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E. R. (Ross) Crain, P.Eng.

Ross began his career in well logging, moving to seismic data processing, reservoir engineering, project management, followed by 45 years as an independent  petrophysical consultant and software developer.

His broad experience led to lifelong advocacy for the concept of Integrated Petrophysics and the publication of "Crain’s Petrophysical Handbook" in 1999, an on-line training resource for geoscientists and engineers.

In 2019, Ross was awarded the first "CWLS Lifetime Achievement Award" for his contributions to the CWLS and the geoscience community over the course of his career. He is a Past President and Honourary Member of CWLS.

His consulting practice included projects in 45 countries, as well as course presentations to 3000 students. Ross has retired from active consulting and lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

E. R. (Ross) Crain, PEng is the publisher and author of "
Crain's Petrophysical Handbook", an Internet-based eLearning Resource, the first and only complete on-line textbook for Integrated Petrophysics

In March 2019, Mr. Crain was awarded the first ever CWLS Lifetime Achievement Award
for his "willingness to openly share and educate", acknowledging his 38 years of course presentations and the 20th Anniversary of his petrophysical training website.

Ross is a retired Consulting Petrophysicist and Professional Engineer living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In a career that spans nearly 60  years, he specialized in integrated petrophysical analysis, bringing to the task a background in well logging operations,  geophysical data processing, reservoir engineering, cash flow analysis, software development, project management, and entrepreneurship. As an independent consultant, Ross has worked on projects in 45 countries on 6 continents and several oceans.

Ross is a Life Member of Association of Professional Engineers and GeoScientists of Alberta (APEGA) and was elected an Honourary Member of the Canadian Well Logging Society (CWLS) in 1994 for his contributions to the CWLS and to the petrophysical community.

Ross taught more than 3000 students basic and advanced petrophysics in open sessions and in-house courses and is the author of more than 100 articles and technical papers. He was awarded Best Paper of the Year from CSEG (1981) and CWLS (1985). He published "The Log Analysis Handbook", a 700 page hardcover textbook in 1986, and its electronic Internet cousin "Crain's Petrophysical Handbook" in 1999.

Ross's current interest is mentoring of novice and experienced petrophysicists, geologists, and engineers, making use of an extensive library of eBook reference manuals, narrated self-study slideshows, and video courses.

In a parallel career, Ross created a purebred Horned Hereford ranch from the bush in west-central Alberta, receiving his 25 year pin from the Canadian Hereford Association in 2005. The ranch was Green from day-one with wind power for the first 20 years and solar thereafter - it is still off-the-grid today.

Ross's hobbies included building large-scale model railways, traveling on antique trains, and walking with his Great Pyrenees dogs. Today he is content with his music, audio books, and old-time radio collections, and walking the hills near the condo in Calgary.



  • 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 extension program

  • Olds College, Olds, AB
       Spring 1980, Purebred cattle busimess development

  • University of Guelph, Self Study Extension Courses
        1979 -- 1988    Cattle genetics, herd health, cattle nutrition, farm business management,
        conservation farming, weed and pest control, forage production

  • 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



  • 2019: Awarded the first "CWLS Lifetime Achievement Award" for contributions to the CWLS and the geoscience community over the course of his career.
  • 1999 – Present: Publisher and author "Crain's Petrophysical Handbook", an Internet-based eLearning Resource, the first and only complete on-line textbook for Integrated Petrophysics, with 1.5 million page-views per year. See
  • 1973 – 2016: Created and managed successful, well-respected, independent petrophysical consulting practice, serving oil and gas companies, service companies, consulting firms, and government agencies around the world.  Completed an uncountable number of petrophysical analysis projects, from 45 countries, ranging in size from the Burgan Field (770 wells) to one well current drillers..
  • 1978 – 2016: Taught 3000+ students in open and in-house seminars on a variety of petrophysical topics,
  • 1990 – present: Published 10 textbook quality Integrated Petrophysical Reference Manuals, 3 full-semester, and 7 short Self-Study Video Courses created from narrated PowerPoint slideshows covering basic, advanced, unconventional reservoir, and seismic petrophysics.
  • 1964 – present: Author or co-author of 100+ technical papers and articles, receiving Best Paper of Year Award CWLS (1985, CSEG (1981), Keynote Speaker, Libya Petroleum Conference (2000).
  • 1964 – present: Developer or Advisor of 29 software projects related to petrophysical analyss.
  • 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 - 1992: Developed and marketed META/LOG, the first expert system built on a spreadsheet platform for petrophysical analysis.
  • 1986: Published hardcover textbook, "The Log Analysis Handbook", Pennwell, the 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.
  • 1970: Founding Editor ASEG Bulletin.
  • 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.


