“If you love what you are doing, it’s never work.”

An interview with Bruce Hart

Coordinated by: Satinder Chopra | Photos courtesy: Joyce Au
Bruce Hart

Bruce Hart is a well-known geoscientist who has been working on the application of data driven solutions to exploration problems. An interesting aspect of Bruce’s work is that being well-trained as a geologist and having researched in different areas in geophysics, he understands the exact geological basis of the objective and is then able to achieve it by successful application of geophysical principles. Bruce realized the value of curvature attributes early on and developed software for horizon based curvature attributes and not only used this for his own research applications, but had it available on his website for download to interested geoscientists. More recently, he has revisited a newer attribute called ‘sweetness’, which he has shown can be used in a semi-quantitative way for detecting channels and other stratigraphic features when such features can be distinguished from background lithology, by a combination of complex trace attributes (frequency and envelope). Similarly, sand filled channels from deep water or fluvial systems can be imaged well by the sweetness attribute. Bruce’s work on seismic attributes as a whole has been remarkable and is a very significant contribution that has gained widespread application and notice.

Similar attribute studies that Bruce has taken up, have been aimed at quantitative applications that include prediction of physical properties such as porosity and lithology of reservoirs, which are very useful. Hydrothermal dolomite reservoirs are major hydrocarbon producers in North America and are receiving increased exploration attention around the world. He has studied such reservoirs in Trenton- Black River, Saybrook, Ohio and made significant contributions. Not only this, Bruce’s scientific contributions have crossed over to other areas like coal bed methane and time-lapse seismic. He has published and presented several dozen papers at the AAPG, SEG, CSEG,CSPG and other Conventions/workshops.He has received many awards, some of them being the SEG best reviewer for ‘ Geophysics’ award in 2006 and Distinguished Educator Award, Southwest Section AAPG 2002.

Bruce has been conducting a short course on 3D seismic attributes for some time now, which is one of the most popular courses conducted on the SEPM platform in recent years. His excellent communication skills, and lucid style of presentation, have also seen him being invited for several keynote presentations, both within and outside the United States. Bruce has written two books, one on 3D interpretation and the other on Getting started in 3D seismic.

Bruce was in Calgary during the month of May 2008 to deliver an invited talk at the CSPG Luncheon, and Satinder Chopra was able to sit down with Bruce and interview him. Following are excerpts from the interview.

Bruce, let’s begin by asking you about your educational qualifications and your work experience.

I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from McMaster University back in the early 80s. At the time I wanted to stay away from the Petroleum Industry. I was mostly interested in sedimentary geology so I started a Master’s on modern sediments at the University of Quebec in Rimouski. It got me using side-scan sonar imagery, bathymetric profiling and taking core.

From there I went on to do a Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Western Ontario. I worked on the Cretaceous Cardium Formation in Alberta and B.C. using logs, core, and outcrops but no seismic data at all. After that, and again trying to stay out of the petroleum industry, I got a job with the Geological Survey of Canada on Vancouver Island working on the Modern Fraser Delta using single channel air gun seismic and Huntec profiling, side-scan sonar and sediment cores. I was a postdoc and I was trying to get a teaching position at a University in Canada but nothing was coming up at the time. It was the early 90s and Departments were closing down and laying off people. I got the opportunity to take a two-year contract position at Penn State working the offshore Gulf of Mexico using 3D seismic, log and production data. Again, no openings were coming up in Canada for stratigraphers at that time. I saw an opening in New Mexico at the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and applied for it and got it. I was quite happily employed there but my kids were growing up not knowing their aunts and uncles and cousins (my wife and I are both from Eastern Canada). When I saw an opening for a sedimentary geologist at McGill in 1999 I figured I’d apply for it, and I ended up getting it.

So were you always looking for a teaching job, or it just happened for you?

I think somehow during my Master’s I realized that research was a lot of fun. I had gone from being an Undergraduate who wasn’t always the best student to learning that through hard work you can learn a lot of fascinating things.

