ARTHUR LUBINSKI – MATHEMATICS TO DRILLING
Born in Antwerp, Belgium, and educated at the University of Brussels, Arthur Lubinski graduated in 1934 with the degree ingenieur civil mecanicien et electricien. Before World War II he worked for the French government on the development of devices generating motor fuel from coal.
After fighting with the French resistance in World Wold II he emigrated to the USA (1947). He began a long and distinguished career of engineering development in the petroleum industry. In 1950, he joined Standard Oil and Gas and focused his research on the use of applied mechanics in drilling and production and eventually shifted his interest to offshore projects.
Arthur focused his thorough grounding in applied mechanics on the behavior and performance of oil well tubulars such as well casing and drill pipe. Many of his findings were strikingly counterintuitive and significantly improved the engineering and operating practices of the industry. Early on, Arthur advocated placement of long strings of large diameter, minimal clearance drill collars immediately above the drill bit. Critics called this notion a certain guarantee to cause stuck pipe, but Arthur’s findings eventually formed standard industry practice, with great economic benefits. Lubinski’s Law said you can’t drill a truly vertical hole, especially in dipping formations.
During his 25-year career at Amoco, Lubinski utilized advanced mathematical models to solve practical problems.
Because of his early accomplishments, Arthur was called to serve on the drilling panel guiding the planned Mohole Project. Later he served in technical education and advisory roles for the Deep-Sea Drilling Project, which documented plate tectonics. After participation in these national efforts, Arthur played a role guiding the industry in melding the latest advances of naval architecture and physical oceanography with industry operating know-how to evolve drilling vessels and safe drilling practices for subsea wells.
He served in both supervisory and individual researcher roles and became responsible for the API’s standardization task force. At the time of his retirement in 1975, he was special research associate at the Tulsa Research Center of Amoco Corporation.
After retiring from Amoco, he served as a consultant for Smith International for another 20 years.
Lubinski held several patents, was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 1963-64. He also was active in several other professional societies, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers established an award in his name for the best paper presented at OTC.
Arthur Lubinski died in 1996 at the age of 86.
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