Nov 1999 -- Present: Publisher / Author / Webmaster

• Created Internet-based training resource, the first and only online textbook for petrophysics  (

• Responsible for website design and content development for eLearning, self-study, distance education in petrophysical analysis techniques.

• Prepared 10 full colour reference manuals, 3  full length (one semester), and 7 short video courses, sold online.

• Used by engineers, geologists, geophysicists, technicians, and students to enhance their skills. The courses are suitable for in-house directed study and as the backbone for university or tech school course presentations.

Spectrum 2000 Mindware LTD, Calgary, AB
Oct 1984 to Jun 2016: Founder, 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.

ROCKING "Are" HEREFORDS, Rocky Mountain House, AB
Oct 1979 to Oct 2016: Owner / Manager

In a parallel career, carved a purebred Horned Hereford ranch from the bueh and woodlands of west-central Alberta, receiving 25 year pin from the Canadian Hereford Association in 2005.

• Cleared, cultivated, and seeded 120 acres on deeded quarter section and 240 acres of Crown grazing lease, designed and supervised fencing and cross-fencing for rotational grazing program, designed and supervised construction of barns, corrals, and working facilities for efficient one-man operation.

Selected initial purebred livestock, continued selective breeding program using maternal Expected Progent Difference (EPD) statistics, culminating in top gaining Horned Hereford bull at Central Alberta Test Center in 1995.

10% of cow herd ranked in CHA Top maternal traits list for Canada

Purebred herd sold during 2005 -- 2007, continued with grassers until Oct 2016. Property leased 2018, sold 2021.

For more details, see My Ranching Pages.

Husky Oil Operations, Calgary, AB
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.
  • Became "redundant" in Husky's merger with Canterra.

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 Analysis 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 and Principal Consultant, Calgary
      1980 to 1986: President, Log/Mate Inc. Denver, CO
      1980 to 1986: Vice President, Log/Mate Services Inc, Denver

• Founder, 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 desktop micro-computer 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, Alberta 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 Jun 1972:
Managing Director, Digital Technology Pty. Ltd.,       Sydney, NSW
   Jun 1972 to Oct 1973: Director and Vice-President Operations, Digitech Ltd, Calgary


• 1970 - 1972: In Sydney, managed 30 - 40 professional and technical staff, plus marketing and support staff, for seismic data processing business, reporting to Board of Directors in Calgary. Considerable travel to Indonesia, Singapore,  New Zealand, and all capital cities in Australia for marketing and client presentations. Supervised wind-up of Australian operations after oil industry exploration by non-Australian companies was banned by a Labour government edict in 1971.

• 1972 - 1973: In Calgary, supervised operations, cost control, personnel, and maintenance on EMR, CDC, and IBM multi-mainframe systems; supervised development of UNIVAC 1108 based seismic processing software, and gravity and magnetic data processing programmes, as well as major improvements in synthetic seismogram package.

Supervised merger of CDP and Digitech computer operations after Digitech took over CDP. Responsible for site planning and contractor liaison for new high-security computer center, organized the move and startup of computer equipment to minimize downtime.

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 Canadian High 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 on IBM 1130, log analysis and training, reservoir; engineering studies, liaison 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 1967: Geophysical Engineer
Feb 1967 to Feb 1968: Staff Assistant to Area Manager

• Prepared geophysical data for input to TIAC 910 computer; velocity analysis and synthetic seismogram preparation; supervision of non-exclusive data salesp, reparation and presentation of geology and log analysis courses for technical staff.

• Seconded to Canadian Area Manager to assist with market research, compilation of internal and external sales data, development of market forecasting and crew activity prediction techniques based on historical drilling activity versus seismic crew activity, Presented results to GSI President in Dallas.

Schlumberger of Canada, Western Canada
     Jun 1962 to Jun 1966: Trainee Engineer to General Field Engineer

• Well logging and perforating operations based in Western Canada, experienced in remote and frontier fly-in jobs, training of junior engineers and operating crew members, 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.  Worked out of shops in Red Deer, Stettler, Oxbow, Weyburn, Swift Current, Lamigan, Drayton Valley, Swan Hills, Whitecourt, Valleyview, Dawson Creek, Slave Lake.

Bell Telephone Company of Canada, Montreal, QC
     Summers 1959 to 1961: Trainee Engineer


• Pole and line inspection, pole and buried line design, field surveys and inspections, CATV system design, R&M design, including moving a manhole off private property, without disrupting the Montreal - Toronto long distance lines running through it..

Montreal West Hardware, Montreal West, QC
Summers 1954 to 1958, After School 1954 to 1962: Gopher

• Small machinery repairs, general repairs, sales and service, inventory, skate and mower sharpening, window repair, lawn mowing, snow clearing, Christmas tree sales..


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