How can I understand petroleum geology

60 years of petroleum geology at the Bergakademie Freiberg


1 60 years of petroleum geology at the Bergakademie Freiberg H. PÄTZ. R. MEINHOLD, Freiberg Preliminary remark The Institute for Fuel Geology was founded on the initiative of Otto Stutzers, who was also the first director of the institute, as a unified institution for coal and petroleum geology. Traditionally, natural gas should also be included in the oil geology; because oil and natural gas can usually hardly be separated from one another in terms of their occurrence. If the title of this article promises to consider petroleum geology only for a period of 60 years, which of course also includes the consolidation of petroleum geology as an independent scientific discipline at the Bergakademie Freiberg, then a brief look back at the time before 1927 should be allowed. 1. Petroleum geology as part of the training and research at the Freiberg mining academy before 1927 In the courses and publications Freiberg scientists can identify petroleum geological aspects long before the Freiberg mining academy was officially founded as the first mining science university in the world. In this context, it is worth remembering J. Henckel's ideas about the origin of oil from plants and animals, as he expressed them in his work "Pyritology" as early as 1725 (VASSOEVIČ, MEINHOLD and PÄTZ 1971). Petroleum geological evidence for teaching has been in the geological and mineral deposits collections since the last century. B. v. Cotta () and A. W. Stelzner (), as dealt with in the publications on the geoscientific collections of the Bergakademie by BAUMANN and WEBER (1979) and by other authors. With Otto Stutzer's appointment as associate professor for fuel geology in 1913, petroleum geological training and research experienced a decisive further development as an independent scientific discipline at the Freiberg Mining Academy. Between 1913 and 1927 Stutzer made a significant contribution to the mineral geological profile of the future chair for fuel geology. In the first years of Stutzer's scientific activity, the coal geological aspects were in the foreground. From the beginning of the twenties he devoted himself particularly to oil geology; because this discipline experienced a great and worldwide boom because of the high economic value of oil. Stutzer recognized this trend of the time and turned energetically to petroleum geological tasks. So he made trips to Colombia in the years and worked there on behalf of the government. The German geology, which was brought to the attention of the government geologist R. Scheibe, was still highly recognized at that time. Stutzer was able to take advantage of this fact and study the oil deposits and take on prospecting tasks. He brought home profound knowledge about the occurrence, formation conditions and migration of crude oil. Many magazine publications, his textbooks and not to forget his guides for mapping and prospecting in tropical countries bear witness to this. The fact that Stutzer was able to distinguish himself particularly through his ten years of practical work in oil geology was also noticeable in the organization of the Institute for Fuel Geology. Within the institute he dealt primarily with petroleum geology, while he worked on the other branches, such as coal geology and paleobotany, e.g. T. scientific employees transferred. The importance that Stutzer attached to petroleum geology can also be seen in the series he edited: "Writings in the field of fuel geology". Of the first eight issues, six were devoted to petroleum alone, including issue 1, a monograph by K. KREJCI-GRAF on

2 the Romanian oil deposits (1929), which has long been regarded as the standard work for this area. Mention should also be made of the booklet "Basic Issues in Oil Geology" edited by the same author. The booklet written by J. NOWAK on Polish oil deposits was a source of information for decades. The magazines held by the institute mainly represented the oil branch, with a total of 13 foreign and one German titles on display. After O. STUTZER's death, K. KREJCI-GRAF was again a petroleum geologist to head the institute. 2. Petroleum geological teaching and research at the Bergakademie Freiberg since October 1927 The establishment of the Institute for Fuel Geology at the Bergakademie Freiberg created another prerequisite for the scientific development of petroleum geology, namely institutionalization. In connection with the prospecting of deposits in Germany, O. STUTZER carried out a targeted profiling of the petroleum geology at the Bergakademie Freiberg according to three decisive aspects: 1. The petroleum geological teaching for the mining disciplines experienced a special intensification and profiling, including the publication of the textbook "Petroleum "1931 contributed. 2. The systematic development of foraminifera and ostracode research as the main stratigraphic method at that time for the parallelization of horizons according to drilling results, especially after flushing samples, must be viewed as the basis of Stutzer's independent oil geological research at the Freiberg Bergakademie. 3. With his trips to the Soviet Union in 1929 and to the USA in autumn 1935 and spring 1956, O. STUTZER underscored his particular interest in oil deposits, although other deposits such as sulfur were not ignored. Introduced by O. STUTZER during his trip to the Soviet Union in 1929, K. KREJCI-GRAF (head of the institute from 1938) continued efforts to work closely with Soviet petroleum geologists and petroleum geological teaching and research institutions. In 1934, Krejci-Graf published the book "Basic Issues of Oil Geology" in Germany in 1950, in Russian, whereby N. B. VASSOEVIČ made a special contribution to the publication of this book in the USSR (MEINHOLD and PÄTZ 1976). In the meantime, several separata by Soviet authors who did not come to Freiberg until after 1936 have been found in the library of the former Institute for Fuel Geology. Although it had been forbidden to maintain close contact with Soviet scientists since 1935, Krejci-Graf advocated overcoming this fascist ban. It was probably precisely these efforts by Krejci-Graf to work with the USSR that had a decisive influence on his personal and scientific life, because he started working in Bucharest in 1939 as a representative of Germany on petroleum issues and the Continental-Öl-AG in the wake of his engagement at the mining academy Freiberg for the cooperation with Soviet oil geological partners (PÄTZ 1985). With the rigorous suppression of contacts with Soviet petroleum geologists by the fascist rulers, the systematic development of petroleum geology at the Freiberg Mining Academy was severely impaired. On the other hand, the opening of Soviet petroleum geology to Germany by Stutzer and Krejci-Graf in the 1930s can be seen as the key to the continuously developing relations with Soviet universities in Moscow, Leningrad and Baku since 1956. 2.1 The petroleum geological training and further education at the Bergakademie Freiberg since its reopening in February 1946 If the focus between 1945 and 1950 was on coal geological research on hard and lignite coals in the Soviet Union and the Soviet occupation zone and later on the GDR, the petroleum geological training won with the Vocation. Dr. R. Hungers in 1950 at the Bergakademie Freiberg for the