Your research interests include areas like 3D interpretation, integrated reservoir characterization, sequence stratigraphy and fractured reservoirs; tell us how you developed these interests.

Well, I got my Master’s degree on modern sedimentology. My Ph.D. was in sequence stratigraphy and sedimentology.

Pertaining to geology?

Geology, and then when I got to the Geologic Survey of Canada I started integrating cores with high-resolution seismic data and side-scan sonar imagery, and I found that kind of integration between geology and geophysics great. At Penn State I was integrating 3D seismic data with core and logs and started integrating production data. I really got excited about the way you have to try and make all the different pieces fit together.

When I moved to New Mexico, I was hoping to keep going on seismic stratigraphy, integrating logs, core and 3D seismic data, but I kept being offered projects on things like fractured reservoirs, porosity prediction in carbonates, structural interpretation and other things. I needed to try to find money to buy equipment and so I took on some of these projects and a lot of them worked out, which meant that people asked me to follow up on them. I’ve continued several of those projects at McGill. At some level I am still a stratigrapher, but some people think of me as a carbonate guy, or a fracture guy.

Tell us about the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at McGill. I mean about the program that is being offered and what type of research that is being carried out and what sets it apart from other universities. What is it that would attract students to come and work there?

McGill’s main focus is geochemistry and hard rock geology and so for me it has not always been a satisfying experience to be at McGill. For somebody like me, who uses seismic data to study sedimentary, structural or petroleum geology, there hasn’t been anyone to collaborate with. The geochemists love it because they are surrounded by other geochemists. The university has high entrance standards, so they get very good students but it’s a very small department. It is a three- year program in Quebec, there are only about ten students per year – undergraduates – and most of them want to go off and do hard- rock geology or environmental geo chemistry.

So high quality students, but only ten or so graduating each year; is that the maximum you can handle, or are there plans to expand?

You know it’s ten undergraduates per year in each of the three years, so the department has about thirty or so undergraduates. In terms of graduate students we’ve got about forty or so. It’s getting tougher and tougher to find Canadian graduate students because of the way the Mining and Petroleum Industry work in this country. They hire people with undergraduate degrees and so we have a problem trying to convince Canadian students to stick around when we can pay $18,000 a year and the companies are saying, “Don’t do a Master’s, we will pay you $80,000 a year.” So in terms of getting home grown graduate students it has been really tough lately. You end up taking people who come from different places and you are not always sure what you are getting. Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t.

Bruce Hart & Satinder Chopra

Bruce when you look back on your career so far what have been some of the successful landmarks for you?

Working with seismic attributes in general. I saw a presentation in 1994 at a Landmark Technology Forum where people were working with instantaneous frequency, instantaneous phase and reflection strength – things that I had seen buttons for in the software, but I didn’t really know how to use. The presenters were showing how you could use those things to characterize reservoirs and it just fascinated me. I decided that was something that I wanted to learn about – I got hooked on attributes.

And then in the late 90s I was looking for ways of identifying subtle structures in fractured reservoirs because I thought they would be areas where you could have higher permeability associated with fracture swarms. I saw a presentation by somebody named Andy Roberts, from a company in Norway, who was using curvature to identify subtle faults in conventional reservoirs where they could be compartment boundaries. I started talking to him and started getting interested in using curvature. Later I developed some free ware that somewhere between 350 to 400 people have e-mailed me for a copy of. It has been a really satisfying thing to see that take off.

One last thing has been teaching short courses. Lately I have been teaching week-long short courses on seismic interpretation, six or seven times a year in various parts of the world and that has been really satisfying.

Now you are working as Associate Professor at the University. What are your responsibilities? I guess besides teaching there would be some research component to it and apart from that what else do you like to do?

