IAN PALMER joined the company as a partner in January 2003. Previously he was a Geomechanics Specialist with BP in Houston. He has served as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers. His expertise includes sand prediction and management, reservoir and wellbore geomechanics, compaction and subsidence, cavity completions in weak sands, coalbed methane completions and stimulations, stress-dependent permeability and matrix shrinkage in coalbed methane, fracture mechanics and the design/analysis/modeling of hydraulic fractures. He obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and  has  worked at  Los  Alamos National Laboratories, Oral Roberts University, University of Arizona, National Institute for Petroleum and Energy Research, and Amoco’s Tulsa Research Center.


NIGEL HIGGS is a specialist in structural geology and rock mechanics, with over 25 years experience in the petroleum industry. His primary role within industry has been the application of geomechanics principles to petroleum exploration and production problems.  He uses both analytical and numerical approaches to mechanical analysis, and especially the finite element method. Some of the areas he has worked include growth faulting,  palinspastic reconstruction, thermoporoelasticity, salt tectonics in extension and contraction, fractures, reservoir stress management and sand control. He has extensive experience in the experimental deformation of rocks, including microstructural observation and analysis. He obtained a B.Sc. in geology from the University of Sheffield, a M.Sc. in structural geology and rock mechanics from Imperial College London, and a Ph.D. in geology from Texas A&M University. His dissertation research involved experimental rock friction studies applied to earthquake prediction. In 1981 he joined Amoco Production Company’s Tulsa Research Center, where he was a member of the Structural Geology Group for eighteen years. He is an active member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.