GeoLegends GeoLegend Bios

GeoLegends: Inside the Minds of Geoscientists

The GeoLegends Interview Series consists of a set of 86 video interviews with 53 key geoscientists who made game-changing discoveries, significant scientific contributions that were adopted by the greater geo-community, or people who made significant contributions in building companies or service to the profession. The interviews highlight the thought processes involved with their work.

Interviewees include 16 Sidney Powers Memorial Award medalists, four Michel T. Halbouty Leadership Award recipients and eight recipients of the Norman H. Foster Outstanding Explorer Award. Ed Dolly and Paul Weimer produced this interview series with extensive editorial effort by Pax Harris and Sam Carrothers.

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Pioneered the techniques necessary to release gas from the over-pressured, tight, low-perm Lance sand reservoirs on Wyoming’s Pinedale Anticline.
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A distinguished career, capped with the innovative discovery of the Amoruso Field from east Texas’ deep Bossier sandstone reservoirs.
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An internationally known geologist/explorationist whose mapping in southeastern Sicily eventually led to Gulf Oil’s discovery of Ragusa Field. (Sidney Powers medalist)
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An innovative leader, successful company builder and award-winning Rocky Mountain area explorationist.
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One of the first Norwegians to specialize in sedimentary geology, and author of the popular book, 'Petroleum Geoscience – From Sedimentary Environments to Rock Physics.'
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An impressive early exploration career with Texaco led to ongoing successes as an independent developing U.S. plays from the Pacific Northwest to the Gulf Coast.
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Senior geoscience advisor who manages Whiting Petroleum’s rock laboratory, and successfully uses technology-driven advances in digital imaging tools to aid exploration efforts.
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Founder of Dawson Geophysical, which became the largest land seismic company in North America; board chairman of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors; and Permian Basin Petroleum Museum’s Hall of Fame inductee.
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Successful exploration geologist, innovative research scientist and renowned industry leader and executive with Shell Oil, Pecten International, Arco/Arco International and the Sarkeys Energy Center. “Geology is a science, but exploration is a business!” (Sidney Powers medalist)
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An enthusiastic explorer, professor, philosopher and leader who led exploration teams to successful discoveries around the world.
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A distinguished, multifaceted career as a leader in state and federal government, academia, professional societies, implementing public and energy policies, and in future energy predictions. (Sidney Powers medalist)
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An award-winning, world-renowned exploration geophysicist who first recognized, and then successfully developed, bright-spot technology. (Sidney Powers medalist)
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An innovative geologist who used surface geomorphology and aerial photography integrated with subsurface geology to record discoveries around the world, including in four Miocene reef fields in Indonesia and in Colorado’s Buck Peak Field. (Sidney Powers medalist)
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A talented exploration geologist who for 17 years was Chevron’s vice president of exploration, leading teams to discoveries around the world totaling several tens of trillion cubic feet of gas and many billions barrels of oil. (Sidney Powers medalist)
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An independent who discovered the Bell Creek Field, a giant stratigraphic trap in Montana’s Lower Cretaceous Muddy Sandstone.
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Sinclair Oil chief geologist who discovered the Rhourde el Baguel Field in Algeria, then returned to the United States for dozens of more successes, including his current effort in New Mexico’s Permian Basin.
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Field geologist and sedimentologist; recognized as an Aeolian and Ophiolite expert for his work in the Netherlands (Groningen Field) and for mapping in the Oman Mountains. (Sidney Powers medalist)
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Co-founder of Canadian Hunter Exploration Ltd., which was responsible for discovery of the Elmworth Field – Canada’s largest gas accumulation.
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Legendary exploration geologist who started his independent career with no financial backing, yet built his company into a powerhouse that discovered more than 150 million barrels of oil from several Texas fields. (Sidney Powers medalist)
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An influential petroleum geologist, as an independent explorationist, professor and co-author of the signifcant textbook, “Subsurface Geology in Petroleum Exploration.” (Sidney Powers medalist)
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Petroleum engineer and explorer whose company (Henry Petroleum) recorded scores of successful projects in the Permian Basin for more than 50 years – including unconventional plays.
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Leader of the Atlantic Richfield team of explorationists that discovered Prudhoe Bay Field, the largest conventional oil and gas field in the United States.
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An already-successful exploration geologist who turned his sights on the Bakken play in the early 2000s, scoring exploration success to North Dakota and Montana.
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Pioneered the techniques necessary to release gas from the over-pressured, tight, low-perm Lance sand reservoirs on Wyoming’s Pinedale Anticline.
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Successful exploration geologist from Midland, Texas, whose discoveries included the Concho Bluff Queen Field, the Lonesome Dove Field and numerous other finds in Texas and North Dakota.
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Entrepreneur leader of the efforts to successfully advanced the technique of multistage hydraulic fracturing to develop the tight gas reservoir sandstones in Wyoming’s Jonah Field.
