amerada scout explained the entire ruse to those remaining and read off the correct D&A information to those still present.

Unfortunately, I don't know the rest of this story, except to say that it evidently remedied an unpopular, bad habit. Apparently the senior scout found out that he had been duped without any resulting damage. His attendance did, however, improve.

Perhaps someone else knows the rest of this story. If recollection serves, Joe Finerty was in the same scout check as part of a long career as a Cities Service geologist. I hasten to add that Joe was consistently diligent, and absolutely was not the "parasite." The same is true of Hiram Walker, then a scout check member in good standing who later became a drilling contractor.

Harrison T. Brundage (Spud)