Study: Rectilinear contouring eliminates need for geologists

CALGARY, Alberta – Calgary-based Bendovus Energy recently fired all of its geologists when a task force of engineers undertook an informal study that proved geological maps made just as much sense with rectilinear contouring as they do with the traditional curvilinear contouring. The leader of the task force, petroleum engineer N. E. Boddy, explained the difference.

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N. E. Boddy, engineer, ecstatic to have finally figured out that geologists are completely useless

Geologists are always talking about how they have to honour all the data points on a map by drawing a bunch of wavy (curvilinear) lines.  We found that that’s just bullshit.  Just connect the data points with straight (rectilinear) lines and the map works just fine, and in some cases even better.  Furthermore, a 10-year old with a pencil and a ruler can do it, and kids have considerably lower G&A costs. – N.E. Boddy, P.Eng.

As might be expected, the geologists vehemently objected to this conclusion and challenged the engineers to prove it. The company’s geology department believes that it takes decades of highly-skilled experience to understand exactly how to properly draw lines between known data points, where no data exists in between.

According to the results from a blind test that was conducted over the past 6 weeks, identical sets of real-world data from a recent seismic and coring program were given to a team of Bendovus geologists and a group of 4th graders from Ms. Feeny’s class at a local elementary school.

With five minutes of verbal instructions, the children were asked to use a ruler to connect the dots that had the same numbers without any of the lines crossing.  They finished in about half an hour.  The geologists finished in three days.

The two sets of maps were collected and presented to upper management at Bendovus Energy without any overt identification of the authors.  Although it was more than obvious that one set had straight-line contouring and the other curved-line contouring, the managers involved were unaware of the true purpose of the test.

The managers critiqued each map and made notes. Then the authors were revealed.  Among the more colorful comments for the geological team’s maps were:

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Middle manager, studying a map

“I didn’t think crayons would smear this much.”

“I thought it was a blank data point but it turned out to be a booger.”

“This one has so many erasures that it has actual holes in it.”

“I didn’t know contours could cross and then double back. Isn’t that defined as Neg Pay?”

“A drilling location in the dead center of a syncline?”

“Oh, so that’s a coffee stain, and not one of those iso-lines, huh?”

“Why are many of our wells located where there are no lines on the map?”

“How do the geologists know how to draw the lines between the data points? Because there is no data there. And we pay them how much to do this?”

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A sample of some of the maps that the 4th grade test group generated. To even a highly skilled middle manager, they were virtually indistinguishable from maps prepared by seasoned geologists with over 40 years experience.

At Ms. Feeny’s insistence, no comments on the children’s maps would be made public, other than a general comment that their maps were much neater and made way more sense.

However, it can also be reported that the kids’ maps have formed the basis for the entire Bendovus drilling program for 2015 and perhaps even included in the company’s Long Range Planning activities.

A large contribution was made to the elementary school in gratitude.  A further saving was realized when the company cancelled all of its contracts for computer contouring programs.

2P News believes that it is only a matter of time before other oil and gas companies follow Bendovus’ lead in reducing the size of their geology departments to 0 people.

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Sir William Shortspeare, hereditary lord of Bentknee Manor in Slopshire, has over forty years’ experience at being a devout prig. Staying one step ahead of the nancy boys at Clovenhoof College, he graduated with a degree in Nothing Special. Thus eminently qualified, he joined British Petroleum and was immediately posted to Houston. After enduring one summer of Texas heat, he spent the remainder of his career demanding a transfer. Now retired, he casts a jaundiced eye on the petroleum industry from Southern California and reports his findings to 2P News.

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