Seismic Evolution

Seismic Evolution

CAGC is pleased to announce that it has taken over the administration of the Chainsaw Faller training program in the Oil & Gas sector from Energy Safety Canada, previously known as Enform and before that PITS.

The CAGC and our members have been closely involved with the development of the Oil & Gas Faller program for the past 20 years in an effort to improve safety and reduce injuries & fatalities to seismic workers.

Faller training in the Oil & Gas Industry is continuing to evolve to be in alignment with the BC Forestry industry and the BC Wildfire sector which will create opportunities for fallers to use their skills across industries with a new competency-based, modularized training system as early as 2020.


This collaboration with support from WorkSafeBC; who approves the Falling Standard, requires that Fallers achieve a pre-determined level of competency for each of the tasks appropriate to the falling demands of the different industry work environments within which they work.

Changes are often met with negativity, as there is a natural fear of the unknown however, continuous improvement is necessary to ensure that safety programs ultimately fulfill their objective; to keep workers safe, particularly in such a high risk occupation as chainsaw falling.

CAGC strongly supports the new direction and will work hard to achieve the desired outcomes.

CAGC continues to work with the regulator in Alberta to amend the exploration directives that will enable seismic exploration to once again be possible on water bodies and in and around riparian areas. The reduced effects from smaller source energy requirements due to better geophone and processing technologies means that operations should be allowed closer to structures and as a result improve seismic data coverage.

Our industry continues to change, fewer companies are now engaged in data acquisition and the methods and technology they employ has evolved to levels where their production has, in some cases tripled or quadrupled.  This benefits Clients by allowing them to get a “bigger bang for their buck”.

The new stake-less, cable-less operations with single vibrators working on different seismic lines at the same time and on programs that are often in areas where there are several other  Oil & Gas operations being conducted introduces new hazards and new challenges to worker safety. CAGC is working with its members to manage new hazards resulting from these simultaneous operations and new technologies.

An example would be with the use of in-cab navigation displays potentially creating a distraction to drivers of vibrators, this being their only means of identifying vibe locations and direction of travel on stake-less jobs. Monitors, cameras and sensors can be incorporated to reduce some of the risk associated with this hazard, or processes and practices amended as needed.

Lack of pipelines, lack of investment and proposed and pending prohibitive government regulations continue to plague our sector along with the rest of the Oil & Gas industry.  Due to the depressed nature of traditional hydrocarbon exploration, seismic companies are pursuing other resources and other means to remain viable. These include seismic for potash, geothermal potential, helium, copper, nickel and other minerals, gravel, water, monitoring for induced and passive seismicity, tunnel & mine detection and even buried treasure.

Anyone who has watched any recent episodes of “The Curse of Oak Island” will have seen Calgary-based, Eagle Canada shooting a 3D seismic program on Oak Island which is on the southern shore of Nova Scotia. The hope is that they will be able to map the subsurface location of what is reputed to be a treasure cache of the pirate Captain Kidd; the remains of a Spanish galleon loaded with bullion; or even the Holy Grail or Arc of the Covenant as hidden by the Knights Templar. Many artifacts and remnants have been discovered over the last 200 years through excavation, tunneling and metal detection feeding the intrigue that will, hopefully be solved, once and for all with the use of seismic technology.

Rumour also has it that some seismic monitoring technology will be making an appearance on the set of the Rust City (Ghostbusters) movie being shot on location in the Calgary area this summer.  I don’t believe that seismic techniques have ever been proven as a valid means to locate ghosts but I will keep an open mind.

I will remind everyone however, that when you need some seismic shot, “Who You Gonna Call?” Not Ghostbusters, but one of our CAGC, Data Acquisition members at

This year’s Alberta Government / Industry Geophysical fall seminar will be held a the Cambridge Hotel & Conference Centre in Red Deer on September 10th, with a full slate of industry & government regulators presenting on topics that currently affect the seismic industry.  Registration is open now for this great annual event at

By: Rod Garland

Published: The Recorder – September 2019 Issue


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