Tuesday, December 8, 2015

And the winner is...Lego in Arabia

We have just wrapped up Petroleum Geophysics (GEOS 4533) at the University of Arkansas. This course is undergraduate and graduate in scope and covers fundamental aspects of seismic imaging, including history, wave propagation, synthetic seismograms, reservoir fluid properties, basic elastic wave concepts and 2D/3D acquisition. That is a lot of material! But 37 students made it to the finish line.

Graduate students are required to take on a random subject of my choice, read reference papers on the topic, and compose a presentation to the class. In previous years the presentation was an SEG-style talk of 10-15 minutes using slides.

As 2014/5 SEG President I traveled to many conferences and saw an increasing use of short videos for awards presentations. If someone could not attend the award ceremony, the video was a stand-in. One particularly good case was Dave Hale's video at EAGE that walked us around his office at Colorado School of Mines on the eve of his retirement, something that could not have been done even with Dave in attendance. The video medium added something unique and interesting.

So this semester I assigned my graduate students in class to prepare a 5 minute video on their topic for presentation to the class. No other constraints were given. Free reign for creativity. And creative it was: some did voice-over on powerpoint slides, or a selfie movie at various locations with rambling PBS-style dialog, or hand drawn text and equations, even movie clips from Easy Rider and the theme song from Pocahontas. But each of these also had some real information on the topic, the video format allowed careful dialog that moved beyond the unrehearsed improv of most student presentations. Add the challenge of learning video composition software and formats and I would say they all worked harder than would have been required for a regular talk.

Another point that came to mind is the intimacy and permanence of the video medium. One student did an excellent overview of turbidites that not only showed her technical ability to understand and explain, but also her calm and confident speaking voice on a scientific subject.  I would suggest she post this video to YouTube and include a link with every job application.

As always, there is a competition for best presentation. All videos were introduced by their author (like the Cannes Film Festival) and shown, then everyone (even undergraduates) voted for Best Video. It was close, but the winner was Abram Barker with Lego Movie: The Deserts of Arabia (his topic as "desert"). Second in the voting was CO2 Sequestration by Forrest McFarlin. Congrats!

Title and selected frames from Barker's winning video.

Barker with winner's prize owl and Dr. Liner.
Frame from Noah Morris' video Fluid Substitution. Gotta love the color coded, hand drawn Gassmann equation. 
Bryan Bottoms explains his home made mud motor in a frame from his video Horizontal Drilling.

Fall 2015 class photo for Petroleum Geophysics, a wonderful group of students.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

2015 SEG New Orleans!

Read days from bottom up, and time inside each day also bottoms up. 

Sat Oct 24 

Eola hotel (1840) in Natchez,Mississippi. We are on a slow drive home, our March from the sea. Thank you SEG for the good times as president. Over and out.

Friday Oct 23

Dolores and a new friend, the tiny 'gator (8 mo old). 

Fast airboat swamp tour with Kenny, wild man of the bayou. 

Thursday Oct 22

Street placard on Magazine street. 

Beautiful table of food and drink at Casamento's, a wonderful neighborhood restaurant on Magazine street. My new favorite place in New Orleans. 

Wed Oct 21

Annual Meeting General Chair Julius Doruelo elegant in a tuxedo at Wednesday evening event at House of Blues. 

Champagne toast with Jorge Hildebrand celebrating signing of cooperation agreement between SEG and SBGf, the Geophysical Society of Brasil. 


Tues Oct 20

Presidents reception. 

International reception

VIP meeting with EAGE president Mohammed Al-Faraj, my friend of many years.

John Doherty of Tullow Oil talking at Global Affairs Committee luncheon. 


Sunrise over Algiers, a section of New Orleans made famous in the book "Confederacy of Dunces". 

Mon Oct 19 -- The longest day (16 hr)

Ex-editor bear hug with Evert Slob. 

