Henry Cortes

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Henry Cortes
Henry C. Cortes headshot.jpg
President year 1945
Membership Charter Member

Henry C. Cortes served as the 1945-1946 SEG President.

Biography for SEG Presidency [1]

Henry C. Cortes attended the University of the South, at Sewanee, Tennessee.

In February, 1922, he entered the oil business, starting as a roughneck on a rotary drilling rig at the Hull Salt Dome Field, Liberty County, Texas. This experience further stimulated his interest in exploration geology, an interest in which he was very materially aided through acquaintance and friendship with Wallace E. Pratt, the late E. T. Dumble, Alexander Deussen, the late L. P. Garrett, Dilworth S.Hager, L. P. Teas, and others. In 1924 he was employed in the Vacuum Oil Company's Geological Department. Convinced that geophysics was to playa leading role in finding new fields, he became keenly interested in the early torsion balance and refraction seismograph work and innterpretation.

Soon after he was placed in charge of Vacuum's geophysical crews, consisting of torsion balance and refraction parties, Geophysical Research Corporation introduced the reflection seismograph; upon his recommendation, some of the earliest work of this nature was done for Vacuum. When the Magnolia Petroleum Company merged with Vacuum, with formation of the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, he was placed in charge of Magnolia's geophysical exploration, in which capacity he is still employed. He has had a major role, through geological and geophysical interpretation, in locating a number of oil and gas fields, among them Iowa, Cameron Meadows, Roanoke, Woodlawn, and West Gueydan in the Louisiana Gulf Coast, and Seeligson, La Gloria, and Tomball in the Texas Gulf Coast. He is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, President of the Dallas Petroleum Geologists and a member of the Houston Geological Society, the Dallas Petroleum Club, the American Geophysical Union, and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, in which he has been serving as a member of the War Efforts Advisory Committee and, this past year, Vice-President.


  1. Geophysics, VOL X. number 1, January 1945. page 124.

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