Geostatistical Applications in Petroleum Exploration

Brian Russell

Instructor: Brian Russell
Date: November 04, 2019
Duration: 1 day
Members (early bird/price): CAD$ 400/500 (plus GST)
Non-members (early bird/price): CAD$ 450/550 (plus GST)
Location: TBA
Time: TBA


Brian Russell holds a B.Sc. from the University of Saskatchewan (1975), a M.Sc. from Durham University (1978), U.K., and a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary (2004), all in geophysics.  He joined Chevron in Calgary as an exploration geophysicist in 1975 and subsequently worked for Teknica and Veritas before co-founding Hampson-Russell Software with Dan Hampson in 1987.  Hampson-Russell is now a subsidiary of CGG, where Brian is Vice President, GeoSoftware and a CGG Fellow.

Brian is involved in the research of new AVO, rock physics, inversion and attribute techniques as well as giving courses and talks throughout the world.  He is a Past-President of both the SEG and Canadian SEG (CSEG) and has received Honorary Membership from both societies, as well as the Cecil Green Enterprise Award from SEG (jointly with Dan Hampson). 

Brian is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary and the University of Wyoming and is registered as a Professional Geophysicist (P.Geoph.) in Alberta. He is currently on the Board of the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS), based at the University of British Columbia, and is a past-Chairman of that Board.


In petroleum exploration, our goal is to make maps from two types of data:  sparse, poorly sampled data measured at isolated locations, and dense, well sampled data measured on a grid.   This course is primarily about analyzing these datasets and producing better maps using geostatistical techniques like kriging, cokriging and Sequential Gaussian Simulation (SGS).

However, geostatistics is fundamentally linked to other forms of statistics like multivariate and Bayesian statistics.  Since multivariate (including univariate and bivariate) statistics is more easily understandable than geostatistics we will therefore start there, and illustrate the techniques with a porosity/impedance example from an Alberta channel sand.

In the second part of the course, we will transition into more traditional geostatistics and illustrate the techniques using the channel sand example as well as an Alberta pinnacle reef example (both porosity/impedance and time/depth structure) and a TOC example from British Columbia.

In the final part of the course, we will move into the area of both SGS and Bayesian statistics, and illustrate these techniques using both our previous map examples and a seismic inversion example using full 3D volumes.

Hands-on exercises will also be included to reinforce the concepts learned in the course.  Prerequisites for this course are a degree in one of the geoscience disciplines.   Familiarity with mathematics and statistics would be helpful, but all of these concepts will be fully explained in the classroom.