Prickly Pear Energy - Bruce A. Wilson

Prickly Pear Energy has a dedicated team with over half a century of oil and gas industry experience. Learn more about the people who are responsible for the team’s success.

Bruce A. Wilson
Bruce A. Wilson

Education: M.B.A. Engineering Management, University of Dallas; M.S. Geoscience, University of Southern California; B.S. Physics, University of Southern California

Member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists

Bruce is currently working in an independent oil and gas company, building prospects, and marketing them to industry. Responsibilities include sales, marketing, coordination of land, legal, regulatory, field operations and geoscience, investor relations. Bruce was employed by Mobil Corporation out of college, Pitts Energy Group in Dallas, a Technology Incubation firm, and has owned a technical consulting firm. Risk reduction in drilling exploration wildcats has been the emphasis of Bruce’s experience to date. It has primarily been focused on 3D imaging using multiple technologies, with an emphasis on finding commercial hydrocarbons. A strong background in Physics and Business has led to many opportunities to implement his skill set around the globe, demonstrated by an impressive track record of finding hydrocarbons.

Bruce’s philosophy in business and in life since 1983: “Manage things, lead people”, credited to the VP of R&D, Texas Instruments, 1954, Dean of Graduate School of Management, University of Dallas, Irving, Texas during MBA 1982-84.




Onshore and Offshore projects: 3D seismic design, acquisition, processing, interpretation, and follow up during drilling; all using state of the art technologies and techniques. Years of experience on the business side, including field operations, accounting, land, legal, regulatory, and strategic planning, marketing, evaluating and selling properties.

Onshore Texas: led multiple rig drilling programs, providing drilling locations from the integration of all available data. Work has been completed over the last 18 years in most plays and every basin in the State. Results measured not by accuracy of pre drill prognosis, but by commercial success of wells (121 of 145). Led 46 well Barnett Shale Drilling program, 38 3D surveys and first
horizontal FMI log in the play.

Offshore USA: Mapped offshore US Atlantic, Alaska, Gulf of Mexico (both deep and shallow water). Discovered a 360 bcfg field; given a “Best Implementation of Technology” award by Mobil Oil. Bruce participated in multiple offshore lease sales for Mobil, and served as a technical expert for Mobil in a dispute with Shell Oil in front of the Alabama State Oil and Gas Board.


Bruce worked as a geophysicist and strategic planner with Mobil in Norway. He built a 3D map migration program for 3D imaging of 2D seismic data, a significant contribution to the discovery of a major field in Mid-Norway. He provided a solution to the equity re-determination of a giant field between UK and Norway partners based on tax and economic theory. Bruce worked on company and field evaluations, ran economic models and supported the economics for multiple Norwegian Licensing Round applications by Mobil. He mapped large areas and multiple fields in the UK and
Denmark North Sea.

Far East

Bruce served as a Business Advisor to the Mobil Corporate VP in the Far East, responsible for budget preparation and coordination with the Affiliates managed by this VP.


Bruce has over 40 years of experience in all aspects of Oil and Gas Exploration all over the globe. Primarily his emphasis has been in utilizing technology to reduce the risk of exploration drilling of wildcat wells. He has had long tours of duty in all of the aspects of the oil business, from an idea in a geoscientist’s head to the successful sale of a producing field. The most important skill set that

Bruce brings is the ability to evaluate complex problems and come to a superior conclusion about how to address those problems. He has a large inventory of prospects that are ready to be leased and drilled.

