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An ISV taking high-end seismic imaging to the next level

The S-Cube team based in London is setting the pace in cutting-edge Full Waveform Inversion and soundwave property extraction from seismic data - shaping the future of the energy industry.

The team made up of mathematicians from Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College London is responsible for breakthrough research in the processes of parameter estimation from recorded field data.

The award-winning algorithm XWITM created by S-Cube is a form of extreme machine learning, when applied to raw seismic shot gathers, builds a superior subsurface model with increased accuracy and reduced turnaround time.

It consists of a string of advances since replacing the Euclidean distance norm of conventional FWI with AWI, the founding breakthrough upon which S-Cube was spun out of Imperial.

Technical Team

Nikhil Shah

CEO

Nikhil read Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and completed his doctorate at Imperial College London which gave rise to notable new mathematical developments in the theory of seismic inversion. Whilst working for Chevron in Geophysics R&D located initially in San Ramon, California and subsequently in Houston, Texas he rose to the position of leading pilots of FWI on fields located offshore Brazil and Nigeria.

At S-Cube, he started as an algorithm researcher and was appointed CEO in 2019 to lead the development of the company and establish its position as pace-setters of FWI technology for operators accessing under-explored hydrocarbon plays in deep-water sub-salt settings where conventional seismic imaging is severely limited and tens of billions of dollars have been lost drilling dry holes.

Prof Mike Warner

Technical Director

Mike is Professor of Geophysics at Imperial College London. He joined Imperial as the BP Lecturer 25 years ago, founded the Department of Earth Science and Engineering which now has over 600 students and hosts the internationally-recognised FULLWAVE research consortium of leading petroleum companies. He has over 100 publications, including 7 in Nature.

He invented AWI in 2014, which was the foundation intellectual property upon which S-Cube was spun out and won the EAGE Guido Bonarelli Award from EAGE in 2015 for this breakthrough.

As a world authority on FWI theory and application, he focusses on making the technical innovations needed to enable raw data to final image unification.

Adrian Umpleby

XWI Creator

Adrian has been developing and implementing novel mathematical and computational techniques for over 25 years as a Senior Research Fellow at Imperial College before moving over to S-Cube in 2020 to spearhead the creation of fresh IP.

In the last decade he led the development of the FULLWAVE3D software package and conceived the unique XWITM optimisation toolbox involved in billions of dollars worth of resource upgrades for a host of global E&P supermajors.

As a world authority on FWI theory and implementation, he leads the rapid development of XWITM and the formulation of differentiated cost functions which provide competitive advantage in terms of accuracy and robustness.

Tenice Nangoo

Operations Lead

Tenice is a geophysical data analyst with expertise across the spectrum from seismic acquisition to processing to quantiative interpretation. 

Specialising in seismic waveform inversion during her PhD at Imperial College London, her work resulted in the Geophysics Best Paper award for 2013 with an robust FWI application in the time-domain to a North Sea gas field with a significant seismic obscured area to characterise.

Tenice became Operations Lead for S-Cube in 2019 shaping the company's best practices for taking new algorithms from testing into commercial deployment.

Ningzhi Wang

Algorithm Developer 

Ningzhi is an algorithm developer. At S-Cube he is involved in the development of the company’s core XWI algorithms and the construction of the company’s project dashboard for real-time monitoring of large scale jobs spanning 1000’s of EC2 workers on AWS with live log ingestion.

Before that he obtained a distinction in his Computing MEng at Imperial, completing his final year project on Quantum Particle Swarm Optimisation which now forms part of XWI’s hyperparameter tuning capability.

John Armitage

Algorithm Researcher

John is an algorithm researcher. At S-Cube he is involved in investigating the algorithms and mathematics underlying XWI and in particular solving fundamental problems in parameter extraction from reflection seismic data.

Before joining S-Cube he studied Mathematics at the University of Oxford. During his doctorate, in the field of Number Theory, he worked on problems of effectivity and computation for class numbers, elliptic and modular functions, and transcendence.

 

Directors and Industry Advisors

Tony Renton

Tony is Chairman of S-Cube. He spent more than 30 years with BP in a range of technical, commercial and management roles over several continents leaving as Commercial Director responsible for Business Development in the Middle East. Previously Tony was Manager Strategic Business Development leading BP into Angola and new business areas.

In 2006 Tony left BP to set up the consultancy firm Oil Experience Ltd, which was acquired by RPS Energy in 2007. Tony was co-founder of White Rose Energy and OGL Geothermal, both private-equity backed exploration companies.

Sean McQuaid

Sean has 32 years’ experience in the oil industry. Having completed a physics degree at Oxford University he started his career as a seismic processor culminating in the first ever 3D seismic project at Ensign Geophysics Ltd. At BP he developed expertise in rock physics, AVO and impedance inversion and completed an MBA. Sean joined ERCE in 2005 as Director of Geophysics and is responsible for advanced seismic analysis techniques utilised in technical advisory work. He is a member of the SEG, EAGE and PESGB.

David Bannister

David has held a range of commercial and technical roles in seismic data processing.  Prior to joining S-Cube, he was Processing Manager with Geotrace Technologies, with responsibility for writing and negotiating contracts, managing large data processing groups, promoting new and current technologies, and establishing new ventures and partnerships in the EAME and US regions. At the start of his career he spent five years in land seismic data acquisition.  David holds a 1st class degree in physics and a PhD in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance from Nottingham University.

 

Lluis Guasch

Lluis is Research Fellow at Imperial College London, where he completed a PhD in Elastic Full Waveform Inversion. He has been active in the field of seismic inversion since he finished his Physics degree at University of Barcelona in 2005, and has worked in several groups across Europe before joining S-Cube. He is a co-inventor of the patented Adaptive Waveform Inversion algorithm winning the Guido Bonarelli Award in 2015. 

Andrew McCarthy

Andrew has 24 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry with operating companies including Shell, BG and Woodside.  As a geophysicist and Exploration Manager he has led exploration, appraisal, development, and new ventures projects in numerous basins worldwide.  Andrew has a particular interest in the application of emerging technology to exploration problems.  He holds a degree in geology from Oxford University and a PhD in structural and regional geology from the University of London.

Prof Joanna Morgan

Jo is Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences in Imperial College London. She is currently co-chief scientist IODP drilling of the Chicxulub impact crater, and a member of the UK ICDP committee. Her research background in regional seismology and blue sky research, as well as her extensive seismic data processing skills, broaden the know-how of the team.

S-Cube Cloud

Run Full Waveform Inversion on the Cloud

Use XWITM on AWS to discover a step change in accuracy and resolution of your velocity model.