Many geophysicists make the mistake of not broadening their understanding of geology, engineering, and economics. A geophysicist may not understand or be able to convince others of the true value of what geophysics has to offer without that broader perspective. But the reality is that if we integrate multi-disciplinary data deep into our work, we will have a thorough approach to our solutions.
So what does this mean to the geophysicist? At university, enroll in courses outside your core curriculum. Consider economics, business, geology, and engineering electives. A psychology course or two wouldn’t hurt either. Enter the AAPG’s Imperial Barrel Award or encourage your department or company to hold a similar workshop incorporating geology, geophysics, engineering, and business. This type of workshop is often best positioned for final-year or postgraduate students or any employee in an oil and gas company. The premise is to have one person of each discipline on a team. Each group is given a fictitious budget and with that money the teams compete for exploration licenses, acquire or process seismic, drill a well, and put the well on production while looking at the rate of return on the investment and any other financial drivers, including booking reserves and resources. This is all done in competition with the other teams and everyone receives real well data, seismic, and production data as they work through the steps. Sounds like real life in the oil and gas industry, doesn’t it?
There may be many times in your career that you can look back and smile at such an assignment. Multi-disciplinary teamwork can bring some of the most frustrating and most exciting experiences. Why exciting? It can be groundbreaking and it is often the kind of effort required to conquer major hurdles in a company’s exploration program. Why frustrating? Because you not only have to generate ideas, but you need to convince your teammates and management of your approach and how it integrates all your data. That is not always easy — your idea may be dismissed readily by those that don’t quite see your vision. Hang in there! Remember that it is always easier to shoot an idea down than come up with something original. If your idea is truly a good one then don’t give up. As the saying goes, a new idea is like a child. It’s easier to conceive than to deliver.
If you can prove your point with scientific methods then you are on to something big And you will know your idea is fantastic when others attach themselves to your work, or copy it There is an old saying that acting on a good idea is better than just having a good idea So start working hard on your next great idea!