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Wednesday
Jan302013

5 ways to kickstart an interpretation project

Last Friday, teams around the world started receiving external hard drives containing this year's datasets for the AAPG's Imperial Barrel Award (IBA for short). I competed in the IBA in 2008 when I was a graduate student at the University of Alberta. We were coached by the awesome Dr Murray Gingras (@MurrayGingras), we won the Canadian division, and we placed 4th in the global finals. I was the only geophysical specialist on the team alongside four geology graduate students.

Five things to do

Whether you are a staff geoscientist, a contractor, or competitor, it can help to do these things first:

  1. Make a data availability map (preferably in QGIS or ArcGIS). A graphic and geospatial representation of what you have been given.
  2. Make well scorecards: as a means to demonstrate not only that you have wells, but what information you have within the wells.
  3. Make tables, diagrams, maps of data quality and confidence. Indicate if you have doubts about data origins, data quality, interpretability, etc.
  4. Background search: The key word is search, not research. Use Mendeley to organize, tag, and search through the array of literature
  5. Use Time-Scale Creator to make your own stratigraphic column. You can manipulate the vector graphic, and make it your own. Much better than copying an old published figure. But use it for reference.

All of these things can be done before assigning roles, before saying who needs to do what. All of this needs to be done before the geoscience and the prospecting can happen. To skirt around it is missing the real work, and being complacent. Instead of being a hammer looking for a nail, lay out your materials, get a sense of what you can build. This will enable educated conversations about how you can spend your geoscientific manpower, division of labour, resources, time, etc.

Read more, then go apply it 

In addition to these tips for launching out of the blocks, I have also selected and categorized blog posts that I think might be most relevant and useful. We hope they are helpful to all geoscientists, but especially for students. Visit the Agile blog highlights list on SubSurfWiki.

I wish a happy and exciting IBA competition to all participants, and their supporting university departments. If you are competing, say hi in the comments and tell us where you hail from. 

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Reader Comments (2)

That is pretty funny. I never knew you also competed for the AAPG's Imperial Barrel Award. I competed the year before you, representing the University of Houston, and if I recall we also placed 4th in the international finals. But I digress...

I wanted to thank you for letting me know about Mendelay. I never heard of it and... WOW. I have been keeping a list with different articles I have read, tagged and the system is somewhat searchable. I keep my articles handy with Google Drive. Mendelay just helps with the organization (i.e. publication, author, etc.) of it all. Thank you, once again.

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFernando Enrique Ziegler

@Fernando,
It would be fun to swap stories about the IBA challenge. It's curious to imagine what the competition could be like with social media, crowdsourcing and so on. I love the idea of a Goldcorp-like synthesis of independent prospect evaluations. I wish AAPG would consider an experiment like that.

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterevan

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