Biography Citation for SEG Life Membership
Contributed by Georgiy N. Gogonenkov
Life Membership is both an award and a recognition of the fact that the person being honored has devoted all his life to the development of geophysics as a science and industry. This applies in full measure to Valery Zainulovich Garipov, one of the leading geophysicists of Russia, who recently became the first geophysicist to assume the high post of Deputy Minister in the Russian Ministry of Fuel and Energy.
This appointment was preceded by a long path which began in the field and eventually led to the managerial level of Russia's largest geophysical enterprise one that was providing services to the richest part of the West Siberian oil- and gas-bearing province, including the Samotlor oil field, which is the gem of the world's oil industry.
Valery was born 1 October 1944 in a small town on the banks of the great Volga River. The hardships of growing up right after World War II did not hinder Valery's education nor a natural thirst for adventure and discovery qualities without which a man will not make a real geophysicist.
At the Geophysical Department of Kazan City University, talented tutors, spearheaded by Professor Dickhof, the chair of Seismic Exploration, aroused Valery's interest in his future occupation and gave him deep knowledge of fundamental science. After graduation in 1969, he was assigned to the northern part of the West Siberian Tomsk Region where hydrocarbon exploration was unfolding.
Mounting production rates in West Siberia provided vast opportunities for rapid professional advancement to the energetic and creative. Although a shortage of well logging specialists initially forced Valery into that field instead of seismic exploration, he quickly mastered it and within four years became the manager of an integrated well logging party comprising more than 10 crews.
Having gained experience in actual production, he then switched to technology development. It had already become clear to him that the main road to enhanced accuracy and confidence in geophysical measurements lay in digital recording. He joined Nizhnevartovsk Geophysical Enterprise, the largest in West Siberia, and headed the research department that developed and manufactured the first digital well logging units in the Soviet Union. That research was the basis for his scientific degree, Candidate of Technical Science that he received in 1981, and for most of his 30 technical publications and six invention certificates.
He possesses, in addition to his impressive scientific skills, much talent for business, an open good-natured disposition, and the ability to organize teamwork. As a result of these traits, his career continued to advance rapidly. In 1983 he became general director of the Nizhnevartovskneftegeofizika Trust, a geophysical company attending to the needs of oil production companies in West Siberia that were producing more than two million barrels of oil per day. Hundreds of well logging crews...thousands of employees...dawn-to-dusk work: That's what the geophysics of Siberia was like at that time.
In 1987 Valery was invited to Moscow to become deputy director of the Department for Geophysical Operations at the USSR Ministry of Oil Industry where he was in charge of geophysics research and development for the entire country. In 1991 he became head of the geophysical department in the Roskomnedra government body where he was responsible for coordinating efforts in the transformation of geophysical enterprises to adapt to conditions imposed by a market economy.
He returned to the oil industry in 1994 as head of the Department of Geophysical Operations and Computer Technologies in the Russian Ministry of Fuel and Energy. There he concentrated on preserving and equipping Russian geophysical enterprises to be able to openly compete in the international market. Because of his efforts over the past three years, Russia now has more than 40 seismic crews equipped with the latest Input/Output System II telemetry recording units and several first-class data processing and interpretation centers equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software.
His correct understanding of industry problems and close contact with newly formed Russian oil companies, his high sense of responsibility, and his extraordinary capacity for work brought the recent promotion to deputy minister where he is responsible for providing the country with hydrocarbon reserves, advancing technology, and introducing new economic concepts.
Valery Garipov has played a significant role in the establishment of the Euro-Asian Geophysical Society that is bringing together geophysicists of Russia and CIS countries. Valery is a member of SEG, EAGE, and SPWLA. He was among those visionaries who initiated and actively participated in promoting close ties between SEG and Russian geophysicists. He was co-chairman of SEG conferences and exhibitions held in Russia in 1992 and 1993 which facilitated science and technology exchange, rapprochement of geophysical societies of various countries, and the establishment of warm human ties among professionals.