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Register now for the IAGC Annual Meeting with Student Program

January 13, 2015

Spaces are limited, so register quickly.

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IAGC Annual Membership Meeting

January 5, 2015

44th Annual Membership Meeting and 3rd Annual Student Program, 17 February 2015 at the Norris Conference Center in Houston, TX

Click here to Register.


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Phase 3 of the E&P Sound and Marine Life Joint Industry Program (JIP) Commences

May 1, 2014

The E&P Sound and Marine Life Joint Industry Program (JIP) is an international consortium drawn from the geophysical and oil and gas industries, which includes IAGC.  The consortium is organized by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) with the aim to better understand potential risk and effects of their operations on marine life.  The Program’s objectives are to obtain scientifically valid data on the effects of the sound produced by the geophysical and oil and gas industries on marine life.   Organized in 2005, the JIP funds research to develop additional information to inform risk assessments and provide data essential to managing this issue.

Phase I of the Program had the goal of systematically surveying existing knowledge gaps about underwater sound and its effects on animals.  Phase II began in 2006 with the goal to fund research to address the data gaps identified, which was extended in 2010.  In 2013, the JIP announced Phase III to the ongoing research Program that will be allocated over three years at approximately $19 million.  Research funding falls under five broad categories: (1) Sound Source Characterization and Propagation; (2) Physical and Physiological Effects and Hearing; (3) Behavioral Reactions and Biologically Significant Effects; (4) Mitigation and Monitoring; and (5)  Research Tools.

The results of the studies funded through the JIP are used to:

  • Afford a more comprehensive understanding of the potential environmental risks from geophysical and oil and gas operations;
  • Inform and update policy decisions makers;
  • Determine the basis for mitigation measures that are protective of marine life, cost effective and credible;
  • Feed into planning for efficient geophysical operations and E&P project development that is environmentally protective.
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BP Unveils Massive Supercomputer Center in Houston

October 29, 2013
BP announced today it has opened a new facility in Houston to house the world’s largest supercomputer for commercial research, highlighting its commitment to leading-edge technology in support of its core oil and gas business around the globe.

The Center for High-Performance Computing, located at BP’s US headquarters in Houston, will serve as a worldwide hub for processing and managing huge amounts of geophysical data from across BP’s portfolio and be a key tool in helping scientists to “see” more clearly what lies beneath the earth’s surface.


continue reading on BP’s website here:  http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/press/press-releases/bp-opens-new-facility-houston-largest-supercomputer.html

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IAGC 42nd Annual Meeting – Student Program

January 9, 2013

ATTN:  UH, UT, Rice, and TX A&M Students

For the first time IAGC (International Association of Geophysical Contractors) will host exploration geophysics students from Rice, Texas A&M, the University of Houston, and the University of Texas at Austin.  This is a unique opportunity for students to get an inside look at the geophysical industry.

Interested students should contact Angela Verzal at angela.verzal@iagc.org to register free of charge.  Students are asked to submit a resume along with their registration request email.  Visitors will be hosted by participating IAGC member companies, some of which include:

IAGC is  pleased to announce that the Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management – Mr. Tommy P. Beaudreau – has again agreed to serve as keynote speaker at the 42nd IAGC Annual Membership Meeting to be held on 19 February 2013 at the Norris Conference Center in Houston, Texas USA.

For more information on Mr. Beaudreau, please click here.

Newly elected SEG (Society of Exporation Geophysics) President & Director of Geophsics – Apache Corp, David Monk will discuss SEG’s strategic vision in the current global energy business environment

The Agenda for this year’s Annual Meeting will include a financial perspective by John Olaisen, Investment Research Analyst with ABG Sundal Collier out of Oslo, Norway, a panel session comprised of geophysical industry executives who will offer their perspective on the state of the geophysical industry today, the obstacles we face, and their outlook going forward. We will also present the following sessions focusing on:

  • Updating IAGC Contracting Principles & Guidance
  • Subsurface Imaging Challenges – From the Processing and Data Management Perspective
  • The Challenges of Security in Geophysical Operations
  • Environmental Challenges of Seismic Surveys

***Dress is business casual

***Breakfast and lunch will be served

***Student Registration will be very limited and is on a first come first serve basis

***Registration is free for qualified students, however, any travel related arrangements and expenses are solely the responsibility of each student

IAGC is the international trade association representing the industry that provides geophysical services (geophysical data acquisition, seismic data ownership and licensing, geophysical data processing and interpretation, and associated service and product providers) to the oil and gas industry.

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New Auditors Ensure Offshore Safety

June 27, 2012

An industry safety clearinghouse formed after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is about to kick off a program for certifying outside auditors that the government soon may require to examine offshore operators’ safety plans.

Charlie Williams, executive director of the Houston, TX-based Center for Offshore Safety, said at a meeting with the Houston Chronicle editorial board that regulators now allow internal auditors to meet requirements for independent audits of company programs called Safety and Environmental Management Systems.

