Internet-accessible exploration and geophysical consortia

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This page is intended to facilitate internet communication between petroleum/natural gas companies and groups doing nonproprietary exploration geophysics research (broadly defined), such as academic consortia, university research groups, laboratories, institutes, government labs, etc. Groups are listed, followed by a short mission statement for each.

Many of these groups also have sponsors-only pages and ftp sites; only publicly accessible information is listed here.

Academic Geophysical Consortia


University of Aberdeen, Department of Geology and Petroleum Geology

  • ISG (Injected Sands Group): The Injected Sands Group is a consortium formed by the University of Aberdeen and University of Cardiff to study post-depositional remobilisation of deep-water sandstone reservoirs.

The University of Alberta

  • EGG (Experimental Geophysics Group): EGG carries out a wide variety of laboratory and field-based projects, all with a rock physics or rock mechanics theme. To do this we maintain capabilities for high-pressure laboratory work as well as high-resolution seismic surveying.
  • SAIG (Signal Analysis and Imaging Group): Our research interests are in the area of seismic signal analysis with emphasis on SNR enhancement, imaging and inversion of seismic records.

UBC (The University of British Columbia)

  • SINBAD (Seismic Imaging by Next-generation Basis function Decomposition): SINBAD explored the use of curvelets for efficiently representing and processing seismic data and images.
  • SLIM (Seismic Laboratory for Imaging and Modeling): SLIM applies compressive sensing in exploration seismology.
  • UBC-GIF (UBC Geophysical Inversion Facility): UBC-GIF is devoted to developing inversion methodologies and applying these techniques to solve practical problems. Areas of application include exploration for natural resources, environmental and geotechnical problems, and delineating large-scale earth structure.

University of Calgary, Department of Geology and Geophysics and Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

  • CHORUS (Consortium for Heavy Oil Research by University Scientists): The purpose of CHORUS is to develop and evaluate seismic methods for monitoring heavy-oil recovery processes.
  • CREWES (Consortium for Research in Elastic Wave Exploration Seismology): The CREWES Project is an applied geophysical research group concentrating on the analysis and interpretation of multicomponent seismic data.
  • FRP (Fold-Fault Research Project): FRP does integrated geophysical and geological research into the 3-D geometry and evolution of structures of economic and academic interest in fold and thrust belts.

Europe and Australia

University of Cambridge, Department of Earth Sciences, Bullard Laboratories

  • LITHOS: Our goal is to develop innovative geophysical techniques for analysing integrated datasets, including conventional, wide-aperture and wide-angle seismic data, and controlled-source electromagnetic data, in order to image the lithology of the sub-surface.

Charles University (Prague, the Czech Republic), Faculty of Mathematics and Physics Seismological Group

  • SW3D (Seismic Waves in complex 3-D structures): SW3D focuses primarily on the fundamental issues of high-frequency seismic-wave propagation in complex 3-D isotropic and anisotropic structures.

UCL (University College London), Department of Geological Sciences

  • RIPL (Rock and Ice Physics Laboratory): We study the physical behaviour of minerals and rocks that make up the surface and interior of the Earth, and other solid bodies in the solar system, so as to constrain the dynamic, tectonic and environmental processes of planetary evolution.

Curtin University of Technology, Department of Exploration Geophysics

  • CHDC (Centre for High Definition Geophysics): The CGDG investigates how seismic technologies can detect and delineate mineral resources such as gold, base metals, and coal, and also locate underground water resources.
  • CRGC (Curtin Reservoir Geophysics Consortium): CRGC undertakes research in acquisition, processing, and qualitative interpretation of geophysical data with an emphasis on Australian petroleum and production problems.

Delft (Delft University of Technology)

  • CTG (Centre for Technical Geoscience)
    • DELPHI (Delft Philosophy on Inversion)
      • DELPHI-AP (DELPHI Acquisition and Preprocessing Programme): The DELPHI A&P project's goal is the creation of a design package for optimum acquisition geometries in 3-D, based on economics and image quality. Current research centers on optimization of source and receiver beams, decomposition of 4-C measurements, and the CFP approach to statics.
      • DELPHI-CM (DELPHI Dynamic Reservoir Characterization & Flow Simulation): Key topics are time-lapse reflectivity analysis, multi-scale seismic-to-well matching, improved rock-property models, synthetic seismograms, dynamic reservoir simulation and integrated inversion of time-lapse seismic data and production history data.
      • DELPHI-MI (DELPHI Multiple Removal & Structural Imaging): The multiple removal and imaging project consists of the following research topics: 2-D and 3-D surface-related and internal multiple removal, 2-D and 3-D focusing operator estimation and structural imaging, and tomographic focusing operator inversion to find the 3D velocity model.

