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Careers in the Oil and Gas Industry



Seismic Jobs



Seismic Recording Crew Positions

Seismic crews create hundreds of small earthquakes using explosives and other energy sources. These vibrations are precisely measured by specialized equipment to compile a three-dimensional map of the sub-surface rock formations and petroleum reservoirs.

Seismic Helper / Jughound - Entry level labor position
  • Various titles for this position include: jughound, jug hustler, seismic helper, recording crew worker, and others.
  • very physical job
  • carries and positions seismic cables and geophones through all types of terrain
  • all weather, outdoor job
  • heavy lifting
  • hourly pay
  • tons of overtime
  • accommodation paid
  • hotshot (meal allowance) in town or provided meals in camp
  • lots of travel
  • reports to Crew Chief


Crew Chief
  • responsible for the production and safety of the layout or pickup crew (usually 4-6 people)
  • performs all duties of the Seismic Helper
  • this position is typically filled by seismic helpers
  • reports to Coordinator


Coordinator
  • organize layout and pick up crews
  • track equipment and personnel
  • organize drop offs and pick ups for crews
  • ensures the smooth operation of the seismic crew
  • organizes helicopter operations on heli-portable jobs
  • all weather, outdoor job
  • heavy lifting
  • hourly pay
  • tons of overtime
  • accommodation paid
  • hotshot (meal allowance) in town or provided meals in camp
  • lots of travel
  • reports to Observer, Party Manager


Troubleshooter
  • the operator's hands in the field
  • fixes problems with equipment and layout
  • this position is typically filled by seismic helpers
  • may also work with the layout crew
  • all weather, outdoor job
  • heavy lifting
  • hourly pay
  • tons of overtime
  • accommodation paid
  • hotshot (meal allowance) in town or provided meals in camp
  • lots of travel
  • reports to Coordinator, Operator


Bag Runner
  • Connects bags of seismic equipment to hooks or a carousel hanging below the helicopter for transport to the layout crew at the front of the line
  • this is a rather hazardous position that involves frequent work under the helicopter, and often involves running through mountain terrain between equipment bags
  • eventually, this position will likely be replaced by automated retrieval systems such as Veritas' Bag Runner
  • this position is typically filled by seismic helpers
  • may also work with the pickup crew
  • all weather, outdoor job
  • heavy lifting
  • hourly pay
  • tons of overtime
  • accommodation paid
  • hotshot (meal allowance) in town or provided meals in camp
  • lots of travel
  • reports to Coordinator


Drop Zone Marker - Bag Marker
  • Marks the spots where the bags of equipment are to be dropped by the helicopter
  • this position will eventually be replaced by helicopter GPS navigation systems
  • this position is typically filled by seismic helpers
  • may also work with the layout crew
  • all weather, outdoor job
  • heavy lifting
  • hourly pay
  • tons of overtime
  • accommodation paid
  • hotshot (meal allowance) in town or provided meals in camp
  • lots of travel
  • reports to Coordinator


Shooter / Blaster
  • this position is typically filled by seismic helpers
  • may also work with the layout crew
  • uses a radio controlled blasting device to detonate dynamite in shot holes
  • works with the operator via 2-way radio
  • responsible for ensuring that the correct shot is being fired
  • responsible for detonating dynamite and other explosives in a safe and efficient manner
  • responsible for the safety and actions of the Shooter's Helper
  • all weather, outdoor job
  • some heavy lifting
  • hourly pay
  • tons of overtime
  • accommodation paid
  • hotshot (meal allowance) in town or provided meals in camp
  • lots of travel
  • requires blasting ticket
  • reports to Operator


Operator / Observer
  • works in the recorder. records data from shots using specialized computer equipment
  • works with the shooters and troubleshooters via 2-way radio
  • responsible for the entire crew in the field
  • responsible for identifying problems with readings from field equipment
  • responsible for deciding when background noise is low enough to shoot
  • handles all field data
  • all weather job, some outdoor work
  • some heavy lifting
  • hourly or daily pay
  • tons of overtime
  • accommodation paid
  • hotshot (meal allowance) in town or provided meals in camp
  • lots of travel
  • reports to Party Manