SEG Distinguished Instructor Short Course

Making a Difference with 4D: Practical Applications of Time-Lapse Seismic Data

David Johnston

Telus Convention Centre – Macleod Hall D
120 – 9th Ave. SW
Calgary, AB T2G 0P3

The registration fee includes the 2013 SEG DISC book.


Time-lapse (4D) seismic technology is a key enabler for improved hydrocarbon recovery and more cost-effective field operations. By analyzing differences of multiple seismic surveys acquired over a producing reservoir and by integrating with conventional reservoir monitoring data, 4D seismic data provides valuable insight on dynamic reservoir properties such as fluid saturation, pressure and temperature. Changes in these reservoir properties that occur during hydrocarbon production are identified and quantified by 4D analysis and used to identify areas of bypassed and undrained pay and to improve geological and engineering models. The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the fundamentals of 4D seismic technology, starting from its role in field lifecycle planning and then through seismic acquisition, processing, and analysis. However, a primary focus of the course is interpretation and data integration. Case study examples will be used to demonstrate key concepts and will be drawn upon to demonstrate the range of interpretation methods currently employed by the industry and the diversity of geological settings and production scenarios where 4D is making a difference.



The SEG has changed their registration procedures for DISC and have now centralized all registrations to go through the SEG office. The CSEG office cannot accept any registrations for DISC.

The following link will provide you information on how to register.

If you require additional information regarding registration; contact the SEG office at: or call Jenny Cole at 918.497.5574


David H. Johnston is geophysics coordinator for ExxonMobil Production Company in Houston, Texas. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in earth sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973 and a Ph.D. in geophysics in 1978, also from MIT. After graduation, Johnston joined Exxon Production Research Co. (later ExxonMobil Upstream Research) and held assignments in rock physics research, velocity analysis and interpretation, and seismic reservoir characterization and monitoring. He moved to ExxonMobil Exploration Co. in 2002 where he was responsible for the worldwide application of time-lapse seismic technology. In 2008 Johnston began his current assignment where he provides technical and business stewardship of ExxonMobil's global production geophysics activity, including 4D seismic.

Johnston is a member of SEG, SPE, AAPG, EAGE, and AGU. He served as Secretary/Treasurer of the SEG in 1990 and has chaired the SEG Development and Production and Interpretation Committees. He was an editor of Seismic Wave Attenuation (1981), Reservoir Geophysics (1992), and Methods and Applications in Reservoir Geophysics (2010), all published by the SEG. He is an editorial board member for Interpretation, the new SEG journal.

Johnston was awarded Best Presentation by the SEG in 1993, honorable mention for Best Presentation in 2010, and Best Paper in The Leading Edge in 2005. He was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer from 1992 to 1993, the SEG Distinguished Lecturer in 1999, and an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer in 2008. In 2003 he received Honorary Membership in the Geophysical Society of Houston and in 2004 he was awarded Life Membership in the SEG. In 2007 Dr. Johnston was the first recipient of ExxonMobil's Peter Vail award for distinguished technical achievement.