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CAREER HISTORY of E. R. (Ross) Crain, P.Eng.
Engineer, Petrophysicist, Entrpreneur, Rancher

E. R. (Ross) Crain, P.Eng. is a retired Consulting Petrophysicist and Professional Engineer specializing in petrophysical well log analysis, with a background in well logging,  geophysical data processing, reservoir engineering, cash flow analysis, project management, and entrepreneurship. As an independent consultant, Ross has worked on integrated petrophysical projects in 36 countries on 6 continents and several oceans.

Ross's current interest is mentoring of novice and experienced petrophysicists, making use of an extensive library of ebooks, narrated self-study slideshows, and video courses available through Crain's Petrophysical Handbook, online at

On This Page:  Education
    Memberships    Professional Achievements   Career History


  • + McGill University, Montreal, Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical)
       Sep 1957 - May 1962, five year full-time program

  • + University of Calgary, Certificate in Management Development
       Jan 1969 - Apr 1972, 4 year evening program

  • + Olds College, Farm Business Management
       Spring 1980

  • + Industry Courses: well log analysis, core analysis, seismic processing, mining geophysics, DST analysis, petroleum economics, oil and gas law. production logging, water chemistry, surface land rights.

+ Current:  Life Member APEGA, Honourary Member CWLS, Senior Member SPWLA

Previous: CIMM, CSEG, ASEG


  • + Created and managed a successful, well-respected, independent petrophysical consulting practice for more than 40 years, serving oil and gas companies, service companies, consulting firms, and government agencies around the world. See Client List.

    + Completed an uncountable number of petrophysical analysis projects, from 36 countries, ranging in size from the Burgan Field (770 wells) to one well current drillers. See Project List.

    + Taught more than 3000 students in open and in-house seminars on a variety of petrophysical topics,

    + Published 10 textbook quality Petrophysical Reference Manuals and 4 full-semester Self-Study Courses (
    narrated  PowerPoint slideshows) covering basic, advanced, unconventional reservoir, and seismic petrophysics. See eBook List.

    + Author or co-author of 70 technical papers and articles, receiving Best Paper of Year Award CWLS (1985), CSEG (1981), Keynote Speaker, Libya Petroleum Conference (2000). See Publications Ljst.

    + Published "Crain's Petrophysical Handbook", an Internet-based Worldwide eLearning Project, the first shareware on-line textbook for petrophysics. 1.5 millio page views per year (2015). See

    + Carved a working purebred Hereford ranch from the wilderness in west central Alberta, running 50 cow/calf paies, herd sold 2007, now running grassers. See My Ranching Pages.

    + 2005 - 2007: University of Calgary - Invited to assist in curriculum design and course presentation of a new Petrophysics course for 3rd year Geology and Geophysics students.
  • + 2004 - 2009: University of Tulsa - Invited to teach Petrophysics portion of TU Leader Program run by TU for Schlumberger engineers.

    + 1994: Elected an Honorary Member of Canadian Well Logging Society for contributions to the Society and to the petrophysical community.
  • + 1990: CWLS President, 1988 and 1989: Treasurer, 1981 and 1982: Publications Chairman,.
  • + 1986: Published hardcover textbook, "The Log Analysis Handbook", Pennwell, yje first petrophysical textbook with "computer -ready" math..
  • + 1983 - 1986: Managed expert systems research on artificial intelligence applications in petrophysics for Alberta Research Council / D&S Petroleum Consultants Joint Venture-

    + 1976 - 1982: Developed and marketed LOG/MATE, the first desktop computer package (hardware and software) for petrophysical analysis.

    + 1973 - 1982: Supervised logging operations on-site and supervised petrophysical analysis for 120+ wells drilled in the Arctic Islands of Canada.
  • + 1974: Wrote and assisted in presentation of seismic data processing center proposal in Beijing, China.
  • + 1970 - 1971: Resident Manager, seismic data processing center, Sydney, Australia.
  • + 1969: Project Manager, strat hole drilling, geological, and geophysical operations on Melville Island, Canadian Arctic, with a staff of up to 100 men.
  • + 1964: Wrote first computer program to quantify potash assay from well logs. Received "Salesman of the Year Award" from Schlumberger for this work.

This record is meant to keep my memory straight on what happened, and where and when. Some details are pretty murky, so if you remeber it differently, let me know.

Jan 2000 - Present:
        Webmaster / Content Developer

        Created Internet-based shareware resource, the first and only on-line textbook for petrophysics
        ( Website design and content development for eLearning, and distance education
        in petrophysical analysis techniques. Page views: 1.5 million per year (2015).

Spectrum 2000 Mindware LTD
Oct 1984 to June 2016
        President and Principal Consultant

Created an independent petrophysical consulting practice, specializing in integrated petrophysical analysis in support of reservoir geology, engineering, geophysics, simulation, and stimulation; petrophysical training and mentoring; forensic analysis.

+ Clients include major and independent oil and gas companies, service companies, consulting firms, and government agencies. Projects have spanned 36 countries on 6 continents and several oceans.

+ Specialists in unconventional reservoirs: tight gas, tight oil, gas shale, oil shale, tar sands, coal, coal bed methane, potash, low resistivity, radioactive, laminated sand-shale, laminated porosity, metamorphic, igneous, or volcaniclastics.

+ Developed and marketed META/LOG ESP, an expert system spreadsheet for petrophysical analysis. Co-developed the META/LOG script with Dorian Holgate for use on GeoGraphix PRIZM and PowerLog.

