The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) Advanced Modeling Corporation (SEAM), serving as the research arm of SEG, is an industry-co-operative organization dedicated to large-scale leading-edge geophysical numerical modeling.

Over the last 17 years, SEAM has completed major projects for challenges in seismic imaging providing benefits such as:

  • Access to non-proprietary benchmark data to develop algorithms and workflows, comparison of results to known ground truth, uncertainty quantification, and testing of acquisition designs (spatial and frequency)
  • Training data availability for interpretation
  • Serves as a learning tool for interdisciplinary collaboration (“flight simulator” for reservoir engineering)

Mission

At SEAM, our mission is to advance the boundaries of geophysical research and contribute valuable insights to scientific understanding. Committed to fostering innovation and excellence, we operate as a not-for-profit research entity, orchestrating collaborative projects between sponsoring stakeholders dedicated to advancing geophysical research in both industry and academia. Through rigorous research, cutting-edge simulations, state-of-the-art technology, and a dedication to environmental stewardship, our goal is to establish SEAM products as a global standard in geophysics, working towards a sustainable and informed future.

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The SEAM Story

Founding

SEAM was organized in 2004 following in the footsteps of successful industry co-operatives including the SEG/EAGE salt model and the private SMAART joint venture. SEG volunteer scientists designed the organizational and self-supporting SEAM business model which gained the support of the SEG leadership. SEAM was then incorporated as an independent non-profit corporation in February 2007, classified as a 501(c)(6) and solely owned by SEG. SEAM is governed by a Board of Directors with fiscal and operational accountability.

Beginnings

Following incorporation, 24 companies joined the first initiative (Phase I – Salt Tectonics). This project proved the value of industry cooperation in addressing very large and complicated numerical simulations of geophysics in complex geology. Later, the Phase I subsequently attracted significant additional funding from the United States government to further progress the aims of the effort. The project required significant breakthroughs in both model building and numerical simulation, advancing the state-of-the-art throughout the industry. Models and data from this project have since become the international standard by which geophysicists worldwide benchmark their capabilities of seismic structural imaging.

Growth

Following this first project, SEAM has addressed additional challenges in land geophysics, pore pressure, time lapse reservoir monitoring, life of field, and artificial intelligence. Over 80 companies have partnered with SEAM in these projects, which have advanced the industry capabilities in large scale integration of geologic and geophysical modeling.

Future

The role of numerical modeling significantly impacts not only the processing and interpretation of seismic data in the oil and gas industry, but also the direct integration of modeling results into reservoir management workflows.

SEAM simulates numerical benchmark data sets for long-term utilization at a fraction of the cost of field experiments. The research on models tackling challenges of interest to the industry enables the research community to apply results and observations from a common model to analogues, and then apply them to directly impact decisions about improving reservoir performance.

Generic data in model form overcomes the restrictive nature of access to “real” data, which data owners often are reluctant to release for various reasons, and instances in which complete subsurface details are inferred rather than known.

SEAM Board of Directors

Meet the leaders who are driving SEAM’s mission and ensuring our projects address challenges to the geophysical community.

Aria Abubakar (Chair)

Head of Data Science, SLB

Aria Abubakar (Chair)

Head of Data Science, SLB

SEAM Board Term

2024–2027

LinkedIn

Aria Abubakar is a senior R&D manager and scientist/engineer with 20+ years academic & industry experiences. Abubakar has variety assignments in research, engineering (hardware), and software organization. He is currently the head of data science & scientific advisor for Digital Subsurface Solutions at Schlumberger based in Houston, Texas, USA.

He received a MSc degree in electrical engineering and a PhD degree in computational sciences, from Delft University of Technology in Delft, The Netherlands. He was the 2020 SEG-AAPG Distinguish Lecturer and the 2014 SEG North America Honorary Lecturer. He has served as technical program co-chair for 2021, 2022, and 2023 for SEG and AAPG’s International Meeting for Applied Geoscience & Energy (IMAGE). He is/was Associate Editor of GEOPHYSICS (SEG), Interpretation (SEG), Radio Science (AGU), and Antenna and Propagation Magazine (IEEE).

Abubakar is the recipient of 2022 Conrad Schlumberger Award of EAGE and 2022 Honorary Membership Award of SEG. He holds more than 50 patents/patent applications and has published 10 book and book chapters, 125+ peer-reviewed scientific articles, 250+ peer-reviewed conference papers, and 60+ conference abstracts.

Jim Hollis (Vice-chair)

President & COO of Geothermal Technologies Inc.

