Contact Information

  • Derek Adams
    (660) 552-0081


Senior Geoscientist

Creates accretive value by leveraging innovation and wisdom to efficiently solve geologic problems.

Experienced geoscientist who improves the bottom line by understanding the full asset life cycle. Strong seismic interpretation skills on challenging datasets with a background in petroleum systems analysis and experience leading seismic imaging and reprocessing efforts. Inclusive and encouraging team leader that recognizes each individual’s ability to contribute to team success. Collaborative problem solver with a broad skillset who is versatile and adaptable to dynamic business environments.




ExxonMobil, Spring, TX 2011 – 2021

Senior Exploration Geoscientist - Brazil Salt Basins Operations 2018 - 2021
Technically matured 4 Campos Basin pre-salt prospects. Led 2 seismic reprocessing projects. Devised prospect appraisal strategies to align operator with company portfolio objectives. Presented at all Technical Committee Meetings (TCMs) and partner interactions.

Influenced exploration well locations, appraisal / development plans, and drill well seriatim for cluster of 5 prospects, driving informed business decisions.
Changed operator's prospect drill order by spearheading critical petroleum systems work necessary to accurately characterize previously unrecognized prospect risks.
Forged strong relationships with key partner employees, establishing company credibility.
Saved $30M+ by convincing operator to pursue company-preferred seismic data strategy.
Drove company to spend $15M on key seismic dataset, enabling formation of Regional Team.
Built regional understanding to put prospects in geologic context, working closely with Regional Team and operated asset leads to share learnings and maintain consistency.
Leveraged emerging technologies (machine learning / AI, etc.), increasing project efficiency.

Exploration Geoscientist – Western Gulf of Mexico Team 2016 - 2017
Integrated commercial, technical and development challenges to formulate new western Gulf of Mexico (GOM) company strategy. Led newly-formed western GOM team to multiple pursuit recommendations and captures of 5 top tier blocks.

Recognized key, 11th hour data availability ahead of competitors to drive pursuit decision and capture key blocks at low cost in an emerging play.
Generated petroleum systems models and follow-on reservoir quality forward models to produce reservoir fairway and reservoir quality sweet spot maps to guide pursuit and acreage management decisions.
Devised a new volumetric assessment methodology that served as a template for the team’s prospect evaluations and underpinned subsequent commercial and business decisions.

Exploration Geoscientist – Gulf of Mexico Regional Team 2014 - 2016
Led multi-year team effort to construct and analyze a large, analog well database to objectively guide risking and sizing of prospects. Adopted company-wide, trends and correlations were leveraged for Lease Sales, farm-ins, regional and play evaluations, and prospect generation and maturation.
Analyzed 150+ wells to understand what drives success and failure in the GOM, empowering upper management to make high-level strategic decisions.
Developed strong skills in mechanical and capillary seal analysis, formation evaluation, migration analysis, and seismic interpretation, to holistically evaluate and prioritize over 10 prospects.
Applied expertise in salt tectonics to efficiently interpret >10,000 sq. km of salt and iteratively build velocity models to maximize imaging uplift in a regional seismic reprocessing effort, enabling a large increase in prospect generation in new trends over contiguous acreage.
Gained wisdom to understand strengths and limitations of seismic data to accurately reflect the subsurface, allowing for efficient prospect generation and guidance / mentorship of team members.

Development Geologist – US Offshore – Gulf of Mexico Team 2011 - 2013
Collaborated with operations geologists, petrophysicists, reservoir engineers, drilling engineers, Commercial, and Regulatory to plan, permit, and safely drill 2 deep water appraisal wells. Lead geologist for Calabrian reservoir interval.

Built trust with drillers, wireline loggers, regulatory, and other functions while on 11-day rig deployment during critical drill depth to ensure accurate top predictions, drilling efficiency, and safe operations.
Generated probabilistic volumetric assessment and geologic models of key reservoir interval to determine commercial value and plan potential reservoir development.
Exhaustively integrated and analyzed seismic and well results to halt fast-tracked, full-field development of resource on operated acreage and return to concept selection, saving $6 Billion in CAPEX infrastructure spending.
Influenced operator's development well placement and completion strategies on non-operated portion of resource to maximize production efficiency of stacked pay intervals.
Produced core technical work supporting a successful, multimillion dollar equity redetermination between 6 partners, spanning 4 blocks.


2D and 3D seismic interpretation
Prospect generation and maturation
Seismic reprocessing and velocity model building
Petroleum systems analysis / basin modeling
Business communication / presentation skills
Partner influence
Operations and Drilling
Well planning and field development
Reservoir connectivity, pressure and seal analysis
Salt tectonics
Well log analysis
Volumetric Assessment
Reservoir quality prediction
Sedimentology and stratigraphy
Regional evaluation
Play / basin analysis
Commercial strategy
Technical mentorship
Cross-functional collaboration
Database construction and roll-out


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 2011

Bachelor of Science (BS), Geological Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, 2004