Samir Abdelmoaty

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Samir Abdelmoaty
Samir Abdelmoaty headshot.png
Latest company Rockhopper Exploration
Membership Honorary and Life Member
BSc Physics and Geology
MSc Geophysics
BSc university Cairo University
MSc university Al-Azhar University

Samir Abdelmoaty received his B.Sc. degree in physics and geology from Cairo University in 1971, followed by a Diploma and M.Sc. in geophysics. Recently, Samir attended The Management Program at Rice University and the International Management Program at Texas A&M. In 1972, Samir began his career with the Academy of Scientific Research before joining GUPCO in 1976. He was seconded to BG Egypt as the chief geophysicist in 1989. Returning to GUPCO, he progressed through several positions ending as the geophysics general manager. In 1993, Samir become the president of PGS Tensor Middle East. In 1995, he joined BP Egypt (then Amoco) and currently, he is the deputy Exploration Performance Unit leader. Samir is a Life Member of SEG, member of EAGE, AAPG, and the president of the Egyptian Geophysical Society.

SEG Special Commendation 2022

Samir Abdelmoaty has a wide range of experience and contributions to the oil and gas industry and universities in Egypt. He started his geophysics career at Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company (GUPCO), Amoco, BP, Technical Petroleum Services, PGS, and recently United Oil and Gas. He also teaches at Ain Shams, Alexandria, and Mansoura universities. Samir is especially well known in Egypt for his work with the Al Amal graduate-to-industry bridging program. He has been active within SEG and with other professional activities in the Middle East. He has been widely praised for his work in mentoring students and supporting colleagues across the region. He has received both SEG Life (2002) and Honorary (2009) Membership awards. Abdelmoaty has made many contributions to Egyptian geophysics, but he receives Special Commendation for the Al Amal program with its 12 rounds of graduate inductions and instruction.

Biography Citation for the Special Commendation Award

by Osman M. Hassan

Samir, a national of Egypt and citizen of the geoscience world, has a distinguished record of service to the geosciences community that spans five decades professionally and academically on the local, regional, and global levels.

Samir has been intensely involved with SEG for many years. He served on the Board of Directors as a director at large and on the Council as a district representative. Samir was selected to present the 2009 SEG Africa and Middle East Honorary Lecture, and he has visited many universities in the region. His vision has always been international, and as a member and chair of the Global Affairs Committee, he was instrumental in developing SEG into a global organization.

In 2007, Samir and his colleagues initiated Al Amal (which translates to “hope”) for outstanding geoscience graduates from all Egyptian universities. The program is organized by The Egyptian Geophysical Society (EGS) and was supported by SEG. It is designed as an advanced program to provide technical sessions by experts from the industry with a focus on soft skills and health, safety, security and environment processes. In addition to field trips and visits to exploration and production companies and technology providers, the program is extended to include mining, underground water, geoscience engineering, archaeology, data science, machine learning, and their applications in the geoscience field. The program is run by volunteers from the industry and senior Al Amal graduates (“Amalians”) under the Al Amal slogan: “Gain and Give.”

During a very challenging time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Al Amal 12 and 13 rounds were conducted virtually, with online sessions, distance learning, and a virtual data room to run the asset evaluation project.

Al Amal 13, which started in December 2021, invited 561 top graduates to attend online, and all sessions were streamed in real time to allow other graduates and students to benefit from the highly successful and praised program. The final phase of Al Amal 13 included 45 participants, 27 female and 18 male graduates. This round is cosponsored by program partners the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, Shell, BP, Capricorn, APEX, Kuwait Energy, Petrojet, United Oil and Gas, Schlumberger, and Wintershall Dea.

During the 2022 SEG Red Sea Workshop in Hurghada, Egypt, Samir was very pleased to see three Amalian’s with three well-received papers among the workshop presenters.

Other programs run by EGS and led by Samir, include the Annual Student Forum held at a different university every year, Al Amal Troops, where instructors and senior Amalians visit universities, and Al Amal Undergraduate Summer Training program in August.

Samir continuously supports participants in the different professional society programs: SEG EVOLVE, SEG Field Camps, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists AAPG Imperial Barrel Award program, and others.

One of the most distinguished attributes of Samir is his signature smile that reflects his genuine, intrinsic, and sincere passion toward his profession, SEG, and beers. He is a real “star of hope” to so many and a living legend.

It is my honor and privilege to write this citation to commemorate my friend, my mentor, geo-pal, and the star of hope Mr. Samir and his team for a well-deserved SEG Special Commendation Award based on his exceptionally commendable service to the geophysical community in Egypt, Middle East, Africa, and Al Amal program: “Teach the young how to fish and you will feed them for a lifetime.”

2009 SEG Honorary Lecturer, Middle East and Africa

Multi-azimuth seismic in the Nile Delta, Egypt

The Nile Delta has emerged as a world-class hydrocarbon basin owing to significant gas and condensate discoveries. Early exploration relied on the use of direct hydrocarbon indicators (DHIs) and proved very successful in the shallow Pliocene section. More recently, significant pre-Messinian- (Miocene and Oligocene) aged discoveries have been made, opening these deeper high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) play fairways. However, detailed planning is needed to manage the cost and to mitigate the operational risks of drilling these wells, as well as the successful appraisal and development of the discovered resources.