Jim Hollis (Vice-chair)

President & COO of Geothermal Technologies Inc.

SEAM Board Term

2024–2027

LinkedIn

Jim Hollis’s career has been focused on introducing and commercializing game-changing exploration technology advancements within the energy and mining industries, including: innovations in seismic imaging, wireless nodal seismic acquisition, software development and visualization, geospatial intelligence, machine learning enhanced resource exploration and sustainable energy alternatives.

Today Hollis is engaged in launching Geothermal Technologies, Inc, a novel resource exploration and development company targeting cost-effective scaling of geothermal power generation. In addition, he is the CEO of Houston based Wireless Seismic, Inc, a technology company now working with Aramco on collaboratively developing cost-saving and safety-enhancing Seismic-While-Drilling applications. He is also actively advising several geospatial technology companies on relevant applications in resource identification and environmental monitoring.

Previously, Hollis was the founder, president, and CEO of NEOS GeoSolutions, a Silicon Valley based technology company focused on applying machine learning and artificial intelligence to facilitate exploration workflows and reduce uncertainties. Prior to NEOS, he was president and chief operating officer of ION Geophysical Corporation where he was responsible for the growth and financial execution of all ION business units; including: multi-client data acquisition, data processing, seabed and cable-less seismic imaging, and integrated seismic solutions. Prior to joining ION, Hollis had multiple roles with oil and gas software company Landmark Graphics, a subsidiary of Halliburton, including software development, program management, business development, and the regional general management of Asia-Pacific.

Hollis began his career exploring for oil and gas with Mobil Exploration and holds a BS in geophysics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MS in Geophysics from the University of Utah.

Rick Cieslewicz (Treasurer)

Senior Vice President, T5 Data Centers

Rick Cieslewicz (Treasurer)

Senior Vice President, T5 Data Centers

SEAM Board Term

2024–2027

LinkedIn

Richard M. Cieslewicz is a transformative global business executive successful in leading diverse organizations in multiple industries, ranging from startup, small and mid-level organizations to Fortune 500 business segments seeking new levels of growth and operational excellence. He’s been recognized for developing operations and supply chain strategies that optimize organizational performance and maximize opportunities for expansion.

Cieslewicz’s early career is highlighted by completion of a B.Sc. in geophysical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, immediately followed by a long career in applied geophysics with Western Geophysical and Schlumberger WesternGeco. Career progression included field management positions in onshore, offshore, and transition zone operations, as well as in data processing while leading one of the earliest processing groups focused exclusively on resolving refraction statics issues utilizing the extended generalized reciprocal method. His  career progression at Western Geophysical and Schlumberger WesternGeco included full geographic business responsibilities for the Southeast United States; Far East, Australia, China; and India. Operational leadership acumen was supplemented by senior leadership roles in business functions including marketing communications; supply chain and category management; and quality systems.

Cieslewicz’s later career highlights include global executive management leadership positions particularly focused on seismic acquisition operations and systems — ultimately responsible for global field operations, business development, technology deployment, and supply chain at Geokinetics. At Wireless Seismic, Inc., he assumed full operational responsibility for design, engineering, manufacturing, and sales of one of the seismic industry’s earliest fully wireless acquisition systems. In 2020, he changed industries to apply the operational mindset and experience developed over a long seismic industry career to the mission-critical, high-performance computing data center industry with data center owner-operator T5 Data Centers. The earliest role here included managing facility maintenance, planning, and operational activities to ensure the highest levels of operational uptime (greater than 99.99%). Most recently, he was promoted to assume ever-increasing executive management responsibilities in support of the facilities management and construction services product lines.

Mehmet Tanis

Senior Geophysicist, SCA LLC

Mehmet Tanis

Senior Geophysicist, SCA LLC

SEAM Board Term

2023–2026

LinkedIn

Throughout his career, Mehmet Tanis benefited greatly from numerous modeling data sets. During his PhD studies at the Institute for Geophysics, Austin, he worked with the well-known Marmousi and French models to test the fidelity of the wave equation migration algorithms that were being  developed.  At BP, he experienced the practical impact of the advanced modeling first hand with even more realistic synthetic models that demonstrated enormous potential of the FWI technology in complex salt models and short wavelength features. He also had the privilege of working and liaising with SEAM data initiatives along with various proprietary numerical and physical models at BP and Hess for improved understanding of subsurface properties and reservoir characterization.

