Klaas Koster

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Klaas Koster
Klaas Koster headshot.jpg
President year 2010
Membership Life Membership


Klaas Koster is a geophysicist known for his work in multi-component acquisition, quantitative interpretation, seismic inversion, and time-lapse seismic methods. He was the 2010-2011 SEG President. Dr. Koster received the SEG Presidential Award for his outstanding service to the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.


Biography for SEG President Elect Candidacy

Klaas Koster holds a PhD in geophysics from Delft in The Netherlands. His first job was with Amoco in Tulsa where he initially worked on multicomponent acquisition. He subsequently joined a team of Amoco and Pemex geophysicists to find solutions for some of Mexico’s seismic data quality challenges. Koster’s next assignment was to the Denver offi ce where he worked on 3D acquisition and processing. He also worked with Schlumberger colleagues on early applications of the dipole-sonic. Koster started working on quantitative interpretation and seismic inversion for Shell in 1994.

In this position, he worked on fields from Greenland to Nigeria to Peru and New Zealand. In 1997, he moved to Norway where he was part of the multidisciplinary team responsible for time-lapse monitoring of Draugen. In 2000, Koster joined Woodside, where he became head of quantitative interpretation. Th is position allowed frequent interaction with fellow geophysicists at Curtin University and CSIRO. When he became head of subsurface technology implementation with Shell in New Orleans in 2004, his team also covered geomechanics and geochemistry. He recently joined Apache in Aberdeen as senior technical advisor responsible for subsurface activities in the Forties Field.

Koster joined SEG in 1986. He was elected president of the Australian SEG in 2003 and vice president of SEG in 2004. He was awarded Life Membership in 2008 and is the recipient of a [[Best Paper in TLE award]]. He has chaired the Governance Review, Constitution and Bylaws, International Showcase, and Meetings Review and Planning committees.


Position Statement

In my discussions with members of the SEG Council, it has become clear that they are keen to play a greater role. At the moment, the agenda for the annual Council meeting is dominated by matters dictated by SEG’s constitution and bylaws. I’m keen to provide additional opportunities for Council members to infl uence decisions about issues relevant to the members they represent.

As membership becomes more diverse, SEG has to cover an everexpanding range of geophysical methods at all levels—from simply raising awareness to in-depth discussion. Other societies—like SPE and EAGE, but also CSEG and SEGJ or AGU and NSG—all have material that is relevant to SEG members. Th is is an opportunity for SEG to effi ciently increase its coverage of the entire fi eld. In addition to developing proprietary content, SEG can improve access to relevant activities and content available from other societies.

I have had the privilege to work with dedicated SEG members and staff in many capabilities. It would be an honor to ensure as president that SEG will continue to play a signifi cant role in the life of geophysicists wherever they are located; just as it has in mine.

SEG Life Membership 2008

Klaas Koster is being honored with Life Membership for his many voluntary contributions to the Society, often as a leader of important initiatives. The many key volunteer positions he has held include: SEG vice-president (2005-06); chairman, Meetings Review and Planning Committee (2005-06) and member (2006-07); co-chairman, International Showcase, 2006 Annual Meeting; chairman, Joint Meetings Committee (2006-07); long-time member of the Global Affairs Committee; SEG Foundation Projects Review Committee (2006); vice chairman, 2007 SEG/OTC Technical Program Subcommittee; leader of the Membership Task Force to expand services to international members (2007); chairman, Strategic Governance Review Committee (2007-08); candidate for president-elect (2007); guest editor for TLE special section on offshore technology (2008), and past-president (2003) and fi rst vice president (2002) of the Australian SEG.


Biography Citation for Life Membership

Contributed by Sven Treitel

This year the Honors and Awards Committee has made a particularly apt choice in granting Life Membership to my good friend and colleague Klaas Koster. Here is a man with a distinguished record of significant technical accomplishment and dedicated service to SEG. While so many of us wait for decades before we become active in our professional society, Klaas chose not to waste time. He has already served as the vice president (2002) and president (2003) of the Australian SEG, as vice president of SEG (2005-06), and as chair of the SEG Governance Review Committee (2007- 08), of which I am a member. It was during the recent deliberations of this body that I experienced firsthand Klaas’s organizational skills and his uncanny ability to guide a group of highly opinionated geophysicists to agree on a set of recommendations to the SEG Executive Committee. This observation hardly came as a surprise, for I have known Klaas since he was a graduate student at Delft University well over 20 years ago.

I first learned about Klaas from Jacob Fokkema, one of his professors at Delft. At that time, I worked at the late Amoco Research Center in Tulsa and asked Jacob about particularly promising students who could be coaxed to come to our laboratory; his instant reply was “Klaas Koster.” So Klaas joined us as a research geophysicist in 1991. His charming Serbian wife Zora arrived with him; he had met her in Belgrade during the 1987 EAGE conference in that city. Clearly there are many unanticipated side benefi ts resulting from attendance at geophysical conferences.

Klaas soon made important contributions to a multisource, multicomponent 2D acquisition project, which included one of the earliest implementations of prestack depth migration of mode-converted PS data. While in Tulsa, Klaas became a Spanish student of my wife Renata—at that time, Amoco was hoping to enter into a cooperative agreement with PEMEX. While nothing came of these plans, I am told that Klaas was the best language student she has ever taught, so something good came out of this failed venture after all. It was also around that time that Klaas and his wife Zora had a baby daughter, whom they named Renata.

Klaas continued his multicomponent work at Amoco’s Denver offi ce until he resigned in 1994 to accept a position with Shell International in The Hague. There he carried out one of the fi rst 3D seismic inversion studies with an implementation of multi-CPU parallel processing—this was done jointly with Jason Geophysical. Following three years in Norway as an interpretation geophysicist, Klaas was transferred to Perth, Australia, to become head of quantitative interpretation, and ultimately chief geophysicist for Woodside. In this capacity, Klaas fundamentally changed the way exploration projects were risked in that offi ce, and he wrote the training manual for these new procedures. He also developed and implemented a strategy to optimize geophysical performance on key Australian oil assets. It is clear that at this stage of his impressive career, Klaas was beginning to show his mettle as a manager, yet without casting aside his technical skills, for it was then that he received the “Best Paper in TLE” award for an article on time-lapse seismic monitoring.

In 2004 Klaas and his family moved back to the United States, this time to head subsurface technology implementation with Shell E&P in New Orleans. Among his contributions during this period, I should mention his success to build consensus around past failed 4D efforts by instituting a comprehensive study of what had, or had not, been done before. Just recently, he resigned from Shell to take on a new assignment with Apache in Aberdeen, where he will be moving with his wife and two children.

What Klaas has accomplished to date both as a technical innovator as well as a skilled organizer and manager are living proof that one can be both a successful manager and a successful scientist, thus putting to rest the common misconception that one must do either one or the other, but not both.

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