What is the C.A.G.C.?

  1. Chinese Association of Golf Courses
  2. Celts Against Greek Colonialism
  3. Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors
  4. Children Against Goat Cheese

If you answered c., you may be well informed, literate and/or lucky.

In a blatant attempt to expand membership to achieve its secret goal of planetary domination through geophysical prospecting, the Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors has submitted a spontaneous interview with its President, Mr. William The Hammer Kammermayer to explain the purpose and functions of the C.A.G.C.

RW: Bill, what is the purpose of the C.A.G.C.?

Bill: I don't like the flippant tone of the introduction above.

RW: We'll be sure to remove it in the final draft, Bill; but back to the purpose of your organization.

Bill: The C.A.G.C. is a nonprofit organization formed in 1977 dedicated to working in harmony with all facets of the oil and gas exploration industry. C.A.G.C. members are proactive in their quest to balance outside concerns with the economic viability of our industry. We are a business association with the objectives of promoting, operating and maintaining the highest standards in safety, industry representation, environmental protection and business ethics in the geophysical industry.

RW: You recently restructured the C.A.G.C. What happened and who now belongs to the NEW C.A.G.C.?

Bill: Yes, whereas before only geophysical contractors had voting powers, now all subcontractors have an equal vote and have representation on the C.A.G.C. Board of Directors. Associate members (oil companies) enjoy all the privileges of Active members with the single exception of voting powers. They do, however, attend all general meetings, chair, co-chair and serve as representatives on any and all C.A.G.C. Standing and lor Special Committees. The restructuring was driven by the need for more volunteers and a desire for broader representation of members.

The C.A.G.C. currently represents over 200 geophysical and other related service and supply companies in Canada's petroleum industry. The following industry groups presently belong to the C.A.G.C. –

  • Geophysical acquisition contractors
  • Geophysical drilling contractors
  • Cat and line slashing contractors
  • Equipment manufacturers, geophysical suppliers, helicopter and air support
  • Geophysical consulting companies
  • Data processors Speculative seismic and brokerage companies
  • Individual consultants
  • Survey contractors and survey processing companies
  • Permitting agencies
  • Oil companies

RW: Why would a company or individual join the C.A.G.C.? What are the benefits?

Bill: Canada is the world's highest-cost major producer of oil and gas for various reasons such as large expenditure for environmental protection, safety, transportation and regulatory compliance. The C.A.G.C. is here to ensure that geophysics does not get squeezed out of this equation.

The C.A.G.C. provides numerous services that are required and are of benefit to their members. These services include –

  • Pro-active representation in government legislative and regulatory matters which impact the geophysical and related industries
  • Dealing with other industries, groups and the public whose activities or concerns involve our industry
  • Coverage by a federally certified 24 hour Emergency Response Plan (Transportation of Dangerous Goods)
  • Safety standards and monitoring systems
  • Training and education programs
  • Environmental operations standards
  • Social Interaction – information exchange among members
  • Liaison with other oil industry-related Associations - C.A.P.P., S.E.P.A.C., P.S.A.C., C.A.O.D.C.
  • Liaison with the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (I.A.G.C.)

RW: Wow! That's a lot of points to remember for an old doodlebugger guy like yourself.

Bill: Enough is enough! Would You like to step outside?

RW: No offense, Bill. What effect does the C.A.G.C. have when lobbying the governments for changes in the regulations?

Bill: Our mandate is to communicate with various stakeholders and governments continuously in a proactive manner so that we can address issues on a voluntary basis before regulatory action is required. If regulation is needed and imposed, we try to keep mechanisms in place where we can communicate the effects of regulation and its impacts on the financial viability and employment in our industry. For example. we have had an Alberta Industry/Government Geophysical Committee in place for several years. It has successfully dealt with numerous issues to the mutual satisfaction of Government, industry and many other stakeholders. We recently held the founding meeting of such a committee in Saskatchewan and will launch the B.C. committee in the new year.

RW: What are some of the burning issues you're currently working on. Bill?

Bill: There are dozens of projects. I'll give you a few examples.

1. Under Schedule 2 of the current Alberta Exploration Regulation, industry must, without reference to charge size. maintain a 180 meter shot hole setback distance from water wells and structures with concrete bases. The regulated 180 meters offset results in an unacceptable number of gaps in the field data which detrimentally affects the technical quality of a survey. especially in 3D programs.