3 Geosciences as well as for some specific subjects and fields of study in mining again a special meaning. With the resumption of the exploration of new hydrocarbon deposits in the GDR, targeted support for the training was provided by Soviet visiting professors and representatives of the GDR's oil exploration companies. In the academic year 1956/57 Prof. Dr. N. I. Bujalov "Exploration methodology of petroleum deposits" and carried out practical exercises on it. After that, Dr. R. Meinhold held the course "Petroleum Geology" with teaching assignment in 1958 as scientific director of the then VVB Erdöl und Erdgas. From 1959 to 1963 Prof. Dr. A. N. Snarskij as visiting professor at the Technical University of Lvov at the then Institute for Fuel Geology at the Bergakademie. His attempts to found an institute for petroleum geology did not succeed, but he succeeded in establishing the "Department for Petroleum Geology" and the field of study "Petroleum Geology, in order to be able to train special petroleum geological specialists in the GDR for the extensive hydrocarbon search and exploration program In 1960, Dr. R. Meinhold worked as a research assistant, university lecturer and professor of petroleum geology until his retirement from active university service in 1976 as a representative of petroleum geology at the Bergakademie Freiberg. After Prof. Snarskij's return to the USSR in 1963, Dr. Meinhold took over all petroleum geology Courses and the development of specific petroleum geological research at the Bergakademie. On the State Secretariat for Higher Education and Technical Education the "Institute for Petroleum Geology of the Bergakademie Freiberg" was founded. The development of petroleum geological teaching and research between 1963 and 1976 was h mainly shaped by R. Meinhold and his co-workers. During this time, 23 dissertations and a habilitation and dissertation B each were successfully defended. The petroleum geological training was characterized in particular by numerous internships at home and abroad. This led to a close collaboration with what was then VVB Erdöl und Erdgas in Gommern. The internships abroad took place in the USSR and in the Hungarian VR. A total of 52 students graduated as geologists specializing in petroleum geology, including one each from Burma and Somalia. The special training of petroleum geologists was given up with the introduction of a new curriculum for a four-year geology course from 1970 to 1976. At that time as well as later, after the introduction of a new five-year training program for geoscientists from 1976, a special petroleum geology-oriented deepening remained possible and was also used. In addition to the training of special petroleum geologists and geoscientists from all disciplines in the geosciences section, who were mainly employed after 1967 in the area of ​​hydrocarbon search and exploration in the GDR, the petroleum geological education of students specializing in deep drilling technology was systematically expanded and improved. In addition to the laboratory facilities of the geosciences section, the training is provided with an extensive textbook as well as the technically-oriented training opportunities in the field of "deep drilling technology and" crude oil / natural gas extraction and production technology. "The textbook includes an extensive series of letters for distance learning, special oil geology textbooks as well as petroleum geological treatises in a subject-specific and popular manner of presentation. With the in-depth training of interested students from different disciplines, who after completing their studies in petroleum geology in industry or in scientific institutions, a new, above all expanded, petroleum geological training profile has been developed since 1974 Special graduates take into account both the search and exploration as well as the problems of mining hydrocarbon deposits or the construction of underground storage facilities from a petroleum geological point of view t. Representatives of the mineral oil geology of the Bergakademie also work on an expert commission for the construction and operation of underground storage facilities in the GDR. Several expert reports were prepared. Special petroleum geological preparatory work on the problem of underground storage was also carried out in the form of qualification work.