As an active supporter of SEAM’s mission and a contributing member to the geoscience community, he facilitated workshops on topics related to the recent geophysical advances and participated in the discussions and peer reviews. At BP and Hess, he led weekly technology share sessions to facilitate networking and exposure to the new technology trends, vendor capabilities, and multidisciplinary integration for the benefit of the greater geoscience community. His work in a wide ranging complex basins around the world helped him develop fundamental understanding on the challenges faced today in the area of exploration, exploitation as well as CCUS.

In his opinion, SEAM projects help build fundamental understanding of real world challenges for many years to come and will eventually lead to multidisciplinary integration, improved reservoir characterization and performance, as well as collaboration with other disciplines of synergy such as AI, medical, and astronomy. As the data acquisition, imaging, FWI technology, inversion algorithms, time-lapse monitoring, and AI-ML methods make significant leap, SEAM must continue to facilitate leading edge geophysical research benchmarking with numerical models, conventional and unconventional data sets, and workflows. Working in close collaboration with the SEAM & SEG Board, sponsors, academia, his peers and capitalizing on his 20+ years of industry experience and network, he aims to promote SEAM’s ongoing and future initiatives, provide leadership, and give direction on tackling  current and future challenges in applied geophysics.

Glenn Wilson

Senior Product Manager, Halliburton

Glenn Wilson

Senior Product Manager, Halliburton

SEAM Board Term

2023–2026

LinkedIn

Glenn Wilson is an industry recognized leader with expertise in sensing and analytics, major capital projects, and reservoir management — with over fifteen years’ experience spanning roles in academia, government, operators, and service providers. Competencies include reservoir characterization and monitoring; consulting and project management; gated capital value processes (Pre-FEED/FEED/Execution); mergers and acquisitions; divestitures; intellectual property management; commercialization of new products and services; and business development.

His roles at Halliburton include product manager, discipline manager, sensor physics lead, and scientific advisor. In 2014 he worked as an adjunct associate professor of petroleum engineering at the National Univeristy of Singapore. He also worked at TechnoImaging, Rock Solid Images, and BP.

Wilson is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE), Optical Society of America (OSA), Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA), and IEEE Standard 356-2020 Guide for Measurements of Electromagnetic Properties of Earth Media. He is also an associate editor for Rock Physics and Borehole Geophysics for GEOPHYSICS.

Chengbo Li

Staff Geophysicist, ConocoPhillips

Chengbo Li

Staff Geophysicist, ConocoPhillips

SEAM Board Term

2024–2027

LinkedIn

Chengbo Li received the BS degree in mathematics from Nanjing University, Nanjing, China, in 2007 and the PhD degree in computational and applied mathematics from Rice University, Houston, TX in 2011.

Li joined ConocoPhillips after completing his PhD as a research geophysicist. His recent work focuses on geophysical applications of compressive sensing; seismic data reconstruction and denoising; optimal survey design; and simultaneous source acquisition for both onshore and offshore. He also led the efforts in developing machine learning solutions for seismic processing and fiber optic sensing for well monitoring.

Li’s research led to the invention of ConocoPhillips’ proprietary technology — Compressive Seismic Imaging (CSI). The technology received the SPIRIT of Performance Award in Innovation in 2016, the SPIRIT of Performance Award in Technology Champion in 2018, and the OTC Asia Spotlight on New Technology Award in 2018. His paper on CSI was selected to receive the award for Best Paper in The Leading Edge in 2017. He also received the SPIRIT of Performance Award in Outstanding Early Career Technologist in 2019 and the SEG Reginald Fessenden Award in 2021. In 2023, Li received the prestigious Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award from Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) as the first recipient ever in the field of exploration geoscience.

Li served on the TLE Editorial Board from 2019 to 2023, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors for SEG Advanced Modeling Corporation and the Advisory Committee for SEG China.

Nicolae Moldoveanu

Consultant Geophysicist

Nicolae Moldoveanu

Consultant Geophysicist

SEAM Board Term

2022–2025

LinkedIn

Nick Moldoveanu is a consultant geophysicist who retired from Schlumberger in December 2020. He is an associate with the University of Bucharest, faculty of geology and geophysics where he teaches a course for master students on advanced seismic acquisition technologies. He is also a senior advisor with CSMI (Cloud Stream Medical Imaging) since 2022.

At Schlumberger he worked as a geophysicist in seismic data processing, software development, survey design, and new seismic acquisition technology developments. He also worked at Kelman Seismic Processing, Calgary, Canada as a seismic data processing analyst, and at IPGG, a national geophysical and geological oil prospecting company in Bucharest, Romania, as a field geophysicist, data processing analyst, data processing manager, and technical director of IPGG Computing Center.