To facilitate the development of modern acquisition techniques (3D projects) and still retain ultra conservative scaling to protect all structures, industry recommended the distance to charge size schedule contained in the National Energy Board's Geophysical Regulations be adopted. This schedule requires industry to only maintain a 64 meter offset for a two kg. charge which, in turn, significantly reduces the number of gaps compared to those that would be realized under the regulated 180 meter set back. C.A.G.C. together with C.A.P.P·. and S.E.P.A.C. will present industry's position in this regard to the Alberta Government's Standing Policy Committee early in the New Year and hopefully convince them to replace Schedule 2 with the N.E.B. distance to charge size schedule.

2. Statistical trends identified by W.C.B. illustrate an increase in the accident rate in our industry since 1992. In these times where legal liabilities escalate up to and including C.E.O.'s of the oil companies, the C.A.G.C. is trying to be proactive by working with the W.C.B., O.H. & S. and the Department of Labor in a number of projects designed to improve worker safety. These include –

  • Working with the Alberta Department of Labor's Seismic Committee through the newly formed Petroleum Safety Council to develop a safety action plan to reduce lost time claims by 20%
  • Sponsoring a Partners in Injury Reduction Program that encourages employers to improve health and safety and their claims management programs.
  • Conducting a comprehensive ATV accident survey to collect pertinent data and use this information to produce practical solutions to the quad safety problem.
  • Developing a wildlife/danger tree assessor course designed to inform industry what is required in the Regulations addressing snag assessment management; thereby, eliminating possible injuries due to falling snags.
  • Standardizing seismic blasters' permit requirements between the three western Provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.) If we are successful in harmonizing permit requirements, it would ensure uniform high standards of training and simplify certification and administration procedures.

3. Geophysical Inspectors

Due to budget constraints, under the Department of Agriculture's three year plan, all but one geophysical inspector position was scheduled to be terminated. Without an adequate number of geophysical inspectors, the exploration industry would have serious operational problems when exploring on private lands and/or roads and road allowances. If landowners and Counties and Municipal Districts perceived that their concerns were not being adequately looked after by independent geophysical inspectors, they simply would develop their own rules and regulations to ensure their interests and concerns were being protected. Complete chaos for our industry would likely result. C.A.G.C., with C.A.P.P.'s support, successfully lobbied Government to retain three inspector positions.

RW: We belong to C.A.P.P. and attend their Geophysical Committee meetings. What is the difference between the C.A.P.P. Geophysical Committee and the C.A.G.C.?

Bill: While we often deal with identical issues, there are important differences in our focus and approach. This is one reason C.A.P.P. members belong to the CA.G.C., and why C.A.G.C. members sit on the CA.P.P. Geophysical Committee. Firstly, C.A.P.P. is a large organization representing broad interests spanning the whole range of upstream activities including exploration, production and transportation. This broad view demands trade-offs sometimes be made among different activities when negotiating with governments and other parties. In contrast, the C.A.G.C. is more focused on maximizing the kilometers of high quality data your exploration dollar buys using safe and environmentally sound methods. If there are trade-offs to be made, the C.A.G.C. stands on guard to ensure that the geophysical interests are protected.

Two perspectives on problems are most times better than one when attempting to resolve issues of concerns to our industry. Our resolutions to problems may be much different than those recommended by CA.P.P. Geophysical Committee members. For example, when considering Government's low impact seismic proposal, C.A.P.P.'s position was to develop the L.I.S. guidelines and then try them out to see if they made economic sense. The C.A.G.C. on the other hand strong]y advocated using economic factors as a major principle in the formulation of the guidelines prior to their implementation. The result was that various methods of L.I.S. were identified and guidelines were jointly developed that minimized disturbances to the ecosystem and, at the same time, met the operational requirements and considered the economic needs of the industry and safety of the worker.

Secondly, C.A.P.P., like most other industry associations of its size and relative economic importance, traditionally deals with Government at the highest political and civil service levels on an ongoing basis. The C.A.G.C. approaches these levels on a selective basis and has, in contrast, expended more effort in building communications with the administrative branches of Government where the implementation of regulations occur. C.A.P.P. and the C.A.G.C. thus complement each other in this area.

RW: I'd really like to thank you for your thoughts, Bill.

Bill: You're welcome. I hope you've learned something.

RW: For sure Bill. Any parting thoughts?

Bill: Yes indeed. I'd like to stress that, in addition to our safety and training benefits. the net benefits of a membership in the CA.G.C. amounts to millions of dollars in cost savings each year and hundreds of jobs in our industry due to our representation of economic interests in the face of many outside forces .

For more information on the C.A.G.C. or on how to join, contact Mr. Bill Kammermayer and/or his assistant Brenda Tullis (403) 245-5883 or e-mail cagc@cadvision.com.



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