Claes Nicolai Borresen

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Claes Nicolai Borresen
Claes Nicolai Borresen headshot.jpg
PhD university University of Oslo

SEG Reginald Fessenden Award 2014 [1]

Claes Nicolai Borresen, Rune Tenghamn, and the late Svein Vaage are renowned for their roles in developing dual-sensor cable technology. They perfected the principles of dual-cable data acquisition in their roles as vice presidents and principal research geophysicists at Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS). They hold several patents dealing with the use of towed-pressure sensors and particle-motion sensors. Through their efforts, dual-sensor cable technology has been established as an important advance in marine seismic data acquisition.

Biography Citation for SEG Reginald Fessenden Award 2014

Contributed by Anthony Day

Claes Borresen received a Cand. Real. (M.Sc./Ph.D. equivalent) degree in physics from the University of Oslo in 1976. He started his career in 1977 as a systems programmer for a computer center in Norway. In 1979, he started to work for GECO, initially as a systems programmer. In 1981, he moved to Houston to participate in the start-up of the GECO U. S. seismic data-processing center. Claes continued to work for GECO U. S. as systems and software development manager until he moved back to Norway in 1984 to work for GECO in Stavanger. He later became manager of the geophysical research group.

In 1992, Claes moved back to Houston to work for Petroleum Geo Services (PGS). He became the onboard instrumentation manager with responsibility for development of the onboard acquisition and quality-control system. That system is still used on all PGS vessels.

In 2003, Claes started to work with Rune Tenghamn on Rune’s idea of using hydrophones and geophones in a towed streamer. This was the very beginning of the first broadband streamer acquisition system. My first involvement with the dual-sensor streamer project was in 2007, by which time the project was well advanced and the technology was about to be launched commercially.

This was by no means the first attempt to record dual-sensor data using a towed streamer, but it was the first that could be regarded as a success through a combination of hardware and processing solutions to circumvent the practical issues that had been encountered in previous attempts. I believe the consideration of hardware and processing solutions in combination was key to turning towed dual-sensor streamer technology from a nice theoretical idea into a practical system that actually works.

With his broad experience and creative insight — as evidenced by the wide range of patents and publications that bear his name — Claes was a key figure in this success story. In the intervening years, the technology has been refined, but the construction of the streamer and the methods that are used to process dual-sensor data remain fundamentally the same as in 2007 — a testament to the quality of Claes’ original development work.

During his career, Claes has been author or coauthor of several patents and publications and has been a member of the SEGD Rev 2 Standards Committee. He still works for PGS, currently as principal research geophysicist.

Claes continues to contribute to efforts to further improve broadband acquisition and processing. His creativity, his breadth of knowledge spanning from streamer construction to processing recorded data, and his practical inclination remain in demand.


  1. SEG Honors and Awards Ceremony in Official Program and Exhibitors Directory, SEG Denver 26-31 October 2014 p.36-49.