The theme of this month’s RECORDER is Acquisition. In keeping with that theme, Joe Bonaventura of Synterra Technologies is sharing his story of how he got involved in the Seismic industry.

Congratulations to R.J. Vestrum on his recent award from APEGA. Well done R.J.! Amanda Knowles of Sound QI is sharing information on her new blog. Make sure and check if out, I found it very interesting. Details on both R.J’s award and Amanda’s blog are later in this column.

During the couple of years I have been introduced many times as an employee of the CSEG and asked if I am paid by column or by word. I am simply a volunteer (as is the rest of the RECORDER staff) and as such don’t get paid. All the RECORDER staff has full time jobs, or are students. I have my own business as an oil and gas recruiter (headhunter) specializing in placements in Geology and Geophysics. I was also asked how much it costs to put an announcement in this column. There is no charge. People write their own announcements and I am happy to include them.

If you have a new job, have been promoted, retired, or want to share your contact information, thank someone or share any other information you think may be of interest to the RECORDER readers, you can contact me at or 403-560-8431.


Dr. Rakesh (Rick) Walia has been relocated to India as Vice President & Managing Director of CGGVeritas (India). He can be reached at Tel: +91 22 6703 1214/Mobile: +91 916 7333 492

Cameron Fink is pleased to announce that he has accepted a position as a Senior Geophysicist with Athabasca Oil Corporation working in their Light Oil Group.

Earth Signal Processing Ltd., an industry leader in seismic data processing is pleased to announce the Brendan Smith (Geoph I.T.) has joined the ESP team in the capacity of Processor. Brendan brings 2.5 years of processing experience in both domestic and international markets. Brendan can be reached at 403-264-8722 ext. 272 or by email at

ESP has been processing seismic data with our 100% proprietary SeisRight TM since 1993. Our highly trained staff of geophysicists specializes in 3D Merge Projects.

Doug Pruden P. Geoph. (APEGA) and Doug Uffen P. Geoph (APEGA), P. Geo (APEGBC) are pleased to announce, effective June 1st, 2012, that they have teamed up and are consulting to industry under the company name Geo- Reservoir Solutions Ltd. In addition, Geo-Reservoir Solutions is pleased to announce that it has closed the share purchase of Xworks GeoServices Inc. on June 15th. The deal took effect June 1st. Xworks GeoServices will continue to offer its full suite of geotechnical support services to industry as a wholly owned subsidiary of Geo-Reservoir Solutions. Both Larry Anderson and Bill Sheard will continue on with the firm.

Combined, Geo-Reservoir Solutions becomes a full-fledged geophysical consultancy, able to offer interpretive workstation services on the Seisware, Winpics, Seis-X, and OpenDtect and Kingdom Suite platforms. In addition, they offer 1D and 2D seismic modelling services, Rock Physics capabilities using RokDoc, and Geo-Modelling Visual VoxAT. Through Xworks, they also offer a range of support services comprised of data loading, workstation project set-up and project platform conversions, data management, data room staging for property and corporate divestitures and software rentals.

Geo-Reservoir Solutions has moved into office space shared with Xworks at its downtown location at Suite 500, 816 7th Avenue SW. Calgary, Alberta T2P 1A1. For further information, contact any of the key individuals as noted below:

Doug Uffen 403-669-9238
Doug Pruden 403-703-8748
Larry Anderson 403-777-0008

Sigma Explorations Inc. is pleased to announce changes to its Executive Team. As of May 1, 2012, Trent Olson has been appointed Vice President of Seismic Data Marketing and John Slater; CA has been appointed Vice President, Finance. They join Oliver Kuhn, P Geoph., Vice President of Apoterra Seismic Processing Ltd. and Anne Hargreaves P. Geol., Vice President Canadian Stratigraphic Services (2000) Ltd. on the Executive Team along with Cecil Keeping, P. Geoph. President and CEO of the Sigma group of companies. Mr. Olson will continue his practice as a seismic data broker which he has successfully pursued since 2000. Mr. Slater joined Sigma as Controller in April 2011.