4 After R. Meinhold retired from active service, his longstanding employee, Doz. H. Pätz, the courses in petroleum geology for the advanced training of geologists as well as for the specialty "deep drilling technology". Furthermore, he continued the research work in the established manner. The petroleum geological advanced training is mainly achieved through study, engineering internship and diploma theses. Since 1976 ten unscheduled and external aspirants have successfully defended their dissertation A. In addition, a dissertation B was completed in 1981. This work played a major role in the further profiling of the petroleum geological education and research Further training by practical cadres The petroleum geological research since a new beginning 1946 to 1976 The specific petroleum geological research work did not get underway again until 1963. It was based to a large extent on the needs of practice and preferred topics for which the petroleum geology department was technically equipped or for the results of exploratory drilling. The investigation of the Zechstein carbonates of the GDR occupied a large area. The results are recorded in numerous diploma theses, dissertations and laboratory work, which include structural exploration, petrology, petrophysics, hydrology, paleontology, pore water, the organic-geochemical content, the geophysical interpretation and exploration problems. Afterwards it was possible to interpret the appearance of the various Zechstein series in a completeness that had not yet been achieved. A second task consisted of the investigation of the gases adsorbed in sediments, starting with the problem of their release, their detection in different types of sediments up to the interpretation as bedrock criterion. Furthermore, investigations into the diagenesis of the sediments were carried out, especially in connection with the genesis of oil and gas, whereby the degree of carbonization of organic components was determined in particular by means of the reflection-optical method. This method has now reached a high level. This was followed by research work in the form of a youth object, which examined the diagenesis of the sediments with a whole series of methods and found general recognition. The GDR's free natural gases were also examined with regard to the distribution of their components. Further work dealt with the exploration methodology of hydrocarbons. B. measured the variation of gamma radiation over deposits and in sediments. Less extensive research has focused on the solubility and saturation pressures of gases in water, non-Darcy flow, and mathematical methods in petroleum geology. All employees of the department or the institute were successfully involved in this work. Since in the mid-1960s, oil was to come first in the energy supply, the Bergakademie was given interdisciplinary and cross-faculty tasks that led to the establishment of the Oil and Gas Section. It combined scientific and technical disciplines for a quick exchange of experiences and for the coordination of the work. The majority of the research served the tasks of VVB Erdöl und Erdgas Gommern, with which contractual ties existed. With the formation of the Geosciences Section, the institute was transformed into the Petroleum Geology Department within this section. The main task of the geosciences section was to serve oil exploration. To this end, a petroleum-natural gas research group was formed at the Geosciences Section under the leadership of R. Meinhold. The contract partners from industry and other scientific institutions were also included in this group in order to coordinate, guide and defend the relevant work before the contract partners. Finally, reference must also be made to the preparatory work for the reassessment of the oil and gas exposure of the GDR, which was carried out in 1967/69. The research group existed as an independent unit until 1974.

5 3. The relations of petroleum geology at the Freiberg Mining Academy to Soviet and other teaching and research institutions abroad The cooperation with the Soviet Union, which was sought in the twenties of our century, as well as the general international interest in the oil and gas problem, has developed since 1956 again systematically international relations in the field of petroleum geology. Naturally, training and further education became the starting point for joint action with Soviet universities, such as the oil universities in Moscow and Baku. There are detailed descriptions of this by PÄTZ, BAKIROV and RJABUCHIN (1976), MEINHOLD and PÄTZ (1976) as well as PÄTZ and LEEDER (1977) on the cooperation, in particular on the implementation of the internship. In addition, close relationships were established with Polish, Hungarian, Romanian and Bulgarian universities with a special petroleum geological profile.The main focus of the further development of petroleum geology at the Freiberg Mining Academy is to be seen in the further coordination of the training and further education of petroleum geology cadres. It is about the interrelationship between the general representation as well as the specialization and deepening of petroleum geology at the Bergakademie Freiberg for a longer period of time. Partial and additional studies in the USSR or in the VR Bulgaria will prove to be particularly advantageous. An expression of the existing connection between the petroleum geological training and research facilities in the countries mentioned are also numerous joint publications with foreign scientists. The further development of petroleum geology will in future also be determined at the Bergakademie Freiberg by the interrelationship between the general and special development tendencies of petroleum geology as an individual science. In this sense, the words of Goethe from his maxims and reflections may also be a program of the future for petroleum geology: "In the sciences it is highly meritorious to seek out and carry on the inadequate truths that the ancients already possessed.