There is undergraduate teaching, and typically I teach three undergraduate courses a year. Graduate level teaching is something else, and maybe that means teaching one or two graduate level courses on top of the undergraduate teaching. Trying to track down projects is another duty, and so I have been pounding the pavement out here, in Houston and various other parts of the world trying to dig up projects, which means getting funding and data. Then I try to find graduate students.

In most Universities the Profs end up having to do a lot of the administration, and so I have had various types of administrative roles in the Department. This year I am the Undergraduate Director which means that when undergraduates have questions about which courses they should take and those kinds of things, they come to me. That has been a rewarding duty really, because I get to meet them and hopefully help them.

I would like you to comment on the campus politics that prevail in every University big or small, and how it affects the teaching in the department and the students.

In much of Canada and the United States, there is a prevailing wisdom that fundamental research is great and applied research is not real science. And so if you are doing applied research you are sometimes not valued by the Administration or your colleagues and that can be very frustrating. In Canada, because we’ve got such a strong mining component, people doing mining tend to look down on people who do sedimentary and petroleum things. I think in Eastern North America in general, people who are doing petroleum- related research are the black sheep of the geo- family. That is because when people out there hear about the Petroleum Industry it is related to wars, climate change, pollution, corporate profits and stuff like that. It’s a tough sell out in Eastern North America doing something that is petroleum- related. So all of this means that someone like me fights a lot of uphill battles.

Tell us some of the memorable moments in your professional life and perhaps a success story you might want to share with us if the two are different.

To me the thing I am happiest about is the short courses. Back in 1995, just after I moved to New Mexico, I was asked to put on a half-day long work-shop on seismic interpretation for local Independents. As I was preparing for that I watched various videos and went to various presentations that were introductions to 3-D seismic interpretation. Most of these courses were run by geophysicists who would talk to the geologists about the distributions of azimuths in bins and other geophysical things. The geologists in the crowd would roll their eyes back and fall asleep, right? So it seemed to me that there was a need for somebody to speak to geologists about 3D seismic interpretation using language that they could understand. I helped run a short course for the first time in 1995 with Bob Hardage, then started doing courses and workshops on 3D interpretation in the late 1990s. By 2000 I had started doing inhouse courses and now I am doing six or seven a year around the world. It’s a really great and rewarding experience. You get to meet young people in places like Kuala Lumpur, Cairo and Copenhagen, not to mention Houston and Calgary, and hopefully teach them things that will help them throughout their careers.

What important developments do you think that we can expect in geosciences in the near future? Do you see anything coming along like 3D seismic did in the 1980s?

I know there are people who are constantly coming out with new technologies and approaches, things like spectral decomposition and pre-stack inversion, new ways of looking at the seismic data. These people are looking forward. I look backwards and I see that there are a lot of people who aren’t keeping up. There are many people who aren’t even using standard interpretation techniques properly and to me that’s what I tend to like focusing on – bringing people up to speed on what they could and should be doing.

It’s a different viewpoint than the answers I normally get to this question.

I mean, in the late 90s, people were saying that visualization and visionariums were going to be huge.

So they came and went.

They came and went, that’s right and now I still see that there are people in some business units and in some companies who aren’t doing the fundamental things right. They are being left behind, and that can’t be good for them or for the Industry.

The short courses that you are putting on are helping?

Hopefully, that’s right.

I notice that you are quite active in publishing your work. Apart from the journal publications, have you published your work in the form of any book? I do know about your book on Seismic Interpretation for Geologists that was published by SEBM; apart from that have you published anything in the form of a book?

Just this past month I think, there was a reprints volume I compiled on 3D interpretation that came out for the AAPG.

Oh, that 3D stuff that you mentioned in an email?

Yes, that’s right. AAPG has a reprints series on CD that they are calling “Beginning in…” on various topics like deep water clastics or carbonates. I was asked to put together a compilation of influential papers on 3D seismic interpretation. So that’s good, but I am now writing a book to be titled “An Introduction to Seismic Interpretation”. It is going to be published by AAPG on CD so that I can have unlimited colour and movies and various other things. The intent is to make it a publicly available version of the 5-day short courses that I have been doing for companies lately.