Skills and projects

Seismic Data

    1. Single fold, 2D, 3D data sets – design, acquisition, processing, interpretation
      1. Trained by Mobil to analyze data sets and apply creative solutions in many different areas. Onshore, offshore, foreign and domestic. Shallow and deep targets, difficult and simple field conditions. Up to 9 source/receiver combinations in a single 3D survey, tying in 3D VSP data (I gathered the field data, initiated project and worked with a professor at Colorado School of Mines to design an algorithm tie the data into the complex 3D data set – solution accurate to within 4 feet at 22,000 feet, utilizing a monte carlo simulation program to depth convert the 3D to tie into the VSP). Won a best implementation of technology award in 1991 at Mobil, for creating a 3D visualization movie of an offshore 3D seismic prospect, which allowed management to firmly grasp the geologic risks associated with the project. Time to depth conversion of data sets of many different types.
      2. Supervised a team of 21 geoscientists for a year prior to leaving Mobil, led the team to multiple discoveries offshore Nigeria, responsible for mapping 5 prospects personally while directing the team to analyze and evaluate an additional 20+ prospects that were eventually drilled by Mobil.
      3. Chief Geophysicist for Pitts Oil Company for five years. Responsible for all aspectsof geoscience during that time. Utilized the authority to implement creative solutions for survey design, field acquisition, and processing, saving an average of 25% over industry bids on seven projects, 9 to 65 square mile surveys. Did all survey design, managed the field work, set up processing sequences and provided all quality control, interpreted all seismic data, tying in wells and subsurface interpretations, picked drilling locations, supervised drilling in the field, supervised logging in the field. Coordinated the land function with the land department so that leasing was integrated into the evaluation of the subsurface accurately.
      4. Led a ten rig drilling program for a client, analyzing client-licensed 3D seismic, tying in logs and picking drilling locations. Helped the client make decisions about which projects to drill in what order based on analysis of seismic and four other risk reduction technologies. Led to ten new field discoveries with greater than 80% commercial success in both wildcat and infill drilling.
      5. Consulted for a company on 38 3D surveys in the Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin. Evaluated the Industry’s first horizontal FMI log in a Barnett well. Located 46 wells, with 45 successful in the Barnett. Responsible for all aspects of imaging, location of horizontal legs, evaluation pre and post drilling. Consulted on fracing design and techniques.
      6. 3D imaging of the subsurface is my strongest area of expertise. Master’s Thesis is how to create a hologram of the subsurface, written in 1978, accomplished by Chevron Research in 2007.
      7. Creative solutions to difficult problems is the most accurate description of my career
    2. Decision Making
      1. a. Completed MBA in Engineering Management in 1984
      2. b. Applied technology in creative ways with the goal of influencing management decisions, later making my own decisions while investing in my own projects and wells.
      3. c. Worked in strategic planning in Mobil, primarily on budget and the economic evaluation of targets both company and project. Worked on multiple License Round evaluations in USA, Norway and Denmark. Worked on and provided a tax and economic solution to an equity re-determination offshore Norway for Mobil.
      4. d. Chief Geophysicist for Pitts Oil Company for five years provided the opportunity to personally invest in projects that I created. Mr. Pitts would not invest in any project of mine unless I did as well. Valuable experience.
      5. e. Owning a consulting firm provided the opportunity to invest personally in dozens of projects. Over 80 percent of the projects were commercial successes
    3. Business
      1. a. Business advisor for corporate VP of Mobil Oil – 150+$MM budget, economics for five foreign affiliates in the portfolio of the VP
      2. b. Pitts Oil Company assignments to spend time in all departments, including Finance, Land and Legal – valuable experience seeing all aspects of the decision process from a geoscientist’s idea to the sale of a field that is producing
      3. c. Owner of a consulting firm – decisions for clients that matter – emphasis on reducing risk by the creative application of technologies in a manner that prioritizes the opportunities to maximize profits; evaluating and selling personal production any royalties, getting high prices with market considerations taken into account
      4. d. Evaluations of projects for Licensing Rounds in USA, Norway and Denmark – emphasis on successful bidding in a way that left a minimum amount of cash on the table while achieving corporate goals – rigorous evaluation of economics and technical aspects so that the best projects were successfully obtained
      5. e. Provided insight to Mobil corporate management (met with 6 worldwide VP’s of Exploration as the only Business Advisor in the room) that led to the purchase of 50% of the pipeline between Azerbaijan and Turkey, the key to getting Kazak hydrocarbons to western markets
      1. 4) Other


      1. a. Well site geology and geophysics, logging, vsp,
      2. b. Years of experience with alternative technologies
        • i. Electro-Resistivity
        • ii. Micro-Gravity
        • iii. EM
        • iv. Magnetics
        • v. Proprietary risk reduction technology
      3. c. Mathematical background to provide creative solutions that more accurately image the subsurface than tools available at the time
      4. d. Ability to “see” data in 3D by evaluating it every 25 to 50 lines; used the skill to lead leasing efforts that provided over $300MM of production value to clients
      5. e. MBA in Engineering Management created a perspective that is sharply focused on only applying techniques and technologies that work, and work processes that lead to maximizing profits; no wasted effort. Able to pass this on to developing teams of professionals in a way that gets the group to the bottom line faster, and with less expense. How to work with highly intelligent scientist in a manner that maximizes profitability of a group for the corporation.
      6. f. Have a large personal prospect inventory

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