CSEG / EAGE Talk Series

The EAGE/CSEG/GAGGS talk series event is organized by the University of Calgary European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) / Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (CSEG) Student Chapter, and the Graduate Association of Geology and Geophysics Students (GAGGS) in the Department of Geoscience.

We intend to offer our fellow students the opportunity to interact with experts from various fields in Geoscience and hear from them about the latest advances in our challenging and ever changing field. These talks will also provide the students with a vision of how the industry works and how projects are planned and developed.

The talks in the Winter 2016 semester will be conducted on Mondays or Tuesdays from 4:00-4:45 pm in the Science B building SB-142 at the University of Calgary. Here is our upcoming schedule.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016  – U of C – ES-136 – 3:00pm

Reducing velocity model uncertainty: a geological approach

Alan Atkinson,
Independent Consultant


Velocity models for depth migration and depth conversion can be improved, and depth uncertainty reduced, by maximising the use of geological understanding in velocity model building A case study from a complex structural environment is used to illustrate this: a high quality depth migration utilising global tomography to build the velocity model was provided to an interpreter who posed the question: ‘can the dataset be interpreted directly in depth or should it be scaled to time and depth converted using another velocity model?’ i.e. can the depth converter (interpreter) build a better velocity model than the depth imager (seismic processor)?

Velocity data analysis and velocity model building techniques are illustrated in the course of answering this question. At the start of the process velocity log correlation panels are used to establish overburden layering, then interval velocity maps are extracted from the seismic velocity cube for the identified layers. These are investigated in greater depth by displaying seismic interval velocity data on velocity log overlay plots and, where compaction effects are proven, velocity vs depth functions are derived and ‘Vo’ or normalised velocity maps are created for each identified layer. These reveal important velocity variation masked by strong compaction trends in interval velocity maps, and provide insight into the geological history of the overburden, giving confidence in the tomographic velocity model away from well control.

This dataset includes complex syn-depositional structuration where tomography is shown to create a superior velocity model to traditional well-based depth conversion techniques, but limitations in the tomographic method are also revealed by this detailed analysis, reminding us that a starting velocity model needs to be accurate or tomography will not converge on the correct solution, further emphasising the need to build sound geologically based starting models.


Alan Atkinson has over twenty five years of exploration, field development, and production geoscience experience with operators in West Africa, South Asia and the North Sea.

Specialising in the application of high end geophysics to structural and stratigraphic seismic interpretation, his areas of expertise are reservoir characterisation (using pre-stack inversion, AVO analysis) and velocity modelling (pre-stack depth migration and depth conversion).

He started his career working the North Sea with Phillips Petroleum and Amerada Hess in London, and subsequently moved to CNR International, working Angola and Côte d’Ivoire. He then moved to Cairn Energy, living and working in India, and becoming Chief Geophysicist during their successful Rajasthan campaign. Here, he supervised several significant seismic acquisition and processing programmes, and managed a geophysical studies team undertaking, amongst other projects, AVO modelling work and pioneering 4D studies on India’s largest onshore fields.

Alan now works as an independent consultant, based in Surrey, South East England, primarily advising on reserve evaluations for a variety of clients worldwide. He is an active member of SEG, EAGE, SPE and PESGB.


Monday, November 7, 2016  – U of C – SB-142 – 4:00pm

The Landscapes of Objectivity and Growth

Bahaa Beshry,
Jupiter Resources Inc.


During the course of my undergraduate education objectivity and the scientific method were discussed ubiquitously. However the examples we discussed were frequently idealized; we seldom had to manage serious deficiencies in our experimental design. Nothing seemed wrong with this at the time as the exercises seemed to yield their intended lessons. We learned the fundamental concepts in Geophysics through theoretical lectures and these largely ideal lab experiments.

We learned other things, too. We participated in groups, and at times, became competitive with the very same people we were learning with. The competition brought out a drive to succeed at school, however once in the work force, competition in a team environment became less useful, and can be seen as detrimental.

Ideal examples common in university work that were valuable to the learning of fundamental geophysical concepts, were not as common in the work force. Conversely, there is vast array of valuable data that can influence one’s decision, however at times, only a small fraction of data is utilized. Are we not using the full range of data available in order to fit a perfect picture of what we expect? Cognitive bias is certainly evident in the workplace, and we need to be diligent to look through an objective magnifying glass, as results won’t always workout, when the theory says it should.


