TU’s Petroleum Abstracts marks 50 years

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Petroleum Abstracts, an information service of The University of Tulsa, observed its 50th anniversary Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010. Petroleum Abstracts is recognized as a leading information resource for the oil and gas industry worldwide.

It publishes the weekly Petroleum Abstracts electronic bulletin and produces the online TULSA® database, which now contains about 1 million entries directly relevant to oil and gas exploration and production (E&P). Petroleum Abstracts covers E&P-related scientific and technical papers, articles, meeting proceedings, patents and patent applications, government reports, books, maps and many other published sources of interest to the energy industry.

Petroleum Abstracts is supported primarily by subscription revenues from large oil and gas companies and government oil ministries, as well as universities, research groups and other energy-industry organizations in 24 countries.

“Petroleum Abstracts’ success is the result of our partnership with the petroleum industry. Ten oil and oilfield service companies joined together with The University of Tulsa in 1960 to form the service,” said Thomas E. Burchfield, director of Petroleum Abstracts. “We achieved the 50-year milestone as a result of the continuing support of these companies. Today our close relationship with our subscribers remains a hallmark of our organization.”

Scott W. Walker, then dean of the TU College of Engineering, first proposed establishing an E&P information service at the university. He appointed E.T. Guerrero, then chair of the Petroleum Engineering Department, to organize and direct this new service.

The first issue of the Petroleum Abstracts bulletin appeared on Jan. 7, 1961. The TULSA® database was introduced in October 1975, making it one of the first searchable, online, scientific and technical databases in the world.

“During the past 50 years, Petroleum Abstracts has survived several major downturns in the oil and gas industry, an upheaval in the information industry and a significant consolidation among large oil companies. More remarkably, not only has PA survived, it has thrived,” Burchfield said.

For more information, contact Burchfield at (918) 631-3004, (918) 631-2296, or teburch@utulsa.edu.

Mona Chamberlin