Richard Lindsay

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Richard Lindsay
BSc university University of Kentucky

Richard O. Lindsay is the Senior Geophysical Technology Advisor for Deepwater Gulf of Mexico exploration at Noble Energy, Inc., a Houston-based exploration and production company. He holds a Bachelors Degree (with distinction) from the University of Kentucky where he specialized in geology, geophysics, and cultural geography. Before entering the oil and gas exploration field, Rick worked in advanced satellite video telecommunications. He began his energy career as an exploration geophysicist with Amoco Production Company before joining Amoco Production Research in 1988 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1994, he was one of four founders of Diamond Geoscience Research Corp., an independent geoscience consultancy where he served as Vice President of Research and Development. He joined Noble Energy, Inc. in Houston in 2006.

2008 SEG Honorary Lecturer, North America

Forgotten geophysics: A reminder that first-order effects should come first

High technology is exciting. It fuels our passion for elegant solutions to complex problems. High-speed workstations armed with geoscience software are uniquely qualified to address these complex problems. These machines rush through the mechanics of exploration at the speed of light; but in the shadow of these computer-based technological wonders we should never forget to embrace the elegance of the first-order solution, the exact art and subtle science of getting the basics done right.

We often discover that interpretation technology produces beautiful maps, profiles, and cross sections. It also exploits statistical correlations to make predictions of source, reservoir, and seal properties. Occasionally, even the best algorithms produce mathematically correct solutions that are geologically impossible! As good scientists we must always challenge our assumptions—including the assumption that elegant technology is always right. This is the place and time for re-examination of the basics. By building up from a firm foundation in geoscience basics, implemented using the highest technologies, we are assured of interpreting the first-order effects first.

This lecture will present a reflection of fundamental exploration techniques, a discussion of processes and technology in use today, and offer a peek at the elegant technological solutions of the near future—all built upon sound and often forgotten basics.

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