Serving the Permian Basin for 60 Years!
The Subsurface Library first opened its doors in the Wilkinson-Foster building in downtown Midland on June 15, 1962. The Library was founded by Dick Rousselot, a geologist, and King Hughes, a landman, who saw the need for the creation of a geological data library open to all independent oil operators. At the time, there were no other such libraries in the Permian Basin.
The two men initially acquired the Argo Petroleum Co. geological files which included all of the company's electric logs, sample logs, scout tickets and Rinehart completion cards for West Texas and Southeast New Mexico. This initial data set was the first acquisition of oil company historical well data files to be made by the Library. It was to be followed by many more such data files over the next six decades.
For current well data, the Library provided blanket coverage of all electric logs, plus key field and step-out well logs run in the Permian Basin. The logs could be checked out of the Library by clients for use in their own offices.
In addition, the Library provided Lockwood's current production information on both a monthly and an annual cumulative basis for West Texas. The New Mexico Engineering Committee's production figures were also maintained on a monthly and an annual basis. The Library also made Rinehart completion cards available to clients on a current basis. Up-to-date county land maps also became available for use within the Library.
In 1966 the Library moved across the street to the basement of the Western United Life Building, as it had run out of space in the W-F building. Logs and scout ticket collections would continue to be added to the Library's collection over the years - as would the number of clients to its private membership list.
In 1997, the Library once again outgrew its space and built its own new, 18,000 square foot building a few blocks away on West Ohio Avenue. The Library's collection had grown from just one initial data set in 1962 to over one million well logs and eight different scout ticket collections. The Library's log collection now has more logs in the Permian Basin region of West Texas than the Bureau of Economic Geology in Austin has for the entire state of Texas.
In 2000, the Library opened an office inside the Bureau of Economic Geology in Austin to acquire newly released logs and to have access to historical data from the BEG's geological log facility. Beginning in 2020, this office began operating independently and offers a geotech service for access to well records at the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas General Land Office.
On June 15, 2012, the Library celebrated its 50th anniversary.
On June 15, 2022, the Library celebrated its 60th anniversary.