That you helped build up last summer?

I’ve been teaching the course since 2001, and so it’s all roadtested material. So that’s my new thing that I want to do.

You enjoy publishing?


So do I. What has been your philosophy towards your professional growth and what personal and professional goals are you working towards?

In general terms they all sound like clichés. Let’s start with lifelong learning. To me, that means not being afraid to ask questions. As I have moved around from being somebody working on carbonates to somebody working on fractures and lately somebody working on deep water clastics. I have found myself in unfamiliar places scientifically, and I don’t care. I am not afraid to ask questions. Some people get to a point in their career where they want to be recognized as the expert in their specialty and so they may be afraid to try new things and to show ignorance by asking questions. I think it’s fascinating and rewarding to be constantly jumping on learning curves. I’d get bored if I did the same thing for 20 or 30 years. Sometimes you make mistakes, but hopefully you don’t make the same mistake twice and you learn from your mistakes. Another philosophical outlook I have was captured by something I heard Henry Posamentier say: If you love what you do it’s never work. I just generally love what I do and in that kind of case it’s not work and it’s fun. I’ve been getting paid to do what I love doing and that’s great.

That sounds real good. I like that. So now what are your aspirations for the future?

Keep going. Keep jumping on new learning curves, continuously re-invent myself.

And obviously the next step would be from Associate Professor to become a full Professor at the University?

Well, actually the next step is going to be from becoming an Associate Professor to becoming an Industry person. In August I am joining ConocoPhillips in Houston.

Oh, you are quitting McGill University?


Bruce Hart

Okay, that’s why the first question that I asked, you were quite frank; even regarding the politics on campus you were quite frank.

Yes, my time at McGill has been a very unrewarding experience for me. I love teaching, but it’s been very tough being a petroleum person out in Eastern Canada and in my Department in particular. It also seems that many companies in Calgary can’t see past the Saskatchewan border when it comes to supporting projects. I feel like I’ve put in a lot of time and effort trying to do things that will help the Industry and it hasn’t felt like a two-way street much of the time. There have been some companies that have been supportive but on the whole most of them haven’t been. So last year I was on sabbatical with ConocoPhillips and it was great.

So you will be going to Houston?

In Houston. I’ll be in their Subsurface Technology group that acts as in-house consultants, runs training programs and does other things. Last year, on my sabbatical, I was employed as a seismic stratigrapher and worked on data from deep water West Africa, Texas, the North Slope of Alaska and other places. It was just fabulous, and refreshing, to be surrounded by people who are supportive, who understand what you do, who can answer your questions and will ask you questions. In addition to the sedimentary group I was in there were structural people, petrophysics people, the seismic analysis people, the acquisition people and other groups nearby. There was a constant stream of in-house talks about different aspects of the G&G business. For somebody with broad interests like me, it was great.

So you spent your sabbatical assessing work situations right there and now, since you liked it so much want to make that move?

Yes. It was kind of a test drive to see how things would go and you know it was great.

Well financially it is also going to be much more rewarding isn’t it?

Financially it will be slightly more rewarding that’s right, but that’s not the main reason for leaving McGill.

No, I understand. Well when one takes such a step, one looks at it in totality, so that’s a good decision.

Another question about the Canadian Universities. What is your general impression about the current state of these Universities in general with respect to Geosciences in particular, not only McGill but all the Universities in Canada; how do they compare with the North American or European Universities? You might also touch upon things like funding problems, problem-oriented research—you have alluded to this a little bit but I was looking for a little more complete answer.

