William Nicholas Goodway

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William Nicholas Goodway
William Nicholas Goodway headshot 2016.png
BSc Geology
BSc university University College, London

SEG Reginald Fessenden Award 2016 [1]

William Nicholas (Bill) Goodway is being recognized for his development and promotion of lambda-rho-mu inversion technology. Because of his efforts, this seismic inversion concept has become a valuable exploration tool resulting in documented cases of improved drilling success. The popularity and widespread use of Goodway’s inversion procedure justifies his being acknowledged with the Reginald Fessenden Award.

Biography Citation for the SEG Reginald Fessenden Award 2015

 Marco Perez

Bill Goodway’s oil and gas career began with his graduation from University College London with a degree in geology. His first foray into the oil and gas industry was in the North Sea acquiring marine seismic data. He moved to Canada in 1982 where he was immediately at the forefront of seismic technology. In constant pursuit of improving seismic exploration techniques, Bill would leave no stone unturned in his analysis of seismic data. He eventually turned his sights to amplitude variations with offset and its interpretation. At PanCanadian, he was given the opportunity to delve into the finer points of exploration geophysics. This fortunate combination of managerial foresight and Bill’s passion for knowledge led to one of the cornerstones of what is known as quantitative interpretation.

The first investigation of lambda-mu-rho, or LMR, was done internally at PanCanadian in 1996 and presented at the 1997 CSEG convention. During this time, Bill pursued postgraduate studies where his thesis, “Elastic-wave AVO methods,” summarized the early learnings and applications of LMR. While developing the framework for LMR, the application of the method was soon prevalent at PanCanadian. Drilling locations were scrutinized and high-graded. The LMR workflow gave seismic data not only the ability to map geomorphology, but also brought forth the ability to estimate lithology, porosity, and hydrocarbon presence — something not commonly seen in the last part of the previous century. From onshore exploration and development of clastic and carbonate reservoirs to offshore exploration, the use of LMR increased success rates and helped in discoveries in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, offshore Nova Scotia, and the Gulf of Mexico. Since that time, LMR technology has been applied to many different exploration and development plays worldwide. With the advent of unconventional resource plays, LMR has still proved to be valuable as it interfaces well with geologic, petrophysical, and geomechanical applications.

LMR is a result of Bill’s passion for seismology, and is only a part of what has been a distinguished career. Bill is always willing to partake in discussions and explore new ideas and concepts. He has championed geophysics as an important role in the industry and was an early advocate for its use with the emergence of unconventional shale gas. Bill has been a mentor and teacher to many and has been generous with his time communicating his ideas and theories. Perhaps the greatest contribution of LMR was in the conversation it has initiated. In the face of controversy, Bill has presented his findings at technical conferences, elicited many debates on the application, and, as a result, forwarded a deeper understanding of reservoir characterization from an elastic property perspective. The understanding of reservoir characterization from seismic data has been enhanced, and Bill has been a leader in this regard. Receiving the Reginald Fessenden award commemorates Bill’s work and the advances he has pioneered.


  1. SEG Honors and Awards Ceremony, SEG Dallas 18 October 2016, Omni Dallas Hotel, Dallas Ballroom, International Exposition and Eighty-Sixth Annual Meeting, Dallas, Tx, p, 24.

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