A major obstacle to exploiting these resources is seismic data quality. In large areas of the offshore Nile Delta, a thin but complex Messinian-aged interval, consisting of anhydrite and interbedded sands and shales, lies immediately above the deep reservoirs. This interval often generates wavefield distortion, attenuation, and the generation of complex multiple diffractions which degrade the underlying seismic image. To overcome this challenge, an innovative acquisition solution was developed and implemented: multi-azimuth seismic (MAZ). Simply put, MAZ is a program in which multiple passes of seismic data are shot over the same subsurface point but at varying azimuths to one another. The resulting data can then be stacked to produce an image with superior noise and imaging characteristics. In addition to the image quality improvements, recent studies have shown that MAZ data may also offer a unique opportunity to further characterize the subsurface by exploiting the multiple independent measures of the overburden and reservoir.

The higher cost of MAZ has been offset by delivering a significant reduction in the risk and expense of deep HPHT drilling operations. MAZ has also proved to be an excellent front-end loading tool to optimize the appraisal and development program and reduce the risk and cost of major projects.

SEG Life Membership

Samir Abdelmoaty was honored with Life Membership in 2002 and has continued to contribute significantly to SEG. He is active in GAC, serving as Adviser for Africa and is a past Chairman of GAC. He was instrumental in the successful meetings SEG has organized in Egypt and served as an Honorary Lecturer. He served as the IPTC program coordinator in 2007. He has run for SEG Executive Committee positions several times.

Biography Citation for SEG Honorary Membership 2009

Contributed by William N. Barkhouse

One of SEG’s living treasures and honorees can be found in the vicinity of 30̋03́53.07̋N(30.06474166666667) latitude, and 31̋14́58.23̋E(31.24950833333334) longitude. This an additional clue that our Society has an extraordinary ability to discover and recognize excellence and leadership in every coordinate of our global Society.

Within the green oases of the mighty Nile resides Samir Abdelmoaty, a 2009 recipient for one of SEG’s highest awards, Honorary Membership, having been previously honored by the Society with Lifetime Membership in 2002.

Our discovery chronicle continues from 2002 where the consummate requisites for Samir’s Lifetime Membership were previously discovered and tabulated for posterity. To highlight only a few milestones from that era would include recognition of Samir’s technical contributions to major hydrocarbon discoveries, the giant October Field in the Gulf of Suez in his native Egypt, and his early SEG leadership in organizing SEG’s first Pan-African Middle East technical conference in early 1990s on the proper use of velocity in imaging for deep drilling opportunities.

Samir is an unassuming individual who navigates life’s choices based on sound principles and discipline in his performance of his duties. This undoubtedly was shaped and molded in his younger mandatory military service subsequently tested in war.

One of his lifelong key geophysical values, generously shared with any geophysicist and geoscientist who has worked with Samir, has been the “access by every geophysicist to the vast geophysical knowledge and experience within the Society of Geophysics, regardless of a geophysicist’s location, economic standing, or inherited political system.”

Like many great Egyptian discoveries, there continue to be new discoveries about Samir when the Society deliberates and elects high honors for its leaders. Many of SEG’s best leaders achieve high recognition and reach a peak in their activity, participation, and dedication. However, Samir’s recorded journey reflects that he continued to the next level with continuous service and significant contributions to the Society by focusing his business acumen to bear on many of SEG’s strategic directions and choices. Globalization has shaped SEG to where today 60% of SEG’s members are non-U.S. Samir was one of the earliest key SEG leaders in shaping and chairing the SEG Global Affairs Committee, today SEG’s largest and most active committee. The record further reflects that Samir has served as an SEG ambassador in many significant roles, enabling SEG to grow to the highest levels. A partial list of examples include the Cairo 2002 multidisciplinary intersociety meeting between SEG, EGS, AAPG, EAGE, and the Egyptian Petroleum Exploration followed by a second conference and exhibition in 2005. Samir was vice chairman for both meetings. Most significantly, Samir was nominated by SEG and selected by five societies to co-chair the IPTC Technical Program Committee in 2007. Samir is SEG’s 2009 Middle East & Africa Honorary Lecturer on Multiazimuth Seismic in the Nile Delta, Egypt.

Samir and his wonderful family have always been gracious hosts for SEG visitors in Cairo and fully support his geophysical endeavors. His wife Zeinab is a nationally recognized journalist as deputy chief editor of the most popular newspaper in Egypt and author of five books. They have two daughters, Salma, who gave the family their first grandson, Yehia, and Radwa, who has finished her degree in business management. Their son Mohamed has just finished high school.

Samir continues to be a role model for younger geophysicists and an outstanding ambassador for SEG’s global initiatives. It has been said of Samir before and bears repeating again, we look forward to many more years of outstanding service to our Society from Samir Abdelmoaty, my friend of many decades.


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