Nicolay Savostyanov

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Nicolay Savostyanov
Nicolay Sovastyanov headshot.jpg
Latest company VNIIgeofizika's R&D center
Membership Euro-Asian Geophysical Society
MSc university Mining Exploration Institute, Moscow


Nicolay (or Nicolai) Savostyanov (1930-2009) was a former president of the Euro-Asian Geophysical Society of Russia and an Honorary Member of EAGE, and of SEG.


Biography Citation for SEG Life Membership

Contributed by Yoram Shoham


Nicolay Savostyanov and I first met during the cold Moscow winter of 1991. The occasion was a meeting to prepare for Moscow '92, the first international geophysical convention which was organized jointly by the SEG and our Russian colleagues. These were times of major transformations for Russia in all aspects of public and private lives. None of us was sure how to organize such an unprecedented event in Moscow in view of the special circumstances during that historic year.

Nicolay's wisdom and warm personality immediately gave me the certain feeling that the convention would be a great success and, indeed, it became a memorable experience to all of us. This marked the beginning of my friendship with a wonderful man.

Nicolay is a proud son and lover of the great city of Moscow where he was born in 1930. Following graduation from Moscow's Mining Exploration Institute with an M.S. in geophysics in 1953, he joined VNIIgeofizika's R&D center.

He innovated and designed electrical logging tools at the laboratory of Professor G. Komarov whom he considers his "geophysical father." The 1959-1963 period saw Nicolay in India where he helped to establish the National Well Logging Service. He worked with data from the newly discovered Ankleshvar oil field. Nicolay then returned to VNIIgeofizika to work on micrologging and proximity logging techniques.

In 1966 Nicolay became the head of the Well Logging Division of the Ministry of Oil Industry of the USSR. In 1968 he earned his Ph.D. from VNIIgeofizika. As his career progressed, he became the head of the ministry's Geophysical Department which supervised 36 local companies operating more than 150 seismic crews and hundreds of logging crews. In this role he became familiar with all major producing areas in the former Soviet Union.

Nicolay took an active part in establishing geophysical and petrophysical R&D throughout the USSR. In 1993 he joined the major Russian oil company Rossneft as director of geophysics. After the transformation of the Soviet Union, Nicolay played a major role in the restructuring of the Russian oil industry from centrally planed to market oriented.

In 1992 Nicolay was involved in the creation of the Euro-Asian Geophysical Society (EAGO) and was elected as its first president, a position he still holds. The EAGO has become the strongest geoscience society in Russia. It is involved in organizing international conferences in Russia, publishes two major Russian geophysical journals, and helps young geophysicists and students. Nicolay contributes to all of the activities of the EAGO with special emphasis on international relations with the SEG, EAGE, and SPWLA.

Nicolay Savostyanov is an active board member of the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) and is representing Russia in the WPC's Scientific Program Committee. He has attended all WPC's meetings since 1971 and was the chairman of its Petroleum Geophysics Section. He has published many papers, edited two monographs, and coauthored a book, all about well logging. Nicolay officially retired this year and became a professor at Moscow's prestigious Gubkin Oil and Gas Academy.

Nicolay's hobby is poetry. He is an expert on both Russian and Western poetry and writes his own verses which have become popular among his friends and colleagues. He manages his professional responsibilities in harmony with his lovely family.

Nicolay married his wonderful wife and best friend for life 45 years ago. She is a woman of enormous talents, energy, and warm Russian soul, who has always been the reliable support behind Nicolay's achievements. Nicolay is a brave man who has the courage to take bold action following his strong sense of direction. Nina has always been with him throughout their beautiful and most interesting life. They have one very talented son, Yuri, who is also a geophysicist and provides key help to Nicolay's EAGO and international activities.

The Society is fortunate to have as a member Nicolay A. Savostyanov, a great visionary, great leader, and unique human being.