Lovic Garrett

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Lovic Garrett
Lovic Pierce Garrett headshot.png
Membership Honorary Member
BSc Geology
BSc university University of Texas

Lovic Pierce Garrett (October 27, 1880 - December 13, 1943) was Vice-President of Gulf Oil Corporation and of Gulf Refining Company. He was a former president of the AAPG and was an Honorary Member of the SEG.


SEG Memorial

Geophysics, Vol. IX, July 1944, No.3

LOVIC PIERCE GARRETT, Vice-President of the Gulf Oil Corporation and of the Gulf Refining Company, died on December 13, 1943, at his home in Houston. Texas.

Mr. Garrett was an Honorary Member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and a Past-President of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Mr. Garrett was born in LaGrange, Georgia, on October 27, 1880, and moved to Texas in 1892 and settled in DeLeon, in Comanche County. He graduated from the DeLeon High School and attended the University of Texas from 1899 to 19o2 when he accepted a position in the then recently organized Rio Bravo 0il Company, where Dr. E. T. Dumble was in charge of the geological work for this Company and other mineral interests of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Since the oil fields of greatest interest at that time in Texas were salt domes, it natural that Mr. Garrett should soon become an outstanding authority on this particular structural feature with which the oil fields were associated. Some of the salt domes had definite indications in the form of topographic highs, oil and gas seepages, and peculiar chemical composition of the shallow waters. Other similar surface anomalies in the Gulf Coast were examined by Mr. Garrett, and shallow wells were drilled oi1 some of them on the theory that they too, represent surface indications of salt domes. Several additional domes were discovered as a result of this campaign, but it was his thought that there should be many more domes in the region, and in 1924, his recommendation, geophysical investigations of some of these localities were initiated, both with the torsion balance and with the refraction seismograph. As a result of work done under his direction, number of additional shallow domes were found, and the campaign was extended to areas where there no surface shows. This additional prospecting resulted in a further discovery of shallow domes, and in the recognition of geophysical anomalies at greater depths. It was necessary in this first geophysical campaign to plan a program which would develop as much information as possible without undue cost per acre, and under field operating conditions, of different kinds such as climate and terrain.

Mr. Garrett's personal familiarity with the entire Gulf Coast district, and with much of the country inland--in North Louisiana and WestTexas--enabled him to improve the efficiency of coverage of the crews engaged in this campaign. He was interested in every form of geophysical prospecting just he was interested in both surface and subsurface geological mapping, and under his direction considerable investigation was made of electrical and other forms of surveys as well as the finally more standardized methods of gravity and seismic prospecting.

In addition to the direction of this form of exploration, he was concerned with the land and leasing activities and with the production department of the Gulf Companies successively as Chief Geologist and as Vice-President of the Gulf Oil Corporation and Gulf Refining Company. His continuing interest in geophysical methods was recognized by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists in his election as Honorary Member; and he was an assiduous reader of the literature although he himself, in view of his many other interests, did not contribute to this literature.

The outstanding personal traits of Mr. Garrett which contributed so much to the success of the Work done under his direction were his patience, his catholicity, and his continual study of the results and of the possible leads which they gave to improve any methods. From the courtesy, kindliness, and patience with which he met the problems of the personnel in the organization, was derived the successful team-work which gave rapid, valuable results to the geophysical work which he conducted. The effectiveness of this work is patent from the number of salt drones and deep structures which were discovered by the Gulf in the campaign in the Gulf Coast as compared with the total of all those found by competing organizations during fire same campaign. It is this rapid successful campaign which led to the great expansion of geophysical activity in the petroleum industry. Had this, and work done by similar pioneer in the period from 1924 to 1928, been less efficient, not only would the rate of general discovery have been decreased, .but the general recognition of the value of geophysical prospecting in the oil industry would have required much longer time, and many of the fields now in production might not yet have been discovered.

In recent years, Mr. Garrett's interest in new petroleum provinces was manifest by his personal attention to the exploration program in Mississippi, and it is now obvious that this State will justify his early campaign which began some fifteen years ago.

AAPG Memorial

AAPG Bulletin, July 19��, 1944

Copyright © 2011 American Association of Petroleum Geologists

Lovice Pierce Garrett, vice-president of the Gulf Oil Corporation and of the Gulf Refining Company, and past president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, died on December 15, 1943, at his hiome in Houston, Texas. Mr. Garrett was born at LaGrange, Georgia, on October 27, 1880. When he was a boy of twelve his family moved to Texas and settled at DeLeon in Comanche County. After graduating from the DeLeon High School, he attended attended the Unversity of Texas (1899-1902) and studied geology. He became a member of the geological staff of the Rio Bravo Oil Company (Southern Pacific) under the great pioneer geologyst of the Southwest, E. T. Dumble, and worked on the stratigrapny of the Gulf Coast Tertiary formations and the oil fields on the Gulf Coast which were found after Spindeltop, thereby becoming familiar with the characteristics of Gulf Coast salt domes.

In 1908, he became the first geologist employed by the J. M. Guffy Petroleum Company, predecessor to the Gulf Oil Corporation, and engaged in an extensive campaign in search for domes, Where the area was devoid of outcrops, he carried out a systematic investigation of gas seeps, topographic features, and hydrogen sulphide showings, and was successful in finding a number of domes.

As the company's operations were extended into North Louisiana, Oklahoma, and old Mexico, his investigations broadened, and by 1912 he was adviser to the executive department of the company. In all of the expanding activities. he adapted the methods to the geology of each area, utilizing surface mapping of outcrops, examination of well samples, as well as the prospecting campaign which he had found suitable to the Gulf Coast---the study of gas escapes, topography, and surface and well waters.

His outstanding position in the field of economic geology was recognized by his fellow geologist in his election to the presidency of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.