Geophysical Surveying and Mapping Services

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 960 geophysical surveying and mapping service providers in the US gather, interpret, and map geophysical data, primarily for oil and natural gas companies. Individual clients commission proprietary or exclusive surveys, which generally cover a limited area. Multi-client surveys are funded by geophysical surveying companies, which then own and market or license the data to clients.

Dependence on the Fossil Fuel Industry

Demand for geophysical surveying and mapping services is dependent on the level of spending on the oil and natural gas industry, which is cyclical and affected by global market conditions.

Uneven, Seasonal Demand

Demand for geophysical surveying and mapping services is uneven and influenced by seasonal factors.

Industry size & Structure

The average geophysical mapping and surveying provider operates out of a single location, employs about 7-8 workers and generates $1-2 million annually.

    • The geophysical mapping and surveying services industry consists of about 960 firms that employ about 8,140 workers and generate about $1.7 billion annually.
    • The industry is highly concentrated; the top 50 companies account for about 80% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms, which include Dawson Geophysical, SAExploration Holdings, Echo Seismic, Breckenride Geophysical, and Paragon Geophysical Services, often have international operations
    • Small firms typically operate one or two crews and specialize in specific regions or types of operations.
                            Industry Forecast
                            Geophysical Surveying and Mapping Services Industry Growth
                            Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                            Recent Developments

                            May 16, 2023 - Whale Deaths Erroneously Blamed on Surveying
                            • A rush to judgment following a series of whale deaths in New Jersey erroneously blamed offshore wind development and accompanying geoscience survey work, reported in April. The spate of whale deaths coincides with work occurring in advance of the installation of roughly a dozen large offshore wind farms from Massachusetts to Virginia. Opponents of offshore wind have said that the sonar used by energy companies to map the ocean floor or the noise from seabed rock sampling might be contributing to the whale deaths, The New York Times reported. However, NOAA and the Marine Mammal Commission (MMC) say there is no evidence to support that. “Despite several reports in the media, there is no evidence to link these strandings to offshore wind energy development,” the MMC said in a statement. Vessel strikes and entanglements were to blame, post-mortems showed.
                            • A pair of senate bills aimed at modernizing and speeding the US energy permitting and environmental review processes are bringing the US another step closer to durable permitting reform, according to the American Petroleum Institute, which supports the new legislation. The bills – S. 1456, the SPUR Act; and S. 1449, the RESTART Act – introduced in May by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), respectively, are among a growing number of proposals to address energy permitting reform. Also, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) reintroduced his proposal that failed last year. Manchin’s bill (S. 1399), dubbed the “Building American Energy Security Act of 2023,” largely matches the language and provisions of a negotiated measure that failed to advance in the last Congress. Manchin said the base text would serve as a starting point for further Senate negotiations. Provisions include setting maximum permitting review timelines.
                            • The Biden administration in March approved a controversial $8 billion oil drilling project in the North Slope of Alaska, CNN reports. The Willow project is an oil drilling venture in the National Petroleum Reserve (NPR), which is owned by the federal government. The area where the project is planned holds up to 600 million barrels of oil, though that oil would take years to reach the market since the project has yet to be constructed, according to CNN. By the administration’s own estimates, the project would generate enough oil to release 9.2 million metric tons of planet-warming carbon pollution a year – equivalent to adding 2 million gas-powered cars to the roads. The NPR, which has no roads, is the country’s largest single expanse of pristine land. In April, opponents lost the first round of their legal challenge to the project but vowed to not give up.
                            • 2023 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for deep-sea exploration and mining for minerals that can be used in making batteries for electric vehicles, The Wall Street Journal reports. Mining of the sea floor could be licensed worldwide as soon as July, despite concerns about environmental destruction of the seafloor, according to WSJ. The International Seabed Authority (ISA), established under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, is drawing up a regulatory framework for deep-sea mining based on data collected from explorations conducted by Canadian startup the Metals Co. and other ventures to inform its decisions. France, New Zealand and other countries have called for a moratorium on deep-sea mining. A March ISA meeting on deep-sea mining ended without resolving whether mining can start in July.
                            Get A Demo

                            Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence Platform

                            See for yourself why over 60,000 users trust Vertical IQ for their industry research and call preparation needs. Our easy-to-digest industry insights save call preparation time and help differentiate you from the competition.

                            Build valuable, lasting relationships by having smarter conversations -
                            check out Vertical IQ today.

                            Request A Demo