I can’t really talk too much about European Universities, but I was talking to somebody from Paris last week and he was saying that in France they are having trouble getting French students involved in petroleum geology at the Graduate and Post Doc Level. Here in North America, and in particular Canada, it’s also getting tougher and tougher. NSERC funding is drying up. If you are a really, really good geoscientist with a great publication re c o rd you can get maybe $27,000 a year which is enough to fund one graduate student. There are other pots of NSERC money that people go after, but usually the money is for research in a few t a rgeted areas like A rc t i c research, or climate change. People in those areas can go for additional NSERC funding and that helps.

...lesser and lesser?

There is less and less money and it is getting harder and harder to get. In terms of the types of things that people are looking for – I talked earlier about Applied Research – there seems to be some places that are doing well—Calgary, Edmonton, even Memorial and Dalhousie are doing okay because they are in provinces where the provincial governments recognize the importance of supporting petroleumrelated research. I am not sure about the Mining Industry. My thought is that the mining industry works in slightly different ways. I don’t quite understand how the Mining Industry funds projects and so I don’t quite know whether people who are doing mining-related research are doing well or not. If you want Federal Government funding the best thing to do right now is to do something that is related to climate change. Climate change or environmental change, and especially if you go up North. It seems that you can get money thrown at you that way! If you are not doing those kinds of things it’s tougher. So then you have to try and hope you can get Industry funding if you are doing petroleum work.

Right. Which is difficult.

Which can be very difficult when you are in Montreal.

Bruce you have been a proponent of the use of seismic attributes in seismic data interpretation. What would you say for the use of more recently developed attributes like curvature? Have you been working on these and textures and spectral decomposition and all the rest in seismic interpretation?

I think they are great. However, so far, other than curvature, I haven’t really had a chance to integrate some of these things into my work or my students’ research projects. Hopefully that is going to change.

Tell us about the work that you published recently in the TLE. “Stratigraphically significant attributes,” that was a nice paper, we like the idea that you explained but—maybe you would like to explain it more?

Last year, while on my sabbatical in Houston, I presented a paper at a Geophysical Society of Houston Symposium in honour of Tury Taner. I wanted to talk about some of the attribute work that my students and I have been doing over the past 10 years or so, and I called the talk “Seismic Attribute Analyses: Observations of an Empiricist.” I tend to be not afraid to try things, find out what works, and then figure out why it works. The theory of plate tectonics is a good example of how empiricism can lead to wonderful new discoveries. The empirical evidence for plate tectonics was overwhelming long before the mechanisms for how it works were established.

I have noticed over the years that there are people who are strong proponents of things they call physically significant attributes. This usually means starting with amplitudes derived from pre- or post-stack analysis. Nowadays the trend is to go for pre-stack analysis and use AVO analyses to derive physical properties and use those predictions as attributes. These people usually limit their attribute work to using physically significant attributes because the theoretical relationships between those attributes and physical properties are well established. To me, as someone who has spent a lot of time working on stratigraphic problems, the stratigraphic complexity of reservoirs is commonly overly simplified by users of this approach, but those simplifications make the physics tractable. From a stratigrapher’s perspective, that might be an acceptable approach for a few reservoirs in a few places, but generally it’s a bad reservoir model and all you need to do is look at a few outcrops before you realize that the stratigraphic record isn’t always simple.

Seismic attributes can capture aspects of wave shape, which manifest themselves in terms of things like amplitude, frequency, phase and other attributes. Those changes in reflection shape are the seismic response to changes in physical properties but also to the way those physical properties are arranged – the stratigraphy. For example, the seismic response of a coarsening-upwards package will be different from that of a fining-upwards package. The differences in wave shape arise because of interference effects between closely spaced reflections, in other words convolution. Inversion can only partly compensate for these effects, especially when working with thin beds. I decided to call attributes that respond to changes in stratigraphy “stratigraphically significant.” There are not a lot of people who are looking at how attributes can be used to distinguish between different types of stratigraphic successions, even though those differences can be very important at the reservoir scale.

