Proceedings Volume Cover
Fidelity Union Building  
Dallas, Tex.  
J. T. Duce, Member AlME  
Arabian American Oil Co., New York, N. Y•  
Publication Rights Reserved  
This paper is to be presented at the 1958 AlME Annual Meeting in New York, Feb. 16-20, 1958.  
Through agreement with the author it is considered the property of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.  
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or the Editor of Journal of Petroleum Technology. Any abstract should contain appropriate, conspicuous  
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Discussion of this paper at the meeting is invited. Written discussions for publication should  
be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office.  
theory. In Russia the industry had been conf'is•  
cated. The legislation with oil in  
many countries was written by soldiers who could  
You will excuse the writer if he looks at  
the world of petroleum law from both practical  
and philosophic Viewpoints. Forty years in the  
industry brings to one certain trends of thought; tic hands. They forgot that the bomber made re•  
see it only as  
a source of military power upon  
which they must lay their paralyzing nationalis•  
fineries the unsafest of plants to have in one's  
own country. The last great war finally drove  
home that lesson.  
the French have  
a term for it - the deformation  
professional. One of my gray-headed friends ad•  
vised me against entering the service of this  
extraordinary industry because, he said, it was  
certain that we would run out of our raw material,  
and coal would then be the main fuel and source  
of power. It is now 40 years later, and the  
world's oil resources seem immensely larger than  
in those days. We have, it is true, thoroughly  
explored most of the U.S. on land, but we are  
just somewhat timidly venturing to sea. Else•  
where we have just begun.  
So it was that in the history of the indus•  
try in the two decades following 1918 we find  
foreign exploration operations confined mainly  
to companies with extensive marketing organiza•  
tions in foreign countries or to a few bold wild•  
catters who attempted to supplement production  
at home with fields abroad. Few indeed were  
those who had the money to risk on these ven•  
tures. It came about, therefore, that earlyen•  
deavors were largely on great concessions usually  
based on acts of parliamentary bodies such as,  
for instance, the DeMares and Barco concessions  
in Colombia, the Valadares concessions in Vene•  
Forty years ago the amazing story of the  
Mexican fields was coming to its climacteric.  
Revolution was imposing slowly its paralyzing  
theories on the industry which in the end re•  
sulted in nationalization and slow decline. But  
despite the shortage that was supposed to loom in  
the U.S., there were few in those days who had  
the courage to face the political hazards of the  
times and go abroad. Unless one could divide the  
risk one could scarcely afford the huge invest•  
zuela, the  
concession in Iran and the  
various Iraq Petroleum concessions in Iraq and  
the smaller Persian Gulf states.  
The courageous discoverers of petroleum on  
these great concessions found the habit in which  
ment necessary to develop production only to have it occurred  
it snatched away on the basis of some political  
schools, pipelines  
built ports, towns, hospitals,  
the thousand and one things