Peter Duncan, Executive Chairman and Founder, MicroSeismic Inc.

Peter Duncan, Executive Chairman and Founder, MicroSeismic Inc.


With more than 30 years in the geophysical industry applied to three companies he founded, Peter Duncan has a practiced skill in bridging ideas from the research stage to commercialized technology.

Duncan, fascinated with the notion of “seismic imaging without sources,” saw an opportunity to improve the traditional approach to reservoir monitoring using the imaging technology developed for 3-D conventional seismic applications. This “surface monitoring” would eliminate the need to send equipment down wells, while producing more accurate results and better analysis.

After successfully raising money to test and document the opportunity, Duncan launched Houston-based MicroSeismic Inc. in 2003. The geophysical services company provides real-time monitoring and mapping of hydraulic fracture operations in unconventional oil and gas plays using the microseismic techniques Duncan pioneered.

The company’s technology has opened up difficult-toreach places, as well as those that are environmentally sensitive, to seismic exploration. It’s also allowing unconventional gas shale plays to become economically viable sources of energy.

As executive chairman and founder, Duncan has continued to innovate MicroSeismic’s technology and its applications. He led the company’s transition from surface arrays to the 2009 BuriedArray, which requires less equipment and provides a static position for better application of the technology to the data collected — cutting costs for both company and customer.

This development launched significant revenue growth for MicroSeismic. The company has now captured 40 percent of the hydraulic monitoring market and has more than a 90 percent market share in surface microseismic monitoring — which is expected to rise with the continued installation and monitoring of additional sites.

Duncan has been highly involved in scientific organizations, notably the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, for which he’s held various positions for more than two decades.

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