Mark S. Egan

Independent Researcher

Mark Egan, SPE, worked for more than 40 years with Schlumberger and its heritage companies. He held regional and global chief geophysicist positions in North America, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and London. Egan now conducts private research using seismic modeling to determine previously unrecognized limitations of commonly accepted best practices in survey design, data processing, and inversion. Results of this work have been presented to various local geophysical societies. He holds a BS degree in physics and mathematics, an MS degree in acoustics, and a PhD degree in geophysics. Egan has authored several publications and holds two patents. He is a member of SPE, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, and the Geophysical Society of Houston. Egan is a member of the JPT Editorial Review Committee and can be reached at

  • As I reviewed all the SPE seismic papers this time, the most noticeable thing was the diversity of themes and case histories that were covered.
  • Happily, in this past year, we witnessed several examples of marriage between two themes—exciting technology advances and the recent economic downturn. In other words, necessity for survival in hard times provided the impetus for innovation.
  • Last year saw continued contraction in the seismic data-acquisition industry. With this drop in acquisition business, fewer seismic data-acquisition papers were published. Nevertheless, three very good SPE papers covering important acquisition and processing topics are featured here.
  • In the onshore world, one of the big advances for addressing increased sampling requirements has been to go to 24-hour shooting with continuous recording of simultaneously sweeping vibrators. This has been enabled by innovations in both acquisition and processing.
  • Advancement of the integration of seismic with other oilfield disciplines has been fueled by two factors. First, advances in seismic technologies naturally led to more-powerful integration. Second, developments in seismic were motivated in direct response to the needs of interpreters and engineers.
  • The world’s first reflection seismic field tests were conducted near Oklahoma City in 1921, and, ever since then, the industry has endeavored to improve that seismic imaging process.