ENSMP (Ecole des Mines de Paris)

Free University of Berlin, Department of Geophysics

  • PHASE (Physics and Applications of Seismic Emission): The goal of the PHASE project is an understanding of the physics of fluid-induced microseismicity.

University of Hamburg Geophysical Institute

  • WIT (Wave Inversion Technology Consortium Project): Our goal is to create algorithms for performing accurate and efficient target-oriented modeling and imaging using seismic and acoustic methods, with an emphasis on characterizing and extrapolating the fine-grain properties of targets. We are particularly dedicated to (1) forward and inverse scattering in disordered media and composite materials, (2) true-amplitude imaging, migration and inversion, (3) seismic and acoustic methods for porous media, and (4) data-driven imaging and inversion (common-reflection-surface (CRS) stack) and estimation of velocity models by means of CRS-stack-based reflection tomography.

Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

  • ETLP (The Edinburgh Time-Lapse Project): Our broad objective is to discover what can be achieved using multi-component surveying, and to establish a firm technical footing for multi-component seismic monitoring in the future.

ICL (Imperial College London), Department of Earth Science and Engineering

  • CRG (Centre for Reservoir Geophysics): We research waveform tomography, prestack seismic inversion, seismic multiple attenuation, and reservoir characterisation.

IPGP (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris), Department of Seismology

  • ModTom (Modelling and Geophysical Tomography Group): The research activities of the modelling and tomography group are focused on the physics of disordered geological systems. Modelling in this field requires an original approach combining numerical and experimental studies.

University of Leeds

  • BLISS (BLind Identification of Seismic Signals): BLISS will adapt advanced techniques developed by the signal-processing community to seismic processing problems, in particular blind-deconvolution algorithms.

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Nancy School of Geology

  • GOCAD: The goal of the GOCAD project is to develop a new computer-aided approach for the modeling of geological objects. This approach is particularly adapted to Geophysical, Geological and Reservoir Engineering applications.

University of Nice, GeoAzur research institute

  • SEISCOPE: The SEISCOPE project focuses on adapting seismic-imaging methods to multicomponent global-offset data, for the purpose of addressing seismic-imaging challenges such as macromodel building for PSDM, sub-basalt imaging, imaging in deep offshore environments, and imaging of complex structures such as foothills. Methods will include first-arrival traveltime tomography, full-waveform modeling using finite-difference and finite-volume approaches, and frequency-domain full-waveform inversion for anisotropic visco-acoustic and visco-elastic media.

United States

UCSD (University of California at San Diego)

  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography
    • SEMC (Seafloor Electromagnetic Methods Consortium): SEMC seeks to develop electromagnetic methods for the purpose of offshore petroleum exploration. Electrical conductivity mapping is a useful complement to seismic and potential-field techniques for basin reconnaissance, and for volcanic, carbonate or evaporite terrains where seismic methods perform poorly.

UCSC (University of California Santa Cruz), Department of Earth Sciences

  • WTOPI (Wavelet Transform On Propagation and Imaging): The objective of WTOPI is to develop the theory and algorithms of wave propagation and imaging in the wavelet domain for direct application to compressed seismic data.

CSM (Colorado School of Mines), Department of Geophysics

  • CFRA (Center for Rock Abuse): CFRA researches rock and fluid properties for exploration and reservoir monitoring.
  • CWP (Center for Wave Phenomena): The Center for Wave Phenomena (CWP) supports an interdisciplinary (geophysics, mathematics) research and educational program in seismic exploration. The main focus of the program is in seismic modeling, migration, and inversion methods and accurate and efficient computational methods for seismic data processing, primarily for application to regions of structural complexity.
  • GMRC (Gravity and Magnetics Research Consortium): GMRC develops new interpretation techniques for gravity, gravity gradient, and magnetic data.
  • RCP (Reservoir Characterization Project): The Reservoir Characterization Project (RCP) at Colorado School of Mines (CSM) is an industry sponsored research consortium whose mission is to develop and apply 3-D, 3-C seismology and associated technologies for enhanced reservoir recovery.