Sheral Danker celebrated at Editors Dinner for 25 years of SEG service. My note to Sheral: "Dear Sheral: You have been a charming, smiling friend for so many years to this old editor. Whenever things seemed too much of a burden, I could always count on you seeing the sunny side of things. Congratulations on this important anniversary. Your presence at the SEG has done much to make it a warm and inviting place for so very long.  Best regards and big hugs from your greatest fan. Chris Liner, 2014-5 SEG President."

Editors dinner .... scientists in a box. 

The only way to go in New Orleans. My driver was Angelina, with free fare by  TGS. 

SEG Foudation luncheon. Anadarko VP Robert Talley announcing $625K in scholarship funds over the next 5 years. 

Opening ceremony panel discussion. Note text questions from the audience on left screen. SEG interactive!!

In the green room before my presidential address with annual meeting general chair Julius Doruelo. 

Behind the scenes at opening ceremony. 

Sun Oct 18

Quick ride across the exhibition floor. 

Prof. Manik Talwani receiving the Maurice Ewing award. 

Exhibition floor 4 hours before Icebreaker. 

Sat Oct 17

Anastasia Galperina of Gubkin Oil & Gas University in Moscow. Her grandfather is the Russian geophysicist Galperin, who is very famous for early VSP research. 


Student Leadership Symposium

Fri Oct 16

My last SEG board meeting as president. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

General relativity @ 100

November 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of Einstein's theory of general relativity (GR). Actually, he published four papers on the subject in November of 1915. Remarkable. The first two papers lead to the field equations of GR while the other two lay out vital consequences of the theory, including the anomalous precession of the perihelion of Mercury (unexplained since 1859) and the gravitational bending of light. The latter phenomenon was famously confirmed by Eddington's 1919 observation of a total solar eclipse and the shift of apparent position for stars whose light passed very near the sun. Einstein, already famous, became a household name -- an early 20th century super star.

While Einstein's 1905 theory of special relativity dealt with constant velocity frames of reference, GR  dealt with accelerating reference frames. Fond of thought experiments, for special relativity Einstein imagined an elevator in space moving at constant velocity when a horizontal light beam entered from one side. As the light progresses across the small space, the elevator is moving up so that the light appears to exit on the other side below where it entered. But since the velocity is constant, the beam is still straight, just inclined to the floor.

For GR, the same thought experiment gives a different result. Because the elevator is accelerating upward, if we were able to track progress of the light beam across the elevator in equal time intervals the early intervals would show little movement toward the floor, while later ones would have more shift as the elevator speeds up. In other words, the light would appear to bend down toward the floor. Since the only known force that can accelerate everything equally is gravity, this little experiment leads to the idea that light bends in a gravitational field. The bending is small, unless the gravity is due to a very massive body leading to large acceleration.

What connection, you may ask, can GR possibly have to exploration geophysics? Well, there are several. For one thing, the GR field equations are tensor equations as are the field equations of elasticity. Also in both, the equations are so difficult that exact, analytic solutions are few. For elastic, this is basically limited to a point source in unbounded constant velocity media (Stokes, 1849) or near a plane interface (Caniard, 1939) or some ungeologic shape like a sphere or cylinder. For GR, the first (and most useful) is the field around a chargeless, non-rotating spherical object  (Schwarzschild, 1916) which introduced the concept of what we now call a black hole.

But a more interesting similarity resides in the concept of gravitational lensing. This relates to the bending of light by massive objects that lie between us and distant stars. Gravitational lensing can distort the light from stars and galaxies into a bestiary of curiously-shaped (and named) objects: Einstein crosses, rings, arcs and arclets.

While those of us in seismology are at ease with the idea of rays bending in 3D, this kind of distortion is unfamiliar. In the summer of 2004 I visited Stanford University at the invitation of Jon Claerbout. One day I was looking at some gravitational lensing images online when Jon stopped by and mentioned that the same thing must happen with seismic waves in the near surface of the earth. Specifically, the low velocity layer can act as a distorting lens, focussing and defocusing deep reflection energy as it passes upward toward surface receivers. If the effect were big enough we would see it as time shifts that we call statics. But more subtle velocity features would only show up as amplitude anomalies created by focusing and defocusing seismic wavefront energy.

