History

well loggingWithout the genius of two brothers from France almost over 100 years ago, the very face of well logging might be very different from what it is today. To really understand logging, we have to take a look at the origins of the process and the brothers behind it.

Conrad, being the older of the two, was born in 1878 with Marcel born 6 years later in 1884. They were living in what was then known as the Alsace region of the German Empire in what was a devoutly Protestant house along with their parents and 4 other siblings.

Realising the lack of opportunities in Alsace, the elder Schlumbergers decided to send their boys to Paris to make a name for themselves. Initially, Conrad was a respected physicist whereas Marcel was an engineer and both of them had graduated from their respective universities.

It was during his tenure as professor at his previous college that Conrad thought up the idea that would soon gain him worldwide recognition.

After another earlier stint as a mining engineer in which he would have garnered the know-how for the industry, Schlumberger came up with the brainwave of measuring the conductivity of ore beds. Using something as simple as a bathtub, Conrad began his first experiment which proved successful.

Years passed and by 1923, the brothers were reunited with both of them eager to set to work on making the innovation a worldwide tool by travelling from far-reaching places such as Serbia and the USA. By 1926, the pair had started up the Societe de Prospection which endeavoured to unlock the secrets of resistivity.

1927 was the year when success truly approached for the pair. Prior to signing a lucrative contract with Pechelbronn oil field, the brothers did their very first “Electrical Survey” in a cumbersome but effective method. It is only in later years that this came to be known as well-logging.

After much success and profit, there came a time which affected not only Conrad and Marcel but businesses all over. The recession brought with it many difficulties and was a major hindrance in the expansion of the Schlumberger group. In fact, it was of a heart attack that Conrad died from in 1936 after flying home in 1936. Marcel passed away in 1953 and lived through World War II.

It was after the war that Marcel’s son, Pierre, came to the fore of the company and led it to become the world’s largest oilfield services company in the world.

Geophysicists across the world have lauded Conrad and he is still highly revered in the sector with a special award being given to those who excelled in the world of geosciences.