March 2011

The School of Experience is the best teacher. Unfortunately, its graduates are too old to work

James E. Pickard, Stone Energy

Abstract Summary

Mr. Pickard has spent 38 years as a geophysicist in the petroleum industry, working both domestically and internationally, in exploration, exploitation, and business development. Since the advent of the 3-D workstation in the late 1980’s, much of his work has been performed with the aid of a Landmark workstation. This presentation focuses on lessons learned in four specific areas of seismic interpretation: fault interpretation, horizon interpretation, integration of subsurface control, and amplitude attributes.

Biographical Sketch

James E. Pickard spent the last 38 years in the oil patch, attempting to make sense out of seismic reflections from the subsurface in the often vain search for oil and gas. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) with a B.S. in Geology (1972) and a M.S. in Applied Geology (1973).

Jim began his professional career with G.S.I. in Houston, but due to the fortuitous timing of the Arab Oil Embargo, landed a lucrative job with Tetra Tech, Inc. in 1975, exploring NPR-4 (later NPR-A) on the Alaskan North Slope at taxpayer expense. His seven years on that project yielded no commercial finds, however the Eskimos at Point Barrow stay warm due to his discovery of the Walapka Gas Field (he has yet to receive a single thank you letter from any Barrow resident).

In 1981, Jim moved his family to Jackson, MS, and joined Forest Oil Corporation. He spent ten years with Forest Oil, most of the time in the Lafayette office. He spent a few years as an independent consultant and then as Vice President of Geophysics for Subsurface Consultants, L.L.C., working on such diverse projects as the West Siberian Basin and Ewing Bank 305. Jim may be best known locally for the EW 305 A-14ST well, which flowed 6000 BOPD in 1996, Conoco’s highest flow rate oil well in the G.O.M. in 45 years.

Jim is concluding his career with Stone Energy (SGY), where he has worked for over 14 years, in exploitation, exploration, and business development. He has worked for SGY in the G.O.M., both onshore and offshore, the Rocky Mountains, Appalachian Basin, offshore China, Australia, and Eastern Canada.

Jim is a 35-year member of SEG, and has served SWLGS as president, 1st vice president, and 2nd vice president. He received an honorable mention for Best Paper in Geophysics in 1993.

Jim will retire soon and relocate to the South Carolina coast with Marcia, his wife of 37 years. They have three adult daughters and currently three grandchildren.