Husky Oil Operations, Calgary
Nov 1987 to Oct 1988
        Staff Petrophysicist

Created log analysis capability for production department; set log quality control standards; provided expert advice on drilling locations and well completions; devised gas leak detection methods; presented in-house courses for over 100 staff members.

  • + Installed and supported PC based digitizing and log analysis system (META/LOG).

    + Installed and tested VAX based log analysis system (ELAN).

    + Demonstrated economic significance of productivity analysis from logs.

D&S Petroleum Consulting Group, Calgary, AB
Jun 1982 to Oct 1986
        General Manager Petrophysics
        Technical Manager, D&S/ARC Joint Venture

Responsible for training, planning, design, research, development and marketing for an artificial intelligence expert system for log analysis, as well as for ongoing consulting business; facilitated technology transfer between D&S and ARC personnel; supervised staff of up to 14 professionals.

  • + Prepared proposal for artificial intelligence (expert system) version of LOG/MATE ESP, presented and sold concept to Alberta Research Council, supervised completion of LOG/MATE ASSISTANT, a knowledge based log analysis system, based on HP 9000 or IBM PC using Unix/C.

    + Best paper of year award for LOG/MATE ASSISTANT paper from CWLS (1985).

    + Wrote "The Log Analyziz Handbook", a 700 page hardcover textbook, published by Pennwell Books (1986), the first petrophysical textbook to offer "computer-ready" math.

Log/Mate Limited, Calgary, AB  
(Name changed from E. R. Crain and Associates Ltd in 1980)
        Oct 1973 to Aug 1986
        President, Log/Mate Limited, Calgary and Log/Mate Inc. Denver, CO
        Vice President, Log/Mate Services Inc, Denver, CO

Principal consultant and manager, specializing in well log analysis, supervision of logging operations at the wellsite, special projects, and computer centre proposals for foreign governments; development and marketing of LOG/MATE, a computerized desktop system for log analysis and reservoir volume mapping; extensive log analysis and petrophysical experience in all parts of the world; supervised staff of up to 14 professionals and technicians.

  • + Developed Canada's largest petrophysical consulting firm, with up to 7 professional petrophysicists and 7 technical staff, offering petrophysical analysis, petrophysical software and desktop computer hardware, and supervision of wireline crews. (1973 - 1982)
  • + Doubled gross sales each year to $1.9 million, the largest pure petrophysics consulting firm in the world at the time.
  • + Developed LOG/MATE and LOG/MATE Plus, the first desk top micro computer system for log analysis, subsequently sold more than 40 systems in 5 countries, based on HP 9000 computers using HPL. (1976)
  • + Installed first shared resource management computer system (LAN) at Alberta Energy and Utilities Board for analysis of tar sands and conventional oil reservoirs. (1978)

  • + Supervised wireline crews as client representative, and developed petrophysical techniques, for Canadian High Arctic, Deep Basin, and Prairies, as well as numerous USA and overseas assignments.
  • + Wrote and assisted with presentation of multi-million dollar seismic system proposal in Beijing (1974).
  • + Began offering log analysis courses in-house and in open sessions (1978).

    + Best paper of year award from CSEG for LOG/MATE seismic system paper (1981).
  • + Consulting business and client base was sold to D&S Petroleum Consulting Group Ltd. in June, 1982. Hardware sales and Denver operations retained until Aug 1986.

Digitech Limited, Sydney, NSW and Calgary AB,
Feb 1970 to Oct 1973
        Managing Director, Digital Technology Pty. Ltd., Sydney, Australia
        Director and Vice-President Operations, Digitech Limited, Calgary AB

Responsible for installation, site planning, operation, cost control, personnel, and maintenance on EMR, CDC, and IBM multi-mainframe systems; supervised development of UNIVAC 1108 based seismic processing system and all gravity and magnetic data processing programmes, as well as major improvements in synthetic seismogram package. Considerable travel to Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and all capital cities in Australia for marketing and client presentations. Supervised up to 45 professional and technical staff.

J. C. Sproule and Associates Limited, Calgary, AB
Dec 1968 to Feb 1970
        Consulting Reservoir Engineer

Evaluation of proven, probable, and unproven oil, gas, and sulphur properties; management of drilling, geological and geophysical operations in the Arctic with a staff of up to 100 men; negotiations in unit committee meetings; log analysis; preparation and presentation of log analysis courses; developed log analysis program on CDC 3300 computer.

Dome Petroleum Limited, Calgary AB
Feb 1968 to Dec 1968
        Systems Analyst/Reservoir Engineer

Programmed reservoir engineering applications, log analysis and training, reservoir; engineering studies, liason with other computer users in company, developed log analysis program on IBM 1130, preparation and presentation of log analysis courses for engineering and geological staff.

Geophysical Service Inc, Calgary, AB
Jun 1966 to Feb 1968
        Geophysical Engineer

Prepared geophysical data for input to TIAC computer; velocity analysis and synthetic seismogram preparation; supervision of non-exclusive data sales; market research, compilation of internal and external sales data, development of market forecasting and crew activity prediction techniques, preparation and presentation of geology and log analysis courses for technical staff.

Schlumberger of Canada
Jun 1962 to Jun 1966
        General Field Engineer

Well logging and perforating; management of small locations; field analysis and sales; Salesman of the Year award for potash research, 1964. Developed potash log analysis on IBM 1620 in Regina.

Bell Telephone Company of Canada
Summers 1959 to 1961
        Trainee Engineer

Pole and line inspection, pole and buried line design, CATV system design, R&M design.

Montreal West Hardware
Summers 1954 to 1958, After School 1954 to 1962

Small machinery repairs, general repairs, sales and service, inventory, lawn mowing, snow clearing