The empirical approach that my group and I have been using has been very eye opening. We also have been using forward modeling to study attributes. The number of ways in which Mother Nature has arranged rocks of different physical properties is nearly infinite, and so trying to be predictive and specify a limited number of stratigraphically significant attributes that will work in all settings is not possible right now. To me the people who are strong proponents of sticking to only physically significant attributes are running away from the physics of how the convolution of reflections from closely spaced beds of differing physical properties affects seismic attributes because it’s too complicated. I think they are also missing some wonderful opportunities, both from the practical perspective of predicting reservoir properties and from the theoretical perspective of tackling a rich scientific problem.

One of the reasons could be because all this is being done on the seismic data. If the quality of the seismic is not good enough to give you that detail, i.e. the wave forms don’t have the kind of information to give you the type of information you are looking for, then you could have problems. What we have done is to try to enhance the frequency of the seismic by whatever method, provided it doesn’t distort amplitudes, that could still give you some reasonable information in terms of the layers – say the top of the base of a reservoir. So that might be something in line with the work you are carrying out to understand the stratigraphic layers or stratigraphic information within those boundaries. I mean we’ve found some success in this area, especially with curvature to see channel definition – how the layers are arranged so that comes out nicely. In a recent publication we have put in a couple of examples to explain such issues.

Okay, you have done a lot of work on hydrothermal dolomite reservoirs. From your experience, could you tell us something about characterizing these reservoirs in a general way?

They are incredibly complex. The dolomitizing and porositygenerating fluids move through the fractures and the carbonate petrologists disagree amongst themselves in terms of how the fluids flow. The hydrothermal dolomite folks says that the fluids come from below, but there are other people who say that mechanism doesn’t work – the fluids must come from above. It’s very clear that the fluid flow is intimately related to fault networks, so you have to understand and map out the fault networks. Coherency attributes are very helpful for that purpose. Within the fault networks you need to look for places where you’ve got extension, because it is in these areas that faults and fractures tend to be open, and allows the fluids to either move up or down. In principle, the porosity should be best developed at stratigraphic levels that have primary depositional fabrics that are conducive to letting the porosity-generating fluids enter. So that said, if you look at logs from a hydrothermal dolomite field there are places where you find porosity at the top, or in the middle, or at the base, but there are also places where you find porosity through the entire interval, or perhaps the porosity is not present at all. These are very, very complex systems and it is not possible to adequately predict the distribution of physical properties using only geologic principles. As such, my philosophy has been to try to image the porosity using various combinations of seismic attributes. We end up getting new geologic insights this way.

We have have found that reflection strength is commonly a great attribute for predicting where the porosity is going to be. For years now people exploring for hydrothermal dolomites have recognized that you tend to get low amplitude areas, including positive and negative amplitudes, peaks and troughs, where the porosity is developed. Reflection strength is amplitude independent of phase, and so you see these areas of low reflection strength where the porosity is present. There is a variety of reasons why you get low reflection strength values. For example thin layers of porous rocks interbedded with tight units cause interference effects, and so the amplitudes go down. Lateral heterogeneity over spatial scales smaller than the Fresnel zone will reduce amplitudes in the stacked data. You see low reflection strength associated with the faults. There also seem to be attributes that are related to attenuation that keep coming up in our empirical studies. My hunch is that the attenuation is related to the presence of fractures, but so far we haven’t been able to examine those effects in any significant way.

Interesting. While you were on sabbatical last year, what did you focus on professionally? What work did you carry out?

I worked on a project in deep water West Africa. It was pure exploration in an area where the company could be drilling some wells in a few years. They’d had various people do attribute amplitude extractions and found various features but they didn’t have a coherent stratigraphic framework for the level. I worked to develop that stratigraphic framework for a few months and that was a fabulous experience. I had excellent quality data and there were wonderful submarine channels in the data. I found an attribute called “sweetness” to be incredibly useful for defining depositional elements in the deep water environments. Although I couldn’t publish anything from Nigeria, ConocoPhillips generously provided me with access to some 3D seismic data from the Gulf of Mexico that I could use in a publication. So in the June 2008 issue of the AAPG Bulletin I have a paper that describes what sweetness is, and tries to illustrate when it is and isn’t useful for defining channel systems.

