Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

PESA WA Branch March Technical Luncheon: Seismic Reflections – A look back at the primitive beginnings of a now fine art

Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 12:00 - 14:00

Event Categories:

Guest Speaker: Michael J Wilson


Michael graduated in Mathematics from University of New England (many years ago).  After a short stint as a chalky (teacher) and a statistician, he joined a seismic contracting company in Brisbane.  Initial work took him all over Queensland, NSW, South Australia and Western Australia.  This was followed by overseas assignments in Asia, South America and North Africa/Middle East

Michael then spent 21 years with Esso/Exxon in Australia, Malaysia and USA and a further five years with with Woodside, primarily on Gulf of Mexico and Libya.

In 2004 he started as a Geophysical Consultant in Vietnam and Malaysia and he is currently consulting in Papua New Guinea.

Hosted with thanks to our sponsor Spectrum

2011_Spectrum Logo with Services Text_ARTY


Seismic Reflections

A talk by Michael J. Wilson

The “Doodlebugger” a term for seismic field personnel was coined in the USA Gulf Coast, in early 1940’s.

They work in the most extreme climates, brave the most dangerous countries, and suffer some of the worst wages in the oil and gas industry. Most importantly, doodlebuggers are renowned for their ability to drink massive amounts of alcohol without dying and to find friends in any city, village or hamlet in the world. Doodlebuggers often work in camps in the middle of nowhere, and are rarely seen in their natural environment. Easily identified by their pot bellies and lack of shaving. They tell the BEST stories.

 Their quest was to locate subsurface structures, suitable for drilling for accumulations of hydrocarbons. Initially these structures were salt domes that were deep enough, not to have a surface expression. A huge variety of techniques from gravity measurements, divining rods, witchcraft, black boxes and ultimately primitive seismic techniques were employed.

Needless to say this expanded into the massive and highly technical seismic industry as we know it today. Would any company drill a highly expensive well today without trying to reduce the risk with seismic.

The industry (like all industries) had primitive beginnings as I will try to show. There are very few of us old “grey heads” who have some memories of what it was like, albeit my exposure was not till the late 60’s early 70’s, but I chatted with a lot of old doodlebuggers going well before my time.

I have seen seismic crews in Australia, Thailand, Brazil, Canada, Papua New Guinea, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Oman, Malaysia, GoM-Louisiana and Texas, Vietnam, both onshore and offshore. These covered environments from farmland, deserts, jungles, swamps and coastal seas plagued with fishing boats and deeper water plagued marine mammals. Seismic sources were dynamite, weight-drop, vibrators and even gravity and magnetics, plus of course airguns for offshore.

This talk is to cover some of these topics and intersperse it with some personal experiences, both good and bad.

$66 for PESA Members (early bird price)
$99 for non members
$77 for all PESA members who book after 13th March
$33 for students (early bird price)
$48 for retired members (early bird price)

Early bird closes Monday 13th March 5pm, all registration close Tuesday 14th March 5pm.


Thursday, March 16, 2017
12:00 - 14:00


Parmelia HIlton
14 Mill Street, Perth, WA 6000 Australia


PESA Western Australia
Ticket Type Name Price Quantity