Booth B. Strange
Booth B. Strange pioneered a transformation in the offshore seismic business that improved both its efficiency and technological capabilities. In 1956, Strange introduced “turnkey” operations, bidding Western Geophysical’s marine jobs on a per-mile cost rather than a per-month cost. Western’s productivity and profits soared and the company invested in better equipment and added personnel, increasing productivity and lowering the cost per mile.
Soon after the introduction of turnkey bidding, Strange persuaded Western’s board to approve gathering data without a contract, on a speculative or “spec” basis. This was in response to growing pressure by some oil companies to do “group shoots.” Rather than each hiring a contractor separately, groups of oil companies hired a single crew and divided the costs among them. The price per increment of data to each company would be substantially less than if the job were done on a proprietary basis.
In 1960, Booth Strange took over as president of Western. Strange held several patents, including a system that allowed Western to process 24 seismic channels of analog-recorded data simultaneously, when its competitors still processed each channel individually.