In business for 46 years, Sigma Explorations Inc. is a Calgary based geophysical service company specializing in seismic data brokerage, data management and speculative survey acquisition. Sigma, through its subsidiary Canstrat, offers a library of lithologic logs from North American basins as well as digital data, custom logging and training courses. Apoterra offers seismic data processing technology and services. Its other subsidiary Apollo Seismic Brokerage Ltd. also offers seismic brokerage services.

Geophysical Exploration & Development Corporation (GEDCO) was purchased by Schlumberger Canada Limited in April 2012. The team of employees has joined WesternGeco’s Solution Design & Modeling (SD&M), Software Products and VSP Processing groups. Andreas Cordsen ( will become the Global Business Manager for the SD&M group. In addition he will continue to oversee the operations of GEDCO’s software products, OMNI 3D® Seismic Survey Design and Modeling and VISTA® Seismic Data Processing.

We look forward to continuing to work with our current clients and offering expanded survey design and modeling consulting services. All of the staff have been retained and can be reached at their GEDCO emails for the time being before being fully integrated into WesternGeco. The office line continues to be (403) 262-5780.

Larry Herd, Senior Vice President – Geophysics of RPS Energy Canada, is pleased to announce the following staff appointments in the Calgary office. As an integrated team within RPS Energy, the former Boyd PetroSearch group continues to provide broad spectrum consulting services (seismic planning and acquisition, government approvals, processing QC, interpretation, earth modeling and inversion) to clients in the domestic and international energy and mining industries. RPS Energy as a whole provides consulting services in all aspects of engineering, geophysics, and geology.

Marissa Whittaker (G.I.T.) joined RPS Energy in January 2012 as a pre-stack inversion specialist, working in RPS Energy Canada’s Geophysical Interpretation group. Marissa can be reached directly at 403-543-5379, or at

Jeff Gautreau (G.I.T.) joined RPS in June 2012 as a Survey Design Specialist working in the Seismic Operations group. Jeff can be reached at 403-543-5377, or at

Ron Larson, (P. Geoph.) this year’s CSEG Vice-President, has returned to RPS Energy in the position of Chief Geophysicist. Ron previously worked at Boyd PetroSearch from 1997 to 2001 and returns with enthusiasm to the consulting aspect of the industry. Ron can be reached at 403-355-3595 or at

Darcy Novak, (P.Geo.) joined RPS Energy in July 2012 as a Senior Earth Modeler. Darcy is bringing along his Petrel geomodeling expertise and is eager to expand the modeling services of the Calgary RPS office. Darcy can be reached at 403-290-7834 or at


The following was received by Tom Sneddon, P. Geol., Manager of Geoscience Affairs for APEGA.

RJ Vestrum, the 2011/2012 APEGA Ivan Findlay Award winner for undergraduate leadership, is the kind of student most professors like to have in their class. He is bright, energetic, hardworking and does his assignments (mostly) on time. He is also a phenomenal organizer. The University of Calgary Geophysics Undergraduate Society went from a low-profile, barely-abovethe- radar campus club to a vibrant hive of activity, 105 members strong on his watch.

“RJ” as he is known to his friends, has the great talent of recognizing the talents of others. He rarely takes the limelight himself; instead he pushes talented people forward to take on leadership roles in the various GUSS activities that enrich undergraduate life. In short, he is a leader of leaders.

RJ is also a highly successful fundraiser (potential employers take notice), combining the imagination and charm that fires up the imagination of everyone he approaches on behalf of GUSS. He is a credit to the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary, to APEGA and to his parents. Congratulations RJ on a very successful year!