Jon pointed me to pages 154-8 of his wonderful 1985 book Imaging the Earths Interior. In that section he discusses Einar Kjartansson's 1979 PhD thesis, part of which was work along these lines. Einar studied 2D data from the Gulf of Mexico and showed that anomalous pods of material in the earth would show up in the data differently if they were shallow, intermediate or deep; just as gravitational lensing depends on the relative location of source, distorting object, and observer.

That was 1979 and in 2004 Jon looked at me and said that if someone could understand gravitational lensing and bring that to the seismic problem, we would know a lot more about the near surface than we do now. Who knows, maybe he hoped that I would be able to do it. Alas, my abilities fall far short of this formidable problem.

But maybe, just maybe, someone reading this will know enough of both worlds to take on the challenge. I think young Einstein would have jumped on it.


References cited:

Stokes, G.G., 1849. On the dynamical theory of diffraction, Trans. Camb. Phil. Soc., 9, 1-62. 

Cagniard, L., 1962, Reflection and refraction of progressive seismic waves, McGraw-Hill. Translated from Cagniard (1939).   

Schwarzschild, K., 1916,  Über das Gravitationsfeld eines Massenpunktes nach der Einsteinschen Theorie. Sitzungsberichte der Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 7: 189-196. (Title translation: About the gravitational field of a mass point in Einstein's theory)

Claerbout, J. F., 1985, Imaging the Earth's Interior, Blackwell Scientific Publications.



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Opening of SEG building GRC2

Speech given August 20, 2015 by SEG President Christopher Liner at Grand Opening of GRC2. Original draft by Steve Brown (SEG Staff) with edits by C. Liner and D. Proubasta

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During speech in lobby of GRC2 with Mayer Bartlett (left) and Councilman Lakin (right) listening.

Good afternoon. Thank you for coming out on such a historic day for the SEG AND the city of Tulsa. As SEG President and a Tulsa native, I am honored to preside over the dedication of this new building — the Geophysical Resource Center 2.

If you will indulge me for a few minutes, I’d like to provide some historical context for our celebration today.

Founded in 1930, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists is a non-profit organization in its 85th year. The SEG mission is one of connecting, inspiring, and propelling the people and the science of geophysics. 

Our members apply the science of geophysics to energy exploration … to mineral exploration … to environmental and engineering problems … to archaeology and mitigating earth hazards. SEG currently has nearly 33,000 members in 125 countries, with offices in Dubai and Beijing. But SEG is proud to call TULSA home.

The building just to our South — you can see it through those windows — was dedicated 30 years ago during a ceremony much like this one. We built that building, the Geophysical Resource Center’s Cecil and Ida Green Tower to serve as headquarters for SEG’s growing staff and assure stability of our Society by diversifying revenue. 

When we broke ground on this 11-acre campus back in 1983, it was an oil boom. SEG AND the city of Tulsa were riding high.

Even as SEG President Red Olander dedicated that first building, a dramatic downturn in the oil industry began. Within year oil prices fell by half and oil companies began to slash expenses.  Our Society’s membership fell that year, and it would continue to shrink for almost a decade.

Both SEG and Tulsa were going through dire straights.

What about now?

Here we are, 30 years later, in the midst of another severe downturn of the oil and gas industry dedicating another new building in Tulsa — GRC…two!  There will always be hard times and opportunities. We seize the opportunity.

The fact is that our SEG staff of about 100 occupies just ONE floor of GRC1. The rest is leased to other Tulsa businesses. Our 1980s investment in that building served its purpose. It provided much-needed office space for SEG and others in the Tulsa community and helped SEG through some tough economic times.

GRC2 -- a $20 million, 80,000-square-foot, Class-A office building — is currently almost 70% leased and we expect 85% lease by mid-September.

Our Society’s investment in real estate enhanced SEG’s ability to serve a global membership during difficult times and will continue to do so with first class tenants. 

Important companies already calling this building home include CCK Strategies, Kinder Morgan and, very soon, Central National Bank. And we have room for a few more. 

