Crazy Old Fart Reveals Secrets of Seismic Processing

HOUSTON, Texas – Hazy O’Grady, a semi-retired geophysical consultant, claims that he is one of a handful of people who fully understands seismic processing. In an interview with your obedient servant, Mr. O’Grady, who’s so old he’s a founding member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) said, “My experience with processing goes back to when computers were steam-powered. Nobody was happier than me when they switched over to electricity. A lot of people at processing centers used to get killed in boiler explosions. Now where was I?” He continued,

Mr. O’Grady, tenured senior staff geophysical evangelist

“Today we have supercomputers with speeds approaching the petaflop range. But for the life of me, I don’t know why the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is flopping. That organization has nothing to do with computers. But, back to the question at hand. How do you get anything useful out of all that gunpowder you shoot off?” – Mr. O’Grady

Mr. O’Grady, the keynote speaker at a CSPG seminar at the University of Houston at Pappadeaux’s Seafood Grill Auditorium, imparted his knowledge to hundreds of eager freshman and sophomore geoscientists where he shared,

“You send a signal into the ground and you don’t know where the hell it’s going to be reflected back to. The trick is to figure out the raypaths. Forget that refraction shit; it’s only good for locating salt domes and shale diapirs. Or adult diapers, one of those two. Anyway, you need lots of geophones scattered everywhere and lots of processing power to make any sense out of it. Now here’s the secret. It’s still mostly guesswork. You twiddle knobs on the computer and jack with velocities until something looks coherent. Sure, there’s a bunch of bullshit terminology we toss out, but it’s just a smokescreen, a lot like reservoir simulation.”

2 very different seismic interpretations based on exactly the same data. In fact, only a few settings in the software were tweaked to get one from the other.

When asked about other modern developments, Mr. O’Grady replied, “3-D has been tough on us. Oil company executives expect that results will actually be better than 2-D. They’re not, but we have to spend a huge amount of time faking pretty pictures. What I do is smear the image so it sort of looks like a structure, but nobody – not even geologists – can really pin it down.”

He then started nibbling on a piece of cake and said, “Batter can be bitter. But the batter is better when the batter’s full of butter.” Your correspondent was completely nonplussed by this statement and terminated the interview.

Later, when asked for his opinion of O’Grady’s revelations, Mr. Draco Slytherin, representing the World Organization of Petroleum Societies (WOOPS), said, “We invited those jerk-offs at SEG to join WOOPS, thinking that they might have something in common with the engineers, but no they said. They’re about as trustworthy as landmen. This crazy old fart demonstrates that fact explicitly.”