The beginning of Exploration in Total Austral (1978-1989)
At the inception of Total in Argentina, most of the work was concentrated in the Exploration department. Everything was still to be done. Logistic difficulties were countless: sending a fax from Tierra del Fuego offshore site to Buenos Aires was hard work, and getting through to Paris was an ordeal. The world was different. From the current perspective, it seemed much more primitive, closer to the telegraph than to Whatsapp.
Interpreting a well log would often keep us up overnight; maps were drawn freehand, and draftsmen inked them. If maps had to be colored, they were colored by hand, and if they were needed urgently, we would all come and color them at weekends, including the Exploration Manager.
The Well Site Geologist, who was frequently unreachable by telephone, had to make decisions without being able to consult others. It was a very stressful job; however, I think it provided the necessary training and prepared us to face eventual difficulties. Today, new technologies enable us to exchange opinions and make decisions making the most of each of our team members’ expertise, but that is different story…