GRC2 initiated under the leadership of former SEG President Dave Monk, SEG Board Members, and the SEG Real Estate Board lead by Bob Wyckoff.  GH2 Architects, Manhattan Construction, Program Management Group and Newmark Grub took our vision and turned it into this impressive structure and campus. When we look at what’s been built here, everyone involved can take pride in knowing they did a fantastic job.

A special thank you as well to the tenants of GRC1 who have put up with all the inconvenience of construction. To our new GRC2 tenants: we couldn’t be happier to have you here.

As a significant addition to the SEG AND the city of Tulsa, I hereby dedicate and officially open the Geophysical Resource Center 2. 

Thank you.

Tulsa World article detail:





Tulsa World article full page:

Tulsa World article page one

Tulsa World article page two

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Book Review: Treatise on Geophysics 2nd Edition

As a sitting SEG President I have to be somewhat selective accepting new commitments. You might think a book review is the last thing I would step into, after all I am barely keeping up a few Seismos columns per year in the Leading Edge.

But this is no ordinary book. Treatise on Geophysics 2nd Edition (TOG2) is an 11 volume tour de force, a broad and sprawling effort to capture the current state of knowledge in geophysics. From the outset that presents a problem. Geophysics is a vast collection of disciplines, specialties, topics, methods and so on. The full scope of geophysics cannot be captured even in 11 thick volumes (length varies from 907 page volume 1 to 302 page volume 9). But it is a majestic undertaking, well worth the effort. To paraphrase Robert A. Heinlein, such a book stitches the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.

The general scope of this laudable Elsevier project can be gathered from the volume titles: (1) Deep Earth Seismology, (2) Mineral Physics, (3) Geodesy, (4) Earthquake Seismology, (5) Geomagnetism, (6) Crustal and Lithosphere Dynamics, (7) Mantle Dynamics, (8) Core Dynamics, (9) Evolution of the Earth, (10) Physics of Terrestrial Planets and Moons, (11) Resources in the Near-Surface Earth.

How does one approach reviewing an 11-volume book? Based on education, I feel qualified to comment on volumes 1, 4, 5, 8 and 10. My entire working life, however, is within the scope of just volume 11.The last individual that is thought to known all of science was either Thomas Young (d. 1839) or Hermann Von Helmholtz (d. 1894), depending which historian you believe.  If we narrow the discussion to just geophysics, someone likely understood it all in the early 1960's (who?), before the subsequent explosion of applied science. It is the nature of a composite science like modern geophysics, that no one person can possibly be an expert in all aspects of the subject.

But that is precisely why magnificent projects like TOG2 are undertaken with an army of editors and contributors. The editor-in-chief of TOG2 is Gerald Schubert of UCLA, member of the National Academy of Sciences and famous as co-author with Donald Turcotte of the standard textbook Geodynamics. Each volume has one or two editors and individual chapters have one or more authors, so TOG2 runs the risk of being science by committee or, worse yet, a tired compilation of previously published papers presented as chapters. Yet, TOG2 compulsively and completely fights this temptation, creating instead a masterful collection of chapters by first-class authors rewarding the reader with a stroll right up to the dizzying height of current knowledge in literally hundreds of subject areas. In volume 1 alone, the list of chapter authors reads like a who's who, even if you are not in the field of Deep Earth Seismology: Dziewonski, Virieux, Cormier, Tromp, Levander, Zelt, Symes and Keller to name a subjective few.

The typical SEG reader will notice that TOG2 is not intended to span the applied geophysical subjects associated with fossil fuel and mineral exploration, although volume 11 (Resources in the Near-Surface Earth) is a good, self-contained overview. Rather, it deals with the fundamental science behind applied geophysics (particularly seismology) and its application to understanding the earth and planets. To give one example, Theory and Observations: Forward Modeling: Synthetic Body Wave Seismograms (vol. 1, ch. 6) is a panoramic discussion of seismic modeling algorithms, parameterization, and a broad view of heterogeneity, attenuation and anisotropy. One can easily forgive two colons in the chapter title considering the authoritative depth and breadth of the text. A picky reader might notice that constant Q theory is given as an approximation (that violates causality) without reference to the exact theory of Kjartansson, and anisotropy without mention of Thomsen. The former omission is particularly curious since Kjartansson's work appeared the prestigious  Journal of Geophysical Research. But these are quibbles that detract nothing from a strong authoritative text.

