Editor's note: This article is based on material presented at a conference sponsored by the International Association of Geophysical Contractors in November 1999. Doug Elrod was recently elected vice-chairman/chairman-elect of IAGC.

The advent of the modern nonexclusive data business has had a profound effect on the petroleum and geophysical industries. It has dramatically reduced the price of seismic data, simultaneously improving their quality. The scope of detailed, high-resolution seismic surveying has changed from prospect specific to basin regional. This has enabled an unprecedented understanding of basinwide petroleum systems and diversity of hydrocarbon potential within a basin. Nonexclusive seismic data are...

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