Faster Higher Stronger

 Written By: Rod Garland 

“Citius, Altius, Fortius”

The Olympic motto in English is “Faster, Higher, Stronger”.

The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo have just wrapped up after 2 weeks of fantastic athletic competition, great personal and team achievements and a management success by any measure, in light of the challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic, which delayed this quadrennial spectacular for an entire year.

From a Canadian perspective, Canadian women out-performed Canadian men by a considerable margin; the final medal being won in the women’s cycling sprint final by Kelsey Mitchell from Sherwood Park, Alberta. Kelsey had planned to work in the Oil & Gas industry but due to an unforeseen illness, found herself on a different track that led her into cycling and a trip to Tokyo. Congratulations Kelsey.

Once again the Japanese people showed fantastic resilience, especially and literally in “the wake” of the earthquake, tsunami and failure of the Fukushima Nuclear Plant and consequential radiation leak that hit the Japanese islands in March of 2011.

The Japanese parliament’s incident investigation in 2019 placed the blame for the Fukushima disaster squarely on inadequate emergency planning, negligence and lack of preparedness by the energy company, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). Don’t ask me how it took over 8 years to complete this investigation.

National disasters are not uncommon to Japan, as evidenced by the events of the World War II and the total obliteration of the cities of Nagasaki & Hiroshima by 2 US atomic bombs; “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”. The Japanese people however, always seem to bounce back and with determination and endeavor, rise to economic and social levels which are quite astonishing and unprecedented.

Economically, Japan now ranks 3rd behind the USA and China in nominal GDP at USD$ 5.15 trillion and 4th behind the USA, China, and India in GDP (PPP) at USD$ 5.75 trillion. GDP in Canada CDN$ is 1.65 trillion. Also of interest is that Japan holds USD$ 1.24 trillion of US debt with China at USD$ 1.10 trillion.

According to statistics from the 2016 United Nation Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC), Japan's rate of homicide was the lowest in the world at 0.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 1.76 per 100,000 in 2020 in Canada.

Japan is also known for some pretty significant companies on the World stage including, Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Sony, Nissan, Hitachi, Panasonic, Aeon and Canon. There’s no doubt the Japanese are doing many things right.

So we have a role model to follow to get back on track now that things are opening up across the country and maybe the seismic Industry should hold its own version of the Olympics to kick start business and get back on track.

How about some healthy competition; to shoot as many seismic programs as possible starting when the last migratory bird is seen heading south to warmer climes and finishing when the first caribou calf is born sometime in late spring.

We should have no problem cleaning up the Gold, Silver & Bronze medals as there are only 4 data-acquisition companies remaining to participate in this competition. Maybe the motto to use could be “Macilentus, Iratus, Tutius“ , or in English, “Leaner, Meaner, Safer”.

Safety is now a critical component of any Oil & Gas operation, including seismic, so there should be some excitement at the Energy Safety Canada news that the Petroleum Safety Conference will again take place at the magnificent Banff Springs hotel from November 23rd to the 25th of this year. Register at Summary - Petroleum Safety Conference 2021 (

It will be a hybrid event with both in-person and on-line delegates. It is the premier event of its type in North America with excellent presentations on Human and Organizational Performance (HOP); Leadership; Mental health; Technical sessions from Industry & Provincial Governments and a full slate of exhibits.

The CAGC will be holding the Annual Alberta Government / Industry Seismic Conference on October 13th at the Cambridge Hotel in Red Deer. It will include seismic updates from various Government agencies on a range of seismic topics. Check for registration details and the agenda.

Finally, I should direct you to some interesting work that has now been completed, detailing the evolution of seismic lines over time in Alberta. The CAGC contributed to this project called “The Alberta Human Footprint Monitoring Program: a historical overview of geophysical exploration in Alberta” that can be viewed at the following link.




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