In my opinion, Treatise on Geophysics 2nd Edition is a splendid, ambitious encyclopedia of the fundamental geophysical sciences. As such, it would be a welcome addition to any working library in pure or applied geophysics. It's publisher, editors and authors are to be commended for undertaking and so finely executing such a task. One wishes that the major applied scientific societies (SEG, AAPG, SPE) would collaborate on a similar scale to create a treatise that would as adequately capture the current knowledge of applied geophysics.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Mother Tongues

Occasionally you come across a graphic that is an amazing mix of excellent information and creative presentation. Saw one today by infographics wizard Alberto Lucas Lopez (from Navarra in Spain) that is the best visualization for world languages that I have come across (below, click for full size).

As a mother tongue, English is not dominant. But the bottom graphs show English is spoken in more countries (110) countries than any other language and is by far the most popular language being studied around the world (1500 million learners). 

Finally, at bottom right we learn that Papua New Guinea has an astounding 839 languages!


Here is another wild one showing Chinese investments around the world from 2005 to 2014. Amazing and hard to imagine any way to show the information better. Bravo Alberto!


I can't resist one more by Alberto: Mortality causes in the 20 richest and 20 poorest countries. Note the leading cause of death in Saudi Arabia is road injuries. It is widely considered the most dangerous country in the world for driving (outside of war zones). Having lived and driven there for 3 years, this is no surprise to me.


Monday, July 20, 2015

@URTeC 2015 San Antonio

Tuesday 21 July

Executive Plenary Session

Manuj Nikhanj, Managing Director, Head of Energy Research, ITG
Shale play success: Less than 5000 ft, 50% max clay content, ++. First 10 wells are most important. Fantastic animation of unconventional plays and history of capex vs IRR. Lower-48 US (L48) break evens. 2013-14 break evens $70/BO WTI. Today's break evens $55-60/BO WTI driven by 20% service cost reduction. Gas decline rate L48 has been 26% for several years. Oil decline rate L48 is 34% and increasing. Less than 10% IRR is abandoned. L48 could hit 12MMBO/D in 20 yrs with strong oil prices or drop to 7.5 in weak pricing (current 8.5). This talk was a brain dump, great stuff. 

Peter Richter, Vice President of Strategic Development, Schlumberger
Problem: Larger increase in capex than oil production 1997-2008. Cash positive means at least 10% IRR. Efficiencies to come: Multi-laterals (common in Middle East), refracturing (mixed success in eagleford) and channel frac (uses less fluid and proppant, began 2010). Diversion technology to aim frac is coming. Sliding sleeve completion allows water zones to be turned off. 

Barry Biggs, Vice President Onshore, Hess Corporation
Lean culture model and structured problem solving. Army of problem solvers. Bakken (95-105 MBO/D, 8 rigs) and Utica (20 MBO/D, 1 rig). Balance: 50% onshore-offshore and conventional-unconventional. Response to low prices? Focus on technology. Drill core. Lean culture. Asset collaboration room. Weekly poster meeting. Managers are there to remove barriers not run the meeting. Cost savings 10-30% from contractors. "You will never save your way to prosperity."  No sliding sleeve completions in Utica. 

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Monday 20 July

Opening ceremony 

Approaching 3500-4000 attendees. Technical committee also about 3000 strong. 

Adam Sieminski (EIA Administrator)
US now largest oil producer. CBR means crude oil by rail. Oil export not legal in U.S., except Alaska pipeline and few other small exceptions. LNG export is ok. Production growth about -2% in major U.S. unconventional oil plays. Future (1 yr) oil range forecast $30-100/BO. Inventory growth is peaking now. Spare world crude capacity 2MMBO/D. If you don't know what is going on on China, you'll never be able to figure out the world oil supply-demand picture. U.S. Oil production can go to 16MMBO/D with high prices. "I'm one policy remark away from returning to the private sector."

