Deva Prasad Ghosh

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Deva Prasad Ghosh
Deva Prasad Ghosh 2020 headshot.png
Latest company Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) in Malaysia
BSc Geology and Physics
MSc Geophysics
PhD Geophysics
MSc university Banaras Hindu University
PhD university Delft University of Technology

Deva Prasad Ghosh was an exploration geophysicist noted for significant professional contributions through innovative application of geophysical methods, geophysical technologies, seismic imaging, quantitative interpretation, and seismic attributes to unlock subsurface geologic complexities under diverse geologic and geographic domains. He obtained a B.S. in geology and physics and an M. Sc in geophysics from Banaras University India and a Ph.D. (1970) from Delft University, Netherlands. His research solved complex Bessel and Hankel integrals with the help of fast convolution filters and is widely applied in electrical prospecting. He worked for Shell for a quarter century (1974–1999) where he was involved in early research on prestack depth migration and other novel applications of 3D seismic. This included orthogonal 3D surveys at Bullwinkle in the GOM and converted-wave seismology in the southern U.S. He later shifted his focus to bright spot and AVO applications. Ghosh joined PETRONAS in 2000 and was responsible for research, development, and application of state-of-the-art geophysical technology worldwide. Ghosh was selected as the SEG Honorary Lecturer in 2010.

Memorial 2020 [1]

by Sandeep K. Chandola

Deva Prasad Ghosh 1935–2019

Deva Prasad Ghosh, or Dr. Deva as he was fondly known by his colleagues and friends, left us peacefully on 6 December 2019. Deva received his master's degree in exploration geophysics from Banaras Hindu University in India and his PhD in geophysics from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He enjoyed a distinguished professional career spanning more than four decades and covering the entire geophysical domain in technical, managerial, applied-research, and academic roles. He worked across four continents with major oil companies such as Shell and PETRONAS in senior technical and advisory positions for more than three decades. In 2011, he assumed his role as professor of geophysics and as head of the Centre of Excellence in Subsurface Seismic Imaging and Hydrocarbon Prediction at the Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) in Malaysia. He continued in this role until September 2019 and moved back to the United States only days before he left us.

Deva made several significant professional contributions through innovative application of geophysical methods, geophysical technologies, seismic imaging, quantitative interpretation, and seismic attributes to unlock subsurface geologic complexities under diverse geologic and geographic domains. In his role as a professor, he guided more than 25 students in conducting applied research for their master's degrees and PhDs in geophysics. He has more than 200 technical publications and filed several patents for his research work at UTP. He was very active in professional societies, especially SEG and the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, and he served as the SEG Honorary Lecturer for Southeast Asia in 2010. Deva was chief editor for the book Geophysical Applications in Malaysian Basins released days after his death. That book will be part of his legacy to the oil and gas industry in general and PETRONAS in particular.

Deva's enthusiasm was his biggest asset, and it kept him active in his professional and personal life until the end. He had the remarkable ability to break the most complex issues into simple elements and present them in a logical manner, which made him the great teacher he was. My association with Deva dated back to 2005 when I joined PETRONAS, and I continued to benefit from his professional guidance and personal affection for all these years. Several of my present and past colleagues at PETRONAS would share the same view. His work shall continue to benefit both young and experienced geoscientists in the years to come.

Deva is survived by his wife, Deloris; his daughters Sheila and Nancy; stepdaughters Monica and Summer; and grandchildren Diana, Sasha, and Alexander. A caring husband, a loving father, an affectionate grandfather, a trusted friend, philosopher, and guide, and above all, an excellent human being — rest in peace, Dr. Deva!

2010 SEG Honorary Lecturer, South and East Asia

Geophysical issues and challenges in Southeast Asia with emphasis on Malay Basin

The Malay Basin is a pull-apart Tertiary basin about 500-km long and 200-km wide with sediment thicknesses up to 14 km. The basin is both mature and prolific but the easy oil has been found and new exploration targets are smaller and deeper in high temperature and pressure regimes. Production now focuses on improving reserves through EOR, monitoring use as 4D seismic, and cluster development to improve the economics of small discoveries.

Geophysical challenges include improving velocity analysis to yield better images and interpreting amplitudes for lithology and fluid content in an area that also has anomalies due to coals, shales, clean sands, and low gas saturation. This area needs better ways to image within and below gas chimneys, locate channel sands, image below carbonates, and improve resolution within thin, stacked sands. Amplitude interpretation encompasses thin-bed AVO response, recognizing anomalies due to coal and shale, and low gas saturation.

Useful technologies are high-resolution seismic, imaging using anisotropic velocities, elastic inversion, and attribute analysis. Some promising techniques are multiazimuth seismic for imaging below salt and carbonates, low-frequency sources, and other acquisition methods that reduce multiples.

Additional Resource

A recording of the lecture is available.[2]


  1. Memorial, The Leading Edge, Volume 39, Issue 7, p 524

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Deva Prasad Ghosh
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