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The History of Wirelining: A Chronological Timeline



Wireline Logging is nothing new, and yet somehow, it has been perpetually in a state of evolution since it was first imagined in 1927.


"Innovation-mindsets" and "solution-mindsets" are not so different from one another.


Innovative problem solving has always been what has pushed technology forward. One of the big innovative stories from the oil and gas industry is the story of Conrad Schlumberger and his team of experimental physicists. Schlumberger and his team were the first to measure "resistivity with an electrical probe—or sonde—run into boreholes". They drew inspiration for their work from researchers before them, had explored resistivity and electricity in mining almost 100 years 1830.


Schlumberger and his team also drew inspiration from Lord Kelvin who invented the downhole temperature measurement tool in 1869.


Schlumberger and his team had begun "systematic studies of electric surveying" in 1912 and in 1927 they recorded the first experimental electric log in Pechelbronn, France.

A single lateral-resistivity curve recorded at fixed points and later plotted as a graph against depth.


September 5, 1927, was the dawn of a new era in borehole monitoring and oil exploration. The log developed by Schlumberger's team was not exactly the online 24/7 monitoring software we offer today but it was the beginning of a new way of recording.


That innovative action influenced petroleum engineering and the oil and gas industry as a whole. It was the major solution that allowed oil and gas to navigate away from relying exclusively on core samples. This solution ignited an acceleration in innovative methods of recording.


After 1927, the wireline logging technological-boom was sparked.


How did Wirelining begin? A detailed timeline:

  • September 5, 1927: Conrad Schlumberger and his team record the first experimental electric log of the single-lateral resistivity curve.

  • 1932: M.M. Kinley develops the Caliper Log which records downhole rather than at the surface.

  • 1934: Schlumberger adds the long normal resistivity curve to the standard log.

  • 1935: A continuously recording temperature instrument is introduced by Schlumberger.

  • 1935: A photoelectric device for location of point of water-entry is developed by Dale.

  • 1936: Both Halliburton and Schlumberger introduce photographic recording.

  • 1937: A field test of automatic drilling-time logging is developed (but would not become generally available until 1943)

  • 1938: Halliburton established the Caliper log as a commercial tool.

  • 1939: Well Surveys Inc. introduced the first commercial use of radioactive properties in logging with the Gamma Ray Log.

  • 1940: The introduction of the photoclinometer by Schlumberger

  • 1941: Well Surveys Inc. develops the neutron-gamma log

  • 1943: Radioactive tracer log is introduced by Lane-Wells


As mentioned above, this list is not exhaustive. If you would like to continue reading about the history of wireline logging you can access a great resource (up to 1963) by visiting Geophysics "A History of Wireline Logging" by Hamilton M. Johnson


You can learn more about our Wireline Logging Services, Slickline and Fibre Optic technologies through the links.



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