CU (University of Colorado, Boulder)

UH (University of Houston)

  • AGL (Allied Geophysical Laboratories): AGL uses state-of-the-art physical modeling and cluster computing as tools to extract new information from currently underutilized types of seismic data. Our current effort addresses issues in vector seismic analysis, extraction of more information from the long-offset component of seismic data that is usually muted, and the integrated analysis of multiple 3-D seismic attribute cubes.
  • M-OSRP (Mission-Oriented Seismic Research Program): M-OSRP investigates innovative methods of using the wave equation and inverse theory to solve fundamental unsolved problems of seismic imaging. For example, we are developing a method for imaging reflectors correctly in depth beneath complex media without the necessity of an accurate velocity model. We are also developing methods for inverting for earth properties in areas where traditional AVO's simplifying assumptions fail or are inadequate, in particular in structurally complex areas. These advanced mathematical techniques can make greater demands on our seismic data than traditional ones. For this reason, we are also pursuing new methods of wavelet estimation, deghosting, and data extrapolation.

MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • ERL (Earth Resources Lab): ERL is primarily concerned with applied geophysics as it relates to tectonophysics, seismology (especially seismic exploration), environmental engineering, and parallel computing.

University of Miami

  • RSMAS (Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science), Division of Marine Geology and Geophysics: The Division of Marine Geology and Geophysics of RSMAS conducts research and graduate instruction in marine geology, geophysics and geochemistry. The programs range from purely laboratory studies to applied field work.

University of Nevada at Reno, Seismological Laboratory

  • CEMAT (Consortium for Economic Migration and Tomography): Applying advanced methods in migration and tomography, CEMAT creates research products that will enhance members' ability to cost-effectively generate and develop economic mineral and energy prospects, or to evaluate and mitigate potential seismic hazards.

University of Oklahoma

  • OU Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering Center for Rock Physics
    • AASPI (Attribute-Assisted Seismic Processing and Interpretation): AASPI focuses on the development, calibration, and application of 3D seismic poststack and prestack attributes for exploration and resource exploitation. The current focus is on workflows to calibrate attributes to problems of production interest, including mapping of fractures and correlation of flow rates and frac-job success to seismic data.
    • IC3RPC (The OU Integrated Core Characterization Center Rock Physics Consortium): The OU Integrated Core Characterization Center Rock Physics Consortium develops and populates a database of petrophysical measurements, which is made available to consortium members over the internet.

Rice University

  • TRIP (The Rice Inversion Project): The Rice Inversion Project studies mathematical and computational problems arising in reflection seismic data processing. Current projects include: velocity estimation directly from waveform data (without traveltime picking) from inaccurate initial estimates; calibration of source wavelet and directivity as part of inversion; multiparameter inversion (aka model-based AVO processing) in the presence of attenuation; new numerical methods for various tasks, including viscoelastic simulation and traveltime and amplitude computation; and design of numerical software using OOP technology (C++) and various styles of parallelism.

University of South Carolina

  • ESRI (Earth Sciences and Resources Institute): ESRI performs applied research in petroleum and environmental earth sciences, conducting field and laboratory research in shallow subsurface imaging for the purpose of solving environmental and engineering problems. ESRI also maintains a major oil and gas fields database and an online geological data catalog.

Stanford (Leland Stanford Junior University), Department of Geophysics

  • SCRF (Stanford Center for Reservoir Forecasting): The goal of SCRF (the Stanford Center for Reservoir Forecasting) is the development and integration of geological, geophysical and petroleum engineering techniques for forecasting reservoir performance. Our program is widely open to oil companies, geophysical services companies, research institutes and consultants who wish to support and provide advice to our research line.
  • SEP (Stanford Exploration Project): The Stanford Exploration Project (SEP) is an industry-funded academic consortium conducting fundamental research in reflection seismology. SEP pioneered in migration imaging, velocity estimation, and dip moveout and slant stack. Today the focus is on 3-D seismic applications such as azimuthal moveout, 3-D signal-noise separation, 4-D (time-lapse) reservoir monitoring, and practical inversion. SEP emphasizes extracting information from the Earth's interior with novel data processing concepts, software design, high-performance supercomputing, and field-data bulletproofing. Reproducible research results are transferred to industry and the public via interactive books and PhD theses on CDROM.
  • SRB (Stanford Rock Physics and Borehole Geophysics Project): The Stanford Rock Physics and Borehole Geophysics Project studies the properties of and processes in rocks as related to geophysical exploration, crustal studies, and tectonic and borehole processes.

