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The Search For Oil & Gas

Marine Exploration

Marine explorationists conduct seismic surveys using reflected sound waves to create an image of the underlying structures. Beginning with simple, 2-dimensional cross sections, the technology has evolved to detailed 3-dimensional seismic images that model the subsurface. Explorationists use the model to decide where to drill. Currently, engineers study the changes in the seismic images over time (so-called 4-D) to track the migration of hydrocarbon through the reservoir. The development of this science has resulted in increasing the probability of finding oil, and in more productive wells. Milo M. Backus at Geophysical Services Inc., later Texas Instruments, played a central role in GSI's introduction of digital seismology ('the digital revolution'), and later in GSI's introduction of high density 3-D seismic surveying. Backus later taught at the University of Texas directing research into the extraction of exploration information from 3-D seismic data, with an emphasis on direct detection of hydrocarbons.

Recognizing the pioneering efforts of the following people and companies who contributed to the development of this technology:

Milo M. Backus Geophysical Services Inc. (Western Geophysical), University of Texas


2011 Call for Nominations
2011 Industry Pioneer Nomination Form 
2011 Technology Pioneer Nomination Form

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