He received a MS degree in geophysics from Oil, Gas, and Geology Institute and a MS degree in mathematics from Faculty of Mathematics, University of Bucharest. Moldoveanu has more than 100 published papers and he has 37 U.S.A. granted patents.  He is a receipient  of the World Oil award for coil acquisition technology (2008), Hart’s E&P Magazine award for dual coil acquisition technology (2012), SEG Honorary Lecturer for North America (2013), and SEG Honorary Member (2014).

Werner Heigl

Chief Scientific Advisor, Halliburton

Werner Heigl

Chief Scientific Advisor, Halliburton

SEAM Board Term

2023–2026

LinkedIn

Werner Heigl became the chief scientist for Halliburton in 2022. Prior to this, he was the chief scientist for Nanoseis LLC, a leading edge microseismic technology company. His responsibilities include research, software development, and the coordination of operations. In 2006, he took the role of senior eophysicist at Apache Corporation in Houston. He was involved in seismic inversion projects and had technical responsibility for the planning, executing, and processing of borehole acoustic and seismic data. This led to two patents and the commercialization of one. He also worked as a field service manager for open and cased hole logging in Trinidad and  Tobago where he led the development of a downhole sparker source for the purpose of imaging steeply dipping reflectors (salt flanks, faults). He started his career in the environmental consulting field and then transitioned into wireline services with Schlumberger where he worked all over Europe in both onshore and offshore fields.

He is a co-author of a reference book on microseismic monitoring. He holds a PhD in geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado and a geology diploma from the University of Munich Germany. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE), and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG).

Ana Curcio

SEG Board Liaison

Ana Curcio

SEG Board Liaison

SEAM Board Term

2021–August 2024

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Ana Curcio simultaneously earned her degrees in Physics from the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences, Engineering and MS in Geodetic-Geophysical Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering and a PhD, summa cum laude, at Buenos Aires University. She is also an Oil and Gas production specialist (ITBA).

An Argentinean with over 15 years of experience in the energy sector who specialized in geophysical exploration applied to complex exploratory problems in hydrocarbon and lithium industries, spanning the entire spectrum of technology. She has attained a leadership position and is adept at overseeing field crew operations both operationally and technically, as well as in data processing, interpretation, and multiphysics integration.

Curcio is a Director at Large at the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG). She has served as the SEG like Chair of the SEG Latin America Regional Advisory Committee, served twice as SEG District 6 Representative, twice as SEG Council representative, and she also was Global Co-Chair of the 2019 SEG annual meeting. She is a member of the board of directors of the Argentinean Association of Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists, and IAGA division VI committee member.

Her main area of interest is the integration of seismic and electromagnetics, in particular the applications for conventional and unconventional reservoir monitoring, and elastic and electrical anisotropy. Curcio is motivated on working with cultural and ethnic diversity. In addition to Spanish and English, she speaks Portuguese and Chinese.

Paola Vera

Director of Technology, SEG

Paola Vera

Director of Technology, SEG

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Paola Vera is a senior geoscientist with 15+ years of domestic and international energy industry experience. Vera is currently Director of Technology at SEG and oversees the SEG Advanced Modeling Corporation (SEAM) operations. She also serves as the SEG Women’s Network Committee liaison, and she is an associate mentor for the SEG Evolve program. Prior to SEG, she worked as a senior geoscientist at Ikon Science Americas until 2023. Vera was Petrophysics and Rock Physics Advisor at Rock Solid Images (RSI) from 2011 to 2018 where she played a pivotal role in the design of cutting-edge well modeling tools and reservoir characterization projects. Vera also held various geoscience positions with RSI and Petróleos de Venezuela, PDVSA. Known for leading multi-disciplinary teams, she holds a lengthy track record of delivering value across diverse exploration, appraisal and development projects and derisking high-stake prospects. She has contributed to the development of regional workflows, and to the establishment of organizational success metrics, petrophysical and rock physics quality control standards. Geographically well-versed, she has worked in diverse regions such as the USA, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, West Africa, and beyond, contributing to projects in various basins and shale plays.

Vera received a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute, a master’s degree in industrial project management from Rafael Belloso Chacín University, and a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from University of Zulia, in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Vera brings executive leadership skills in the oversight of multi-disciplinary geoscience teams, vast experience in product benchmarking and project management, and her global experience in rock properties.

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