Proposed federal requirements, however, would require that auditors outside of an offshore company must sign off on its safety systems. Williams said the regulatory change was under way before the April 20, 2010 blowout of BP’s Macondo well.

The disaster, however, led to new focus on industry dangers and to the creation of the Center for Offshore Safety, which is charged with developing auditor procedures and certifying auditors.

Williams, a former top Shell scientist, said the audits will help companies with process safety–the management of overall safety systems–as distinct from practices specifically aimed at preventing individual worker injuries.

A presidential commission that investigated the Macondo accident recommended the industry initiative that led to the Center for Offshore Safety. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry advocacy group that has developed recommended practices for safety systems, requires that its members also join the Center, which is supported by dues.

API’s recommended practices form the basis for Safety and Environmental Management Systems now required by the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and which the Safety Center now helps companies develop.

Elements of the systems include hazards analysis, mechanical integrity and incident investigations.

Williams said established entities such as the American Bureau of Shipping, which develops standards for vessels and marine structures, and and Det Norske Veritas, a risk management firm, probably will provide the first ranks of these independent offshore safety auditors.

And going forward, he sees a growth industry. “There’s a tremendous opportunity to develop auditors to do this,” Williams said.

He also emphasized that process safety is an ongoing effort that requires a sense of “constant unease” that encourages caution.

“You can’t say ‘I’ll work real hard on safety today’ and tomorrow I’ll be safe,” Williams said.

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Geophysicists Collaborate on Seismic Series

June 15, 2012

For your Friday reading pleasure, Geophysics Rocks! is happy to recommend a series of articles in Geo Expro magazine, authored by Martin Landrø, professor in Applied Geophysics at NTNU, Trondheim, Norway and Lasse Amundsen, adjunct professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and at the University of Houston, Texas.

These articles are a collection on Marine Seismic Sources and discuss everything from salient points on marine air-gun arrays and their radiation characteristics to understanding how human-generated sounds affect fish. In all, there are eight articles.

We encourage you to read the articles, on the Geo Expro website.

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New Way of Converting Energy Found in South America

June 13, 2012

A new DNA analysis of rocky soils in the martian-like landscape on some volcanoes in South America has revealed a handful of bacteria, fungi, and other rudimentary organisms, called archaea, which seem to have a different way of converting energy than their cousins elsewhere in the world.

“We haven’t formally identified or characterized the species,” said Dr Ryan Lynch, a microbiologist with the University of Colorado in Boulder who is one of the authors of the discovery, “But these are very different than anything else that has been cultured. Genetically, they’re at least 5 percent different than anything else in the DNA database of 2.5 million sequences.”

Life gets little encouragement on the incredibly dry slopes of the tallest volcanoes in the Atacama region, where Lynch’s co-author, University of Colorado microbiologist Dr Steven Schmidt, collected soil samples. Much of the sparse snow that falls on the terrain sublimates back to the atmosphere soon after it hits the ground, and the soil is so depleted of nutrients that nitrogen levels in the scientists’ samples were below detection limits. Ultraviolet radiation in this high-altitude environment can be twice as intense as in a low-elevation desert. And, while the researchers were on site, temperatures dropped to -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) one night, and spiked to 56° C (133° F) the next day.

How the newfound organisms survive under such circumstances remains a mystery. Although Dr. Lynch, Dr. Schmidt and their colleagues looked for genes known to be involved in photosynthesis and peered into the cells using fluorescent techniques to look for chlorophyll, the scientists couldn’t find any evidence that the microbes were photosynthetic.

Instead, they think the microbes might slowly convert energy by means of chemical reactions that extract energy and carbon from wisps of gases such as carbon monoxide and dimethyl sulfide that blow into the desolate mountain area. “The process wouldn’t give the bugs a high energy yield,” Dr Lynch said, “But it could be enough as it adds up over time.”

While normal soil has thousands of microbial species represented in just a gram of soil, and garden soils even more, remarkably few species have made their home in the barren Atacama mountain soil, the new research suggests. The findings will be published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences.

“To find a community dominated by less than 20 species – that’s pretty amazing for a soil microbiologist,” Dr Schmidt said. “It’s mostly due to the lack of water, we think. Without water, you’re not going to develop a complex community.”

“Overall, there was a good bit lower diversity in the Atacama samples than you would find in most soils, including other mountainous mineral soils,” Dr Lynch added. “That makes the Atacama microbes very unusual. They probably had to adapt to the extremely harsh environment, or may have evolved in different directions than similar organisms elsewhere due to long-term geographic isolation.”

Dr Schmidt’s lab, along with others, is studying how microorganisms are dispersed — that is, how they travel from one site to another. There’s evidence that one common method of microbe transport is through the air – they’re caught up in winds, sucked up into clouds, form rain droplets, and then fall back to the ground somewhere else as precipitation. But on mountains like Volcán Llullaillaco and Volcán Socompa, the high ultraviolet radiation and extreme temperatures make the landscape inhospitable to outside microbes.