Bahaa Beshry graduated from the University of Calgary in 2007, with a Bachelor of Science in Geophysics. Upon graduation, began a full time career with Encana Corporation, where he worked several different assets including the Deep Basin Alberta, and NE BC.

Recently, he’s spent his last two years at Jupiter Resources where he’s continued working in the deep basin of Alberta – some of his work includes drilling and geo-steering of 25 Horizontal wells. He was also involved in managing the re-processing and merge of 16 separate 3D seismic surveys to increase the consistency of amplitude, phase and structure across the several volume boundaries, improve the imaging of both deep and shallow formations, as well as increasing the confidence of our well inventory. His work at Jupiter has also continued through focusing on depth and geo-hazard predictions, AVO analysis, 3D curvature, VVAz, and the prediction of lithology, porosity, using geological parameters.

Outside of his professional life, hockey is a passion where he plays goal for his team. Furthermore, he enjoys cross-country skiing and snowboarding. In the summer you’ll likely find him on the banks of a river casting his fly. It’s an obsession of his.


Monday, November 14, 2016  – U of C – SB-142 – 4:00pm

Innovating beyond hydrocarbons – where can Alberta go next

Dr. Steve Larter,
Canada Research Chair and Professor of Petroleum Geology University of Calgary


Check back soon.


Steve Larter is Canada Research Chair and Professor of Petroleum Geology at the University of Calgary, Department of Geoscience.

Steve’s research has focussed on organic and petroleum geochemistry and more recently on studies of the deep subsurface biosphere where his work helped define microbial processes in oilfields and the base of the deep crustal biosphere. He has also worked on possible transition technologies for zero emission energy recovery, including direct hydrogen or electricity production, from oil and gas fields and for capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide at large scale. Steve was Scientific Director of Carbon Management Canada Inc., supporting Canada’s academic research in the area of decarbonising fossil fuel use. Steve cofounded Gushor Inc.(now part of Schlumberger), a reservoir fluid characterization and technology, spinoff company in 2006, Profero Energy Inc, a biotechnology company in 2008 and Aphorist Inc., a mass spectrometry company in 2012. Steve is a Fellow of the Royal Society(FRS), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada(FRSC), a Fellow of the Geological Society(FGS) and a Foreign Member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Arts(DNVA). Steve has been awarded numerous academic and civil awards.


Monday, November 28, 2016  – U of C – SB-142 – 4:00pm

Special Session: Talk geophysics with professionals from industry

Brian Schulte & George Fairs,
Repsol & Divestco


Check back soon.


Brian Wm. Schulte attended The University of Calgary graduating in Bachelor of Science in Geology with a minor in Geophysics in 1989 when he subsequently entered into the oil industry. Since then, he has had a long and winding career, and traveled around the world working in seismic processing, acquisition, interpretation, rock physics, and petrophysics. He has two continents left to travel to: Africa and Antarctica and wants someday to be able to say that he has been to all 7 continents.

Brian is currently volunteering as an advisor on the CSEG Emerging Professionals Program and has presented and written articles on AVO, seismic interpretation and seismic processing in numerous publications and at various geophysical forums.

He is currently working for Repsol as a Geophysical Advisor working on projects associated with quantitative interpretation, quality assurance, mentorship, and technical developments.

George Fairs

I have been involved in the geophysical sector of the oil and gas industry for over 35 years (in other words I’m old; perhaps vintage has a nicer sound). The vast majority of that time has been spent in the service sector involved in the brokering of existing seismic data, creating new speculative seismic shoots and the selling of services such as seismic processing.

During that time I have travelled from employee to consultant, to business owner, to consultant and for the last 5 years as employee again. This journey has provided many learnings; the importance of a practical focus, the need for good understanding of risk and reward and perhaps of greatest importance the need of always creating and showing value through use of technology and business acumen.

Significant volunteer efforts for the benefit of the Geophysical industry have included:

  • The founding and chairing of the CSEG Master License Agreement committee in 2000-2001 for which the CSEG Meritorious Service Award was conferred.
  • Sitting on the 2002 APEGGA Practise Standard for Quality Inspection of Geophysical Data
  • The founding and chairing of the Value of Integrated Geophysics (VIG) committee 2014-2015
  • Being responsible for sponsorship for the 2013, 2014, 2015 CSEG Symposium committees