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 Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

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

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

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 940 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 940 firms that employ about 7,300 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

                            Coronavirus Update

                            May 6, 2022 - New Drilling on Public Land
                            • The White House in April announced it will offer oil and gas companies drilling rights on federal land in at least eight states in June, Reuters reported. The announcement came after the US Department of Interior said it would resume oil and gas lease sales on public lands, a move that clashes with a pledge President Biden made while campaigning for the White House. In the largest planned sale, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said it will offer 131,771 acres (53,326 hectares) to oil and gas companies in Wyoming. The BLM had originally evaluated auctioning more than 550,000 acres in the state. The Wyoming sale, which will be held on June 21 and 22, accounts for more than 90% of the 144,000 acres the agency will offer during the month.
                            • Amid rising oil prices and energy insecurity, lawmakers in April urged the Biden Administration to quickly develop and implement a new Five-Year Program for oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. The current five-year plan expires in June 2022. In their letter to the President, US Senators Mark Kelley and Joe Manchin called on the administration to establish a schedule for oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico. The Senators together with the American Petroleum Institute (API) cited the critical importance of seismic surveys to the US energy supply, saying, “The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the National Marine Fisheries Service must continue timely processing of permits and plans for existing leases. Delays to seismic permitting present a serious risk to bringing additional offshore production online in the near term while the Five-Year Program is being developed.”
                            • Included in the FY2023 budget proposal, President Biden is requesting $237.4 million for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). About $63.6 million of those funds would be allocated to the agency’s Conventional Energy Program, which permits geological and geophysical surveys in offshore areas of the US coasts. Surveying helps the agency evaluate offshore oil and gas resources and administer leases for drilling. Surveying also helps the agency identify and monitor sand and sediment resources and track inventory.
                            • Rystad Energy expects the seismic industry to improve in 2022 amid increased global oil and gas exploration investments. Seismic firms are also pivoting toward services to meet the transition to renewable energy by offering surveying for carbon capture and storage, offshore wind farms, and geothermal energy.
                            • The number of oil and gas rigs in operation is down significantly from the pre-pandemic level (793 in the first week of March 2020) but has gradually risen since hitting bottom at about 240 rigs in mid-August of 2020. The US rig count as of April 29, 2022, was 698, three higher than the prior week and up 258 from a year earlier, according to Baker Hughes Rig Count. Rig counts have gradually ticked upward as oil prices have risen, especially in the Permian Basin.
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