Syracuse University Department of Earth Sciences

  • LRBRP (Lacustrine Rift Basin Research Program): Our current research projects are focused on paleoclimates of tropical Africa, the basin evolution of the large rift valley lakes of East Africa, and on the Quaternary evolution of lakes in the northeastern United States.

TAMU (Texas A&M University)

  • TEES (Texas Engineering Experiment Station, Petroleum Engineering Division): Our objective is to increase the proven reserves and production capacity of the state of Texas for oil and gas, mining, and alternative energy sources. Research emphasis is on hydraulic fracturing, reservoir description, artificial intelligence, reservoir management, well control, drilling design and analysis, and artificial lift.
    • GPRI (Global Petroleum Research Institute): GPRI is a nonprofit cooperative effort between Texas A&M University and member companies to develop technology for petroleum exploration and production.

UT (The University of Texas at Austin)

  • BEG (The University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology): We conduct research in advanced geotechnology; oil and gas discovery and recovery optimization; geophysics; environmental, waste-disposal, and hydrogeologic studies; coastal processes; and coal and mineral resources, both domestically and abroad.
    • EGL (Exploration Geophysics Laboratory): EGL was established in 1997 to develop seismic vector-wavefield technology for improved reservoir characterization and prospect evaluation.
    • TCCS (Texas Consortium for Computational Seismology): TCCS is a joint initiative of BEG and the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES), to address the most important and challenging research problems in computational geophysics as experienced by the energy industry while educating the next generation of research geophysicists and computational scientists.
  • UT-DoGS (The University of Texas Department of Geological Sciences)
    • EDGER (Forum for Exploration and Development Geophysics Education and Research at UT-Austin): The research focus of the EDGER Forum is Analysis, Imaging and Interpretation of multicomponent seismic data, including P-P and P-SV AVO.
  • UTIG (The University of Texas at Austin Institute for Geophysics): UTIG conducts geophysical and geological investigations of the history, structure, and dynamics of the earth's crust, and of earthquake phenomena.
    • GBDS (Gulf Basin Depositional Synthesis): The GBDS project intends to perform a detailed, comprehensive and integrated synthesis of the Gulf of Mexico basin as a whole. The results will be distributed as a completely digital database, leading to major new contributions to the understanding of the geologic history of the Gulf of Mexico Basin.
    • PLATES: PLATES is a program of research into plate-tectonic and geologic reconstructions, supported by a consortium of oil companies.

UTD (University of Texas at Dallas)

  • UTD Geophysical Consortium: The UTD Geophysical Consortium supports applied research in exploration and reservoir seismology. It emphasizes seismic modeling, migration, and inversion applications to reservoir characterization, wide-aperture and AVO analysis, and 3-D seismic algorithms.

University of Utah

  • EGI (Energy and Geoscience Institute): EGI is a university-based, applied earth-science research and training organization that develops and carries out multidisciplinary, multi-institutional projects worldwide. The Institute undertakes a broad range of projects.
  • University of Utah Department of Geology and Geophysics
    • CEMI (Consortium for Electromagnetic Modeling and Inversion): CEMI is a research and educational program in applied geophysical electromagnetics based at the University of Utah. We are interested in electromagnetic modeling and inversion methods for accurate and efficient electromagnetic data analysis in regions with complex structure.
    • UTAM (Utah Tomography and Modeling/Migration Consortium): Our goal is to develop innovative modeling and inversion algorithms for seismic data, including applications to CDP, crosswell, VSP and single-well imaging. Some current projects include 3D pre-stack migration by a Quasi-Monte Carlo method, least squares migration, traveltime+waveform inversion of crosswell data, tomographic velocity analysis in the common image gather domain, 2-D and 3-D statics by refraction tomography, and adaptive grid viscoelastic modeling of single well data.

Discontinued research

UBC (The University of British Columbia)

  • CDSST (Consortium for the Development of Specialized Seismic Techniques at UBC): At CDSST our basic research interests are in time series, spectral analysis, and inverse methods. We are particularly interested in the application of these concepts to the processing and interpretation of realistic seismic data, with missing traces, survey gaps, and limited aperture. One of our current research projects is focused on the development of aperture-compensated transforms for high-resolution velocity processing, multiple attenuation and 2-D filtering.

IFP (Institut Français du Pétrole; The French Petroleum Institute)

  • KIM (Kinematic Inversion Methods): The KIM research consortium is dedicated to the development of innovative methods for seismic imaging of complex geological structures. We are focusing our research efforts on velocity model determination by means of reflection tomography. This also includes research on methods for accessing 3D prestack reflection travel times, which are the essential input for tomographic inversion algorithms.

