This article has evolved from its original idea quite substantially. At first we were planning to do an interview with GeoVectra president Mike Hall, and then we decided to show the story of one successful company during the downturn. When we started writing it, we started to think about the meanings of “a successful company” and “success” in the context of these current times of hardship and realized that we cannot readily define or quantify them.

Are we successful at GeoVectra? Yes we are; in the sense that we are a group of highly qualified professionals with thousands of kilometers of seismic data and years of acquisition, processing, imaging and QI experience behind us who are still working on projects and working within the field in which we have polished our expertise over the last several decades. We still do what we love and what we have passion for...

Are we extremely successful as a business or a company? We have great clients, people who believe in our expertise, approach and work ethics. But the downturn has affected everybody quite hard, and there is probably not a single processing company currently operating out of Calgary that can put a “bravado” face on and pretend they are not affected by the harsh storms of the current economic situation. The industry passed this point a year and a half ago, when companies like this still existed.

GeoVectra Team

At GeoVectra we are not trying to prove or disprove anything; we are just working hard, often very hard, meeting our clients’ needs as much as possible and adding value with what we deliver. We never approach a single dataset with the same “oblivious” processing, “cookie cutter” approach, or “entrenched” workflow. We believe that each dataset is unique and that only through intelligent data examination and integrated analysis of all the available geological information in conjunction with the seismic data, plus hours of thorough testing/review loops, difference plots, velocity updates and cube slicing, can the data finally emerge into an accurately imaged subsurface section, one that is worth the effort and the brain power that went into it and is fit for the interpretation purpose.

We also try to support the community as much as we can by sponsoring industry events; volunteering, such as on the DoodleTrain and VIG committees of the CSEG; mentoring; and taking young professionals on board, with whom we share our knowledge and expertise while introducing them into this exciting world of production geophysical processing. We believe this is something every future professional geophysicist should have in their knowledge asset base, regardless of their ultimate specialization or future aspirations.

Among other young professionals we have Volodymyr Vragov , who is currently working with us while doing his Masters in Geophysics at the U of C. We are very happy to have Volodymyr with us and since he joined several months ago he has progressed tremendously in both his knowledge of processing and its ultimate impact on creating data fit for reliable geological interpretation. He has also been able to successfully contribute to several well-executed production projects.

We are also trying to have some fun while doing the things we all love – geophysics and geophysical processing - and have some meaningful team activities. Recently we participated in the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” charity event: (

GeoVectra Team

This all started with Svetlana Bidikhova volunteering for the YWCA and evolved into all the GeoVectra team participating in the event. Everybody was happy to take part and even blisters on the feet and pain in the calves could not lessen the great feeling and spirit of this overwhelming experience.

In conclusion, we would like to address all of our fellow geophysicists: please keep your knowledge and expertise at the highest standards and try not to become discouraged or distempered by the current environment. We all went into this profession and stayed in it because of our unique ability to see behind the noise and surface through the faults and fractures. We have done it successfully so many times and became experts at this, and we always come up with solutions that are at least better than the ones we had before. We will migrate through these difficulties dynamically corrected into something better, more focused, more resilient, more valuable, whatever structure, form or shape this will be.

The GeoVectra Team




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