Seismic Interpreters

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Seismic interpreters use a variety of technical, computational and scientific modelling techniques to produce geophysical and geological data that can be used to analyse the hydrocarbon content of rock structures.

Seismic interpreters assess the amount of oil and gas contained within rock structures, the ease with which it can be extracted and the likelihood of encountering any hazards or problems in the process.

Those working outside of the oil and gas industry will use the data for research purposes or environmental assessments.

Key tasks include:

  • producing and interpreting computer-generated 2D, 3D and 4D models

  • using sound waves to produce geological structure maps

  • gathering data about the earth’s surface from acoustic readings, surveys and satellites

  • producing maps and cross sections of the earth’s structure

  • recording and analysing numerical and scientific data

  • using computer modelling applications to replicate seismic responses and hydrocarbon production

  • predicting likely changes and movements in rock structures

  • collecting information about rock volume and quality that can be used to measure the likely yield of oil or gas

  • writing scientific papers and reports

  • advising, liaising and consulting with colleagues, clients, consultants, researchers, external bodies and other professionals


Qualifications and training required


You can only become a seismic interpreter if you have a degree in a relevant subject such as geophysics, geology, geotechnology, maths and physical or applied sciences.

Pre-entry work experience can be difficult to obtain, but is helpful for entry into the profession.


Key skills for seismic interpreters


  • Numerical skills

  • IT skills

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Organisational skills

  • Analytical skills

  • Teamworking skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Communication skills


Typical employers of seismic interpreters


  • Major oil extraction, exploration and production companies

  • Public sector organisations

  • British Geological Survey

  • Educational establishments

  • Research and development organisations


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How to become Seismic Interpreters?

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