Ocean Margins LINK programme

  • This UK programme focused on research that helps the oil industry overcome the challenges of developing deep-water oil fields. In particular, it studied: 1) deep structure and rifting processes, 2) sedimentary processes, sediment movement and slope stability, and 3) fluid flow into and out of the seabed, including its relationship with and effect on deep-water faunas.
  • iSIMM (integrated Seismic Imaging and Modeling of Margins): Our goal is to tackle two major problems facing hydrocarbon explorationists on volcanically dominated margins: 1) the inability of conventional seismic reflection methods to image through basalt layers overlying sediments, and 2) the failure of current models and software to model properly the stretching, subsidence and thermal history of rifted continental margins.

Governmental Geophysical Consortia

BGS (British Geological Survey)

  • GSGG (Global Seismology and Geomagnetism Group): The activities of the GSGG cover a broad spectrum of research and information services concerned with earthquakes and man-made seismic disturbances.
    • EAP (Edinburgh Anisotropy Project): The principal objective of EAP is investigating the applications of seismic anisotropy through interpretation of seismic-wave propagation characteristics to obtain information about the internal structure of reservoir rocks. This covers wave propagation theory, data acquisition strategy, processing and interpretation methods, real data analysis and case studies. Out current emphasis is amplitude versus direction (AVD) applied to marine data, including streamer, 4C seabottom, vertical cable, and VSPs, with particular application to the growing research area of sub-basaltic imaging.

INRIA (Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique; The French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control)

Industrial Geophysical Consortia

ITF (The Industry Technology Facilitator)

  • ITF is a not for profit organisation supported by major oil and gas operating and service companies. ITF's subsurface and production technology managers focus on the creation of joint industry projects that research and develop future technology requirements.

OPERA (Organisme Pétrolier de Recherche Appliquée-Applied Geophysical Research Group)

  • The missions of OPERA are to develop, test compare and maintain research software prototypes in the fields of geophysics applied to oil industry in order to improve the know-how and the associated methods with the support of TOTAL and the scientific skills of the University of Pau.

Other Geophysical Consortia


  • Energistics' mission is to establish, maintain, and promote data and specifications for the sharing and interoperability of petrotechnical information.

PPDM (Public Petroleum Data Model Association)

  • The PPDM Association is a non-profit organization through which members world-wide cooperate to develop an open standard data model as the foundation for managing information as an essential asset in the global business of oil and gas exploration and production.

SINTEF group

  • SINTEF petroleum research: We perform research in reservoir geology, basin modeling, seismic methods, well drilling technology, and formation physics.
    • SINTEF Seismic: We develop new methods for processing seismic data, based on the theory of wave propagation in acoustic and elastic media. The main activities are OBS (Ocean Bottom Seismic), depth migration, AVO, inversion, and seismic modelling.

VRGEO (Geophysical visualization research)

  • VRGEO develops visualization technology for geoscience applications in virtual environments.

Other sources of information

  • The National Geophysical Data Center includes digital regional aeromagnetic, gravity, and topographic data.
  • The USGS Publications and Data Products page lists digital and printed geophysical information available from the USGS.
  • The NASA Global Change Master Directory mostly covers things like climate, oceans, rivers, ground water, pollution, etc, but there are also a few databases of interest to exploration Geophysicists included in here as well.
  • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) libraries contains pointers to information (mostly with a legal/regulatory focus) related to exploiting geological resources on U.S. government properties, especially offshore (notably Gulf of Mexico and Alaska). They also maintain a good list of links to governmental, oil and mineral industry, and environmental advocacy group sites.
  • The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation maintains an excellent list of natural resources information sources and organizations on the internet.
  • The US Census Bureau's TIGERweb mapping service can produce maps at various scales for anywhere in the United States.
  • The Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection contains public-domain raster maps covering the world.
  • For SEG and EAEG publications, a good free search engine is the SEG Digital Library.

Page information

Please email Andrew Geary, SEG Wiki Editor to be included on this page. The consortium must be internet-accessible, either by web site or by e-mail. If your consortium is internet accessible but is not included in this list, please let us know. When informing us of your group, please include a mission statement. This is a concise paragraph or two describing what is unique about your group and what it is you are trying to accomplish. Also let us know if your consortium is listed but you have changed the focus of your research or just want me to update your mission statement for any reason.