Then I worked in a field in Central Texas where the seismic data was “quality challenged.” Very bad multiples, low acoustic impedance contrasts between the sand and shales, and even the logs were bad because the interval is over pressured and hot, making it a hostile drilling environment. Even doing something simple like generating zero- offset synthetics that tied to the seismic data was a problem. It was an interesting experience to go from the great seismic data quality of West Africa to the poor quality seismic data of East Texas.

The company also wanted me to put on some in-house training. So that got me working with some of their other data sets, trying to generate exercises for the course. I worked with data from West Texas, the North Slope of Alaska, and the company’s heavy oil areas.

Wonderful. What are some of the projects that you have been working on with your students?

I’ve got a Ph.D. student, Sabrina Sarzalejo, who is finishing up. Her project is an integrated interpretation of a heavy oil field. She has been looking at cores, 3D seismic...

Athabasca or?

West Saskatchewan.

Okay, Lloydminister?

Yes, and the main goal of her project is to integrate all these different data sets into a coherent reservoir model. She has done a seismic attribute study to predict lithology and come up with results that are pretty good. Then I asked her to use that result to help interpret the geology. My impression is that if a geologist works with seismic data, and many or most do not get access to those data, they will do a basic interpretation, perhaps helping to pick the tops and bottoms of layers. Thereafter the geophysicists do the “complicated” stuff like predicting physical properties and the geologist doesn’t get involved anymore. I keep pushing geologists to look at the results of the attribute studies, or look at the results of the inversion, because they will learn something about the geology that they couldn’t have learned working only with logs and core. Sabrina’s study is a case like that.

I’ve got a Master’s student, Melik Smaili, who has just started with me and is doing some acoustic impedance inversion work to image the unconformity of the base of the Mannville. A small company here in town has been having problems using conventional seismic analysis to map the unconformity, and they’ve asked me for help. The acoustic impedance inversion is showing pretty clearly where the unconformity is but it’s not very helpful for distinguishing sands from shales in the overlying clastics of the Mannville because of the low impedance contrasts between lithologies in that interval. So now Melik will be undertaking an attribute study to see if that will help. I’ve got another student, Javier Herbas, who is working the North Slope of Alaska and...

Interesting, Alaska, Alberta and then Saskatchewan.

And at least they are all clastics projects. In the recent past I have had students doing porosity prediction in Jurassic carbonates, working on hydrothermal dolomites and other things. It’s been an interesting mix.

That’s very interesting. Bruce, what are your other interests apart from the science that you practice for a living?

Strumming guitar – I am a strummer not a virtuoso guitar player, masters swimming – I’ve been doing master swimming for the past 7 or so years, and then on top of that and work I’ve got three kids and that doesn’t leave me much time for much else.

What would be your message for young entrants to geoscience; what are the most rewarding aspects of picking up a career in geosciences?

Work hard. If you work hard chances are you are going to do well and that will open up opportunities for you. Have fun. Working hard and having fun aren’t necessarily mutually incompatible. Remember that if you love what you are doing it’s never work. Keep an open mind. There are some people who get strongly into geochemistry, or geophysics, or s t ructural geology, or whatever, and they come to think that their approach is going to give them all the answers all the time. I say that people need to keep an open mind because you never know what the right tool, or combination of tools, will be to solve a particular problem. Meet people, network. The Industry is full of fabulous people that can be very helpful, and you can learn things f rom them and sometimes help them in return. The geosciences will provide a world of constant discovery and challenge. Enjoy it.

Bruce, was there any question that you expected me to ask and I didn’t?

What’s my salary going to be at ConocoPhillips? (laughter and jokes)

I like to think of all the possible questions so—thank you for giving us this opportunity and all the best for your talk today.


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