Luis Gusti
"Talk on Latin American unconventionals? It would be over in 5 minutes." 150 years ago coal was vital in UK and thought irreplaceable. Today UK coal is cheapest in the world, is 5% of UK energy mix. Energy source substitution is the key point. Fossil fuels are here to stay, many decades to come. We cannot replace the fossil fuels any time soon. Need to find a balance with environment. Peak oil? Only one accurate prediction, Hubbert's 1971 peak, all others have failed. We have a lot to learn about productivity in limestone. After 100 years we still cannot break the code. Key fact is private land-mineral ownership, unique to U.S. In order to know the final reserves in an area we would need to know the level of future knowledge; by definition this is unknowable. No one in poverty cares about global warming. Kyoto protocols? Only two countries were able to comply, Japan and Canada (?).

Tony Vaughn (VP Devon)
Expecting 1-2% demand growth for O&G. Onshore unconventional plays have flexibility on rate (spend) of development, which deep water plays do not. Best 2013-14 U.S. unconventional wells have 90 day avg of 600BO/D and $10-11MM caper per well. There are sweet spots and fringe areas in unconventional plays. "Favorable above ground risk." Increasing investment in data at Devon. 

Q&A
LJ: Saudi produced 9.8-10.2MMBO/D for many years. Now change to preserve market share. Used to be one voice, now many voices. Low oil prices won't last too long. KSA royal family has 17,000 princes. 
TV: Industry has retreated to core of assets. Capital reduction about 30% across O&G industry. More technical collaboration, teams, try to understand the data. 
AS: Geopolitics difficult to work into oil price forecast. A problem in Saudi Arabia would be a disaster for oil markets. Reverse Black-Scholes is out best risk estimator (backed out from global crude options activity and pricing). 
LJ: In Venezuela government controls military and money, it will be a few years before we see a change. China and Lukoil are investing there; production is increasing. 
AS: We need more women and minorities in this room. Talent gap, what talent gap?  
LJ: Mexico and all South American countries are interested in unconventional plays, although Brasil geology is not favorable. Holdback is political. Chevron is looking ahead to opportunities in Argentina with new political leadership. U.S. Shale oil is changing global supply lines. 
TV: Onshore rig day rates have dropped 20-30%. Labor market change is slow. If we stay under WTI $60/BO people will retreat to core holdings and stress will go up on weak players. 
AS: Costs are driven by prices, not the other way around. 

Had lunch with Tracy Stark and my old Aramco buddy Steve Adcock who now works for OpendTect (great product!). 



Monday, July 13, 2015

Carbonate Essentials Short Course

Just a note to let everyone know that I will be teaching my new 1-day short course on Carbonate Essentials (CE) for the first time on June 15 at the China University of Petroleum in Qingdao. The event is the 4th ICAPT Technical Forum. (ICAPT stands for International Center for Advanced Petroleum Technologies).

CONTENTS

Geology 
... classification, deposition, diagenesis, dolomite, chalk, pores, karst

Rock Physics 
... velocity versus [everything], beware ND correlation, Gassmann in carbonates?, diagenesis and rock physics

Wireline 
... fractures and cross-dipole sonic, Vp/Vs-Impedance space, synthetic seismogram, time-depth curve

Seismic 101 
... tuning, resolution, spatial aliasing, dip and throw, 3D intro, meaning of amplitude

Horizons 
... layers and information, tracking in unfaulted terrain, offset tracking, flattening, depth conversion, tracking in faulted terrain, geobody extraction

Attributes 
... acoustic impedance, similarity, curvature, spectral decomposition, AVO

Many thanks to the Chinese American Petroleum Association (CAPA) for arranging and facilitating this course. It culminates over 10 years of working on carbonates at Saudi Aramco, the University of Houston and now at the University of Arkansas. After my SEG President term winds down in Fall 2015, I will be available to teach CE on a request basis worldwide as an in-house or public offering. Contact liner@uark.edu for further information.


