CFP: Symposium on the History of the Petroleum Industry: Hydraulic Fracturing – the 20th and 21st century.

October 22-25, 2017, Seattle, Washington

Francesco Gerali, The University of Oklahoma – William R. Brice, Petroleum History Institute

2017 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting

The symposium is sponsored by:
·         The GSA History and Philosophy of Geology Division
·         The GSA Energy Geology Division
·         The History of Earth Sciences Society (HESS)
·         The History of the Geoscience Section of the Geological Society of Italy

Call for papers

For this symposium the practitioners from academia, industry and the experts from the civil society are invited to present papers on the history of the hydraulic fracturing, which will contribute to an updating of the oil historiography.  These papers, through original research, will provide analysis of the dynamics, people, ideas, and artifacts that forged and developed seventy-years of scholarship and know-how on what today are called unconventional resources.  The papers in this symposium will have a national and/or transnational outreach, and should follow a multidisciplinary trajectory focused on science, technology, economics, and environment.

After almost seventy-years of conventional drilling, a new technological trajectory in exploration and production was introduced in late 1920s when the early horizontal/directional drillings experiments were successful.  The inception of hydraulic fracturing technology gained momentum in the United States when, in the 1940s, the relationship between well performance and treatment pressures was theorized and successfully proved.  After some years of field-testing and development of functional and secure operational procedures, in 1949 the first patent for hydraulic fracturing treatments was issued.  Since then hydraulic fracturing technology has continuously improved, developed, and is utilized in numerous countries.  In the 2000s, the number of unconventional operations began to be a significant portion of the total number of wells drilled in various countries.

The understanding of hydraulic fracturing – intended as a long-term cumulative and interdisciplinary process of scholarship and technology – requires a wealth of knowledge that often the historian does not have, but the field practitioner does.  This symposium hopes to attract both, and to foster new historical analyses that will increase our understanding of the artifacts, methods and skills that should provide for many decades – together with the synthetic fuels obtained from oil shale rocks and coal – the energetic abundance that made possible the development of the modern society since mid-1800s.  However, what sparked this increase in the exploitation of unconventional sources, how was this accomplished, and what new technologies were involved?  This symposium aims to spark a discussion on these questions.  The answers will yield new original scholarship in the discipline of the History of the Oil and Gas Industry.

The deadline to submit your paper proposals is June 30, Friday, 2017. You are kindly invited to send a 300-word max abstract, and to include your affiliation, institutional email, and phone contact.

For additional information:

Francesco Gerali,

We thank you in advance for your attention, we look forward receiving your paper proposals

Francesco Gerali

William R. Brice

Deadline: June 30, 2017

Posted: January 25, 2017