Amanda Knowles is pleased to announce that she has nimbly jumped through the last of the hoops required to become a professional geophysicist. Along the road to this achievement, Amanda has learned much about what it takes to be a positive, creative and dedicated interpreter. Amanda is offering to share her humorous views and lessons learned by putting pen to paper (or rather fingers to keyboard) by posting on an interactive online blog. Although her writing is somewhat selfishly therapeutic, it is also aimed at opening dialogue for discussion regarding the trials and tribulations we face as geoscientists. Anyone is welcome to respond to blog entries in order to share their opinions or give advice in this open arena venue. Young and budding geoscientists are encouraged to ask questions and experienced professionals are encouraged to respond. Amanda is hoping that this blog can become a sounding board where people can vent about technical problems they are facing and perhaps, through brainstorming, we can work together to come up with solutions. To access the online blog please go to the following link: Amanda works at Sound QI, formerly known as Oil Sands Imaging, as a seismic interpreter specializing in the use of quantitative techniques such as poststack and AVO inversion for geological interpretations and reservoir characterization. As is evident in her blog entries, Amanda loves her job and is eager to share her experience.


For many people Geophysics and the seismic industry seem to be “accidental” professions. .Not many people start out with the goal of becoming a geophysicist or working in seismic. If you would like to share your story, please let me know! CS

Joe Bonaventura – Synterra Technologies
Can you remember a moment in your life that you would consider “the turning point” or maybe just being in the right place at the right time? For me it wasn’t one exact moment, or being in the right place, but my passion to be a professional football player.

I was born in Hamilton, both my parents were born in Italy and immigrated to Canada when they were in there teens. I have two younger brothers and a sister. We’re your typical blue collar European family. Holidays meant big family reunions; soccer, and no shortage of spaghetti and meatballs.

I was twelve years old when I was introduced to football and I immediately fell in love with the game. I couldn’t get enough of it; we played every chance we could. After some tough negotiations with my folks they finally gave in and let me join the HMFA’s pee-wee Ti-Cats.

I had no idea what lied ahead or how it was all going to unfold. All I knew is that I loved the game. I wanted to be just like some of the greats that played for Hamilton, Peter Dalla Riva, Rocky Dipietro, and Peter Giftopoulos. My dreams may have been bigger than reality. I lacked some of the essential tools to be a great player, size, speed, and strength. Pretty much everything… None of that stuff seemed to matter to me I just wanted to play.

With a lot of hard work I was offered an NCAA division 2 scholarships to California University of Pennsylvania following my senior year. Things couldn’t be better, my friends, team mates we were all looking forward to the university experience. The next chapter was about to begin but not the way I had expected it to. My good friend and team mate had taken his own life. Losing my friend was hard but to make things worse I lost my cousin that same year to a car accident at the age of 20, killed by an underage drunk driver that had stolen a car.

To make a long story short I never did make it to training camp with California University of Pennsylvania but a year later I committed to Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. Football was the only thing in my life that felt right; it gave me purpose when everything else seemed to be falling apart.

I took a chance going to SMU. Committed to rookie head coach Blake Nil I was going to be part of a rebuilding program. Coach Nil built his team around character not numbers or flash but kids from blue collar cities like Hamilton, Saskatoon and Endmonton. Our experience was transcending. We went on to play in four Vanier Cup National Championships winning back to back in 2001 & 2002.

The dream became real. I was selected 23rd overall in the CFL draft by the Edmonton Eskimos. I never did play for the Eskimos instead I returned to university to finish up my Psychology degree and play out my final year. I was later signed by the Calgary Stampeders in 2003.

Following my short lived career with the Stamps I took a job in the field with Ensign Energy Services as a Rough Neck. Shortly after I was fortunate enough to earn a position with Ensigns sales team contracting rigs. I spent 5 years in the drilling sector and decided to try something different.

I knew very little about seismic and had no contacts what so ever but pursued a job lead with Dyno Nobel selling seismic explosives. During my two years with Dyno I met Tim Little Vice President of Synterra Technologies. We had an excellent working relationship that eventually led to a job offer. It was a no brainer for me. Synterra had everything I was looking for in a company, a strong operations team, and no turn over, systems in place, and a respectful working environment. I’m now working with Synterra as their marketing representative offering project management, permitting, approvals, 3D design, and digital mapping.

What I enjoy most about my job is the opportunity to be a professional and create a new legacy for the company. Our business has grown in the last year and we’re proud that we’ve been able to do so through execution, performance, and hard work.



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