Preview on YouTube... see this blog entry for details

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Self portrait

The newspaper up here in Arkansas did a lengthy profile on me.  As part of the process they sent out a self portrait set of questions.  Thought my readers beyond the Ozarks would like to see the answers.

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Full name:  Christopher Lee Liner

Date of birth: 8 August 1956

Place of birth:  Tulsa

Family:  Wife Dolores Proubasta, son David, daughter Samantha

What takes me back: 
The sound of rain on tent canvas, a reminder of soggy campouts with good friends

My New Year’s resolution is: Call more, email less

People in high school thought I was:
Moody, erratic, tribal… in short, a teenager like everyone else

The best advice I ever received:
Keeping busy is a poor substitute for accomplishment (Voltaire)

Book I would recommend to anyone:
The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant

My musical aptitude consists of: 
Despite years of trying, the same three guitar chords I knew in high school: G, C and D

If I could play any song on the guitar it’d be: 
Paradise by John Prine

Few people know I:
Have not eaten meat (except seafood) since 1999

Fantasy dinner guests (up to 5):
Archimedes, Voltaire, Einstein, Churchill and Will Durant as moderator

A word to sum me up: 
Resourceful

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

EAGE 2015 Madrid

John Stockwell, longtime friend from Colorado School of Mines. 

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Great opening ceremony at EAGE 2015 at the Madrid IFEMA convention center. Beautifully managed by President Phillip Ringrose with award citations read by President-Elect Mohammed Al-Faraj (my friend from CSM and Aramco days).

Very good talk by Simon Bennett of IEA at opening ceremony. 

Had a nice chat with Gerry Schuster of KAUST about many things, including interesting work he is doing with hominid researchers in Africa. Maybe I'll tag along sometime to see if I can help. Also enjoyed hearing about his small scale field experiments on noise, interferometry and surface wave inversion. Might try it myself in the hills of Arkansas. 

Spent some quality time with Bill Symes (Rice Inversion Project) who deservedly won the EAGE 2015 Erasmus Award. Well done Bill!

Tonight is a dinner for parties involved with the AAPG/SEG ICE 2016 in Barcelona. REPSOL is always a key player in Spanish meetings and I look forward to talking to their representatives over wine and tapas. 


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

MArkUP Data 12 May 2015

Been working lately with Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) to make publication quality graphics of our MArkUP group data. This plot shows the outcrop inventory, quarries and wells in the primary research area of NW Arkansas. Site L104C is given as an example of how to highlight particular sites that contribute to a publication or thesis. The GMT shell script is a template for students to generate such figures. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Carbonate Geophysics, Japan and YouTube

Just returned from a trip to China and Japan.

China included a side trip to Beijing for a visit with the BGP President Guo Liang. The main China event the Gravity and Magnetics (GEM) conference in Chengdu co-sponsored by SEG and CGS (Chinese Geophysical Society). About 300 attended GEM including 50 from outside China. I did not see the giant Panda that Chengdu is famous for, but we did take a wonderful tour of a temple district and experienced a traditional Hot Pot restaurant. An side story to GEM Chengdu 2015 was my spending time with Dr. Jie Zhang professor at China University of Science and Technology. More importantly (for me) is that Jie is the Founder and Chairman of GeoTomo a software company that specializes in earth modeling and imaging. In dinner conversations it came up that my MArkUP group at the University of Arkansas was shooting shallow seismic data to solve geological problems. To make a long story short, Jie offered to donate the flagship GeoTomo software, called TomoPlus, for use in research and teaching at U of A. Thank you Jie!

In Japan, my host was Dr. Jun Matsushita (University of Tokyo) who spoiled me relentlessly. Had a very good meeting with SEG Japan president Dr. Saito, executive of the SEGJ board members Dr. Chiba and Dr. Osawa. I wish to publicly thank Dr. Matsushita and the University of Tokyo for treating me like a king in Japan.

Yours truly at the iconic building of the University of Tokyo
Carbonate Geophysics

On 24 April I gave a short talk on Carbonate Geophysics at the JOGMEC research office. I have posted that talk in two parts to YouTube.  Enjoy.