Andreas Cordsen - 2014

CSEG Medal Recipient Andreas Cordsen
by John Peirce

Andreas Cordsen.The CSEG Medal is the highest award that the Society bestows. It is given in recognition of the contribution to Exploration Geophysics by a member of the profession in Canada and can be gained through a long-standing significant contribution to the application, teaching or business development of Exploration Geophysics. On all these counts, Andreas Cordsen has made major contributions in the development and teaching of the design of 3D seismic surveys, and through building Geophysical Exploration Development Corporation into a highly respected software and consulting company until its sale to Schlumberger in 2012.

Andreas was born in West Germany and received his undergraduate education at Christian Albrechts Universität in Kiel. He then emigrated to Canada and completed an M.Sc. degree in Geology (Crystallography) at Queens University before switching into Geophysics and completing an M.Sc. degree in Geophysics at Dalhousie University in 1980.

His first industry assignment was with BEB (an Esso subsidiary) in Hannover, working seismic data in the German North Sector. In 1982 he returned to Canada working for Esso Resources Canada Ltd., doing seismic interpretation and processing of seismic data, as well as play generation. From Esso, Andreas moved to Norcen Energy Resources Ltd., working on a large variety of play types in Western Canada. It was at Norcen where he first realized the potential for applying 3D seismic techniques to plays around the Peace River Arch.

In 1990, Andreas co-founded Geophysical Exploration & Development Corporation (GEDCO) with John Peirce with the goal of providing a full range of geophysical services and a geophysical workstation environment. At GEDCO, Andreas applied 3D seismic design innovations to a number of plays in Western Canada and developed the Flexi-Bin 3D Design Technology (US Patent granted 1995) for achieving a more thorough distribution of seismic midpoints within each processing bin.

In 1995, Andreas and John were invited to teach a course on Planning and Operating 3D Seismic Survey for the SEG. This course led to the compilation of material for one of the SEG’s early publications in 3D Design (Cordsen, Galbraith and Peirce, Planning Land 3D Seismic Surveys, Geophysical Dev. No 9, SEG, 204 pp), which has become a standby reference on the bookshelves of many geophysicists. Although the course has been through many changes and taught with different co-instructors, it remains a popular offering with the SEG and as a private offering and is still being offered at least twice per year around the globe.

In 2000 GEDCO bought Seismic Image Software and integrated their team into the development of 3D design ideas in the OMNI 3D Design and VISTA processing software. Those were heady years of major improvements, marked by numerous technological steps forward with Mike Galbraith and others. More recently, with Bob Charters, the concept of fiscal risk management through probability analysis was added to the software and became a critical planning component for companies planning multi-million dollar surveys.

In 2012, GEDCO was sold to Schlumberger and Andreas became the Solution Design and Modeling Manager, responsible for all aspects of marine and land 3D design for Schlumberger globally.

Andreas has been one of a handful of geophysicists who have advanced the science of designing 3D seismic surveys from the early land surveys of the late eighties to the big, complex land and marine surveys of today.

It is with great pleasure and respect that the CSEG presents to Andreas Cordsen our highest honour, the CSEG medal.