There has been a steady decline in seismic activity since 2012, for reasons listed in the CAGC December 2018 white paper called “Canadian Seismic Overview” (available on the CAGC website  This decline in seismic activity has caused the CAGC, which is an association representing the seismic community, to face a new reality, one in which we are an even smaller fish than before though it is still a very big pond.

The big pond is the Oil & Gas industry, in which some producers are themselves struggling to remain viable in these turbulent economical times, but the pond isn’t ready to evaporate any time soon.  The population; notwithstanding pandemics, wars, famine and pestilence, is still predicted to grow and with that growth more people (consumers) will expect a similar or improved quality of life to that which is enjoyed today.

Energy drives technology so the big pond is set to get even bigger, which should augur well for energy and technology companies in the future, so one would think that as demand for energy increases, new sources of energy will be necessary and by extension so will the need for exploration.

Those that oppose the energy industry, calling for its demise, should try “walking their own talk” foregoing many of the things they enjoy day to day such as driving a vehicle, purchasing items online with companies like Amazon, playing golf, etc.  How oil and gas is weaved into our daily life we seldom notice with unlikely products like toothpaste, aspirin, crayons, movie film, ice chests, refrigerators being produced from oil.

Seismic acquisition techniques are a vital, cost effective tool in the exploration effort that enables a detailed picture of the subsurface to be drawn that can be used for many things including the development of different resources (not just hydrocarbons).  Sometimes what we are imaging are buried under thousands of metres of overburden.

Until the tricorder is invented; which in the Star Trek universe won’t be until sometime in the 23rd century; using seismic methods will remain the soundest and most cost-effective means of conducting subsurface examination of the Earth’s resource potential.

Even though we are a small fish, and it seems like we have been flopping around in distress as upstream seismic projects dry up for reasons that are tied to the lack of investment in Canada and the uncertainty of completing midstream projects (pipelines), we are in fact somewhat like a Piranha, determined to have an impact in effectively representing our sector of industry and our bite has been proven to be bigger than our size.

We represent the seismic sector with all levels of government, relevant agencies and associations and have recently taken over the administration of the Oil & Gas Chainsaw Faller program.  We remain engaged with Energy Safety Canada with a seat on their Executive Board and are represented on all of their advisory and safety committees and on various task groups.

Since the Alberta election we have met with the Alberta regulator to further a relaxation of some of the prohibitive directives that are in place and that, in some cases, prevented or limited seismic exploration (e.g. seismic on lakes and seismic near structures).

Improved seismic technologies have greatly reduced the potential for adverse impacts yet the regulations and directives remain from a time, for example, when much bigger explosive charge sizes were used as a seismic source.

Our CAGC luncheon was held on March 9th at the Calgary Petroleum Club, where there was a panel discussion on the future of seismic, highlighting issues including the environment, safety & operational technologies.

Our Annual Fall Seminar will be held this year on Tuesday 15th September in Red Deer at the Cambridge Hotel & Conference Centre where speakers from industry & Government will present on topics related to seismic technologies and regulatory updates.

We invite all companies and individuals to consider joining our association as a means of staying involved with the important issues that continue to affect the industry.

In the words of our motto “Prosper Together, Falter Alone”



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