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Discussion Starter #1
Wow. We all just got called into a conference room where one of the higher up managers announced that the other project geophysicist on our team was laid off today. Even our direct-report boss wasn't told until a couple hours beforehand. In one sense, it's not a big surprise, she wasn't a star performer. But it's weird. Right now she's packing all her stuff, she needs to be out today (she'll be paid for a couple more weeks, but corporate confidentiality policy demands that she clear out today).

Everyone in the conference room was sitting there wondering if we're next. Though since I have the Libya assignment, I'm safe for a while. And for a couple weeks, I'll be the ONLY geophysicist for the team... bizarre.
 
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Ooh. That's a strange feeling, isn't it? Layoffs, especially sudden ones out of the blue are so uncomfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I work for an oil company. The primary responsibility I have is to evaluate seismic data of the subsurface of the Earth, build computer models that describe the rocks' response to sound waves (which are used to image subsurface geology), and describe the rock deposition, distribution, and structure based on remote-sensed (seismic, gravity, and magnetic) data. From that, I map out what are (hopefully) hydrocarbon deposits that get drilled for development as oil and/or gas prospects. There are other groups of technical specialists who actually figure out how to design the drilling programs, but I continue to work on a project past the time when the well gets drilled, because I then take that information from the actual wellbore (ground truth, if you will) and apply it to the seismic and other remote sensed data to better refine the geologic model.

Are you asleep yet? ;)
 

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how humiliating
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just found out there were 5 other people in the company who were let go today. I knew three, though they were not in my immediate team. The mood is definitely somber here this afternoon. And a bit uneasy.
 

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Cool job you have there, TobysTrix.

I'm sorry about your coworker and the others. Are you feeling eyes on you right now?
 

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TobysTrix said:
I work for an oil company. The primary responsibility I have is to evaluate seismic data of the subsurface of the Earth, build computer models that describe the rocks' response to sound waves (which are used to image subsurface geology), and describe the rock deposition, distribution, and structure based on remote-sensed (seismic, gravity, and magnetic) data. From that, I map out what are (hopefully) hydrocarbon deposits that get drilled for development as oil and/or gas prospects. There are other groups of technical specialists who actually figure out how to design the drilling programs, but I continue to work on a project past the time when the well gets drilled, because I then take that information from the actual wellbore (ground truth, if you will) and apply it to the seismic and other remote sensed data to better refine the geologic model.

Are you asleep yet? ;)
That's pretty cool. So, do you find that you are pretty accurate? Now you have me all interested. Do you do this all over the world? Do other people collect the data and send it to you to interpret? More details.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's pretty cool. So, do you find that you are pretty accurate? Now you have me all interested. Do you do this all over the world? Do other people collect the data and send it to you to interpret? More details.
[/quote]

Accurate? Depends on your definition of accurate. This is my second career, so I've only been working as a geophysicist for three years. I've had two commercial discoveries that were the result of my mapping, one oil, one natural gas. So I've been pretty lucky so far. I've been involved with other discoveries that I had to do work on but I didn't do the initial mapping. I've also worked on wells that were what we call "dry holes"... so far not because of my mapping, but it's pretty inevitable that will happen, too. It's a bit like being the weatherman - you can be wrong a number of times and not get fired, just because there are so many uncertainties involved and you can't mitigate all of the risks. But a single commercial discovery more than offsets a number of dry holes if you're doing the science and the business correctly.

I've worked in the Gulf of Mexico, and worked data from Pakistan and Yemen (though I haven't gone to those countries). There are other specialists who acquire and process the seismic data before I ever look at it to interpret it. Because of the nature of seismic data, you do not need to be in the same place as where the data was acquired in order to work on it, you just need the right computer set-up. In another couple months, I'm going to be working and living in Libya doing the same thing for the exploration program our company has over there, which will be my first overseas assignment. I was there for 6 weeks in January and February learning about and working on the seismic program there, and we're moving at the end of July and expect to stay for two years or so.

In answer to the other question: yes, I feel eyes on me right now, but not because I'm seriously worried about losing my job anytime soon. More because this transfer is a big step and it's a high profile project I'm going to be starting. That makes me a little bit nervous, but in a good way.
 

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Congrats on the two successes. I didn't know it could be that hit and miss.


How do you feel about living in Libya? (pardon my ignorance.... I can't learn if I don't ask)
What determines you having to go to the site? Are there certain things that you have to see for yourself in addition to the data collected?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No, just like working Yemen data, I don't have to be in country to work on the data. But our company's deal with the Libyan government was that we'd relocate our entire technical staff for that project to Tripoli and that we'd start up a training program for Libyan technicians and geoscientists. Also, there are some advantages of having your technical staff nearby the operations, since data can come in and be analyzed that much closer to real time when a well is being drilled.

I feel pretty good about the move. The country is not scary at all, I felt very safe when I was there on my own. It will be challenging, it is definitely very different culturally than what I am used to, and some aspects are certainly going to be difficult. But there will be a lot of good things, both short term (financially, especially) and longer-term (career experience). It makes it easier that we're both going. My fiance works for the same company I do (he's in operations, so involved in the actual drilling of wells and the logistics of planning and executing the projects), so we're getting married right before we go and then being transfered together. We've already got a really nice house (provided by the company) all picked out, and will be moving the cats and dogs with us (no quarantine or anything, so it's pretty straightforward). There's also a growing community of ex-pats in addition to the people who work for our company, so there will be at least some social life and a network of interesting people. We'll see.

And after yesterday's events, the overseas assignment is looking better and better!
 
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TobysTrix said:
I work for an oil company. The primary responsibility I have is to evaluate seismic data of the subsurface of the Earth, build computer models that describe the rocks' response to sound waves (which are used to image subsurface geology), and describe the rock deposition, distribution, and structure based on remote-sensed (seismic, gravity, and magnetic) data. From that, I map out what are (hopefully) hydrocarbon deposits that get drilled for development as oil and/or gas prospects. There are other groups of technical specialists who actually figure out how to design the drilling programs, but I continue to work on a project past the time when the well gets drilled, because I then take that information from the actual wellbore (ground truth, if you will) and apply it to the seismic and other remote sensed data to better refine the geologic model.

Are you asleep yet? ;)
Wow!! I am impressed!
 

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That's a pretty high tech career ya got !! Interesting though...... very interesting. I know I wouldn't want to move to another country ..... I hope you like it there, and I hope they pay you well for relocating ! You are taking Toby, right ??

Melissa
;)
 
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