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Legendary explorationist and co-founder of Canadian Hunter Exploration Ltd., which was responsible for the discovery of the Elmworth Field – Canada’s largest gas accumulation.
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Geologist who in 1967 discovered the Denver Basin’s Wattenberg Field in the Denver Basin using concepts he learned from the basin-centered gas accumulation in the San Juan Basin.
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Longtime successful Rocky Mountain explorationist who, after joining Thomasson Partner Associates, partnered to redevelop Cave Gulch Field after determining that closer well spacing was needed – an essential concept used in the development of tight gas sandstone plays.
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A look at the Shell Development’s Clastics Research Program, one of the oil industry’s most influential corporate research programs – told by a man who started there as a summer hire and eventually became its manager. (Sidney Powers medalist)
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Considered by many to be the 'Father of the Bakken,' he developed several key concepts that were later essential to the development of unconventional plays.
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In the early 1900s, this British-born engineer, hired by William Knox D’Arcy to explore for oil in Persia, drilled the discovery well of the first oil field found in the Middle East – and later did the same thing in Venezuela.
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An exploration geologist with Saga Petroleum and Statoil, he discovered several fields, the largest of which was the giant Snorre Field.
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Structural geologist for Chevron who was instrumental in the development of the Wyoming and Utah Thrust Belt in the Fossil Basin, finding several oil and gas fields on the hanging wall of the Absaroka Thrust Fault.
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A successful lawyer, entrepreneur and independent oilman who was instrumental in the Texas discoveries of the Bob West Field in Zapata and Starr counties, and the Lobo Wilcox Field in Webb County.
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Astronaut, professor, author, U.S. senator from New Mexico – and an AAPG member. An Association award is named in his honor, and he remains the only geologist to walk – and explore – on the Moon.
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Part of the team that discovered a large number of fields for Superior Oil – often outmaneuvering many larger competitors – including the Chapman Deep, Grey Ranch and Worsham Bayer.
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Senior explorationist for Whiting Petroleum, his 30-plus-year career resulted in many important discoveries, including the highly productive Pronghorn reservoir in North Dakota’s Bakken system.
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An extremely influential geologist, famed for advancing modern concepts for reservoir description, characterization, development and the integration of reservoir engineering. (Sidney Powers medalist)
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Vice president of geoscience for Whiting, and a leader in maintaining and advancing applied geoscience technology.
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Part of the team that developed fracture stimulation techniques and experimented with horizontal drilling technology for Mitchell Energy, breaking new ground in the understanding of unconventional shale-gas plays.
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He and his team at Petrohawk Energy drilled the initial well discovering the Hawkville Field, one of the first discoveries in the Eagle Ford reservoir.
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A multitalented explorationist who founded Thomasson Partner Associates, which in turn found fields in Idaho, Illinois, North Dakota, Colorado, Utah, Alabama and Wyoming – the largest being Wyoming’s Cave Gulch Field, a TCF gas field in the Wind River Basin.
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Part of the team that discovered a large number of fields for Superior Oil, including the Chapman Deep, Grey Ranch and Worsham Bayer, among others.
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Part of the team that discovered a large number of fields for Superior Oil, including the Chapman Deep, Grey Ranch and Worsham Bayer, among others.
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A U.S.-based geologist who went to Indonesia in the 1960s to explore – and while there over the next 20 years found more than three billion barrels of oil.
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He and his team from Trend Exploration Limited, in 1969, acquired concessions to drill four Miocene reefs in the dense jungle of Irian Jaya, Indonesia (since renamed West Papua Province). These discoveries have produced over 450 million barrels of oil.
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Amoco geologist who, after studying hundreds of oil and gas wells, championed the concept of drilling for gas in the Fruitland coalbeds of the San Juan Basin – a decision that established coalbed methane there as an economic resource.
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An extremely influential development geologist and reservoir engineer with Royal Dutch Shell (The Hague), he was essential in advancing the integration of multiple disciplines in primary and secondary development. (Sidney Powers medalist)
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Colorado geologist who had significant success as an explorationist – discoveries include the Patrick Draw Field (Arch Unit), Desert Springs Field, Spearhead Ranch and Powell (Manning Ranch) fields – then achieved even more fame as a professor at the Colorado School of Mines, where he taught stratigraphy and field geology. (Sidney Powers medalist)
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Internationally known geologist and chemist – a leader in organic geochemistry – for Royal Dutch Shell and, later, California’s Chevron Lab. He is known as the Father of Modern Petroleum System and Basin Modeling. (Sidney Powers medalist)
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A leader in the expertise of petroleum economics, he is senior vice president of exploration and development for Whiting Petroleum, managing the company’s upstream activity and capital budget.
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Petroleum geologist for Range Resources who spent most of his career exploring the Appalachian basins, then famously tested the Marcellus Shale in 2004-07, drilling four experimental horizontal wells. Reports of these successes expanded the play regionally in late 2007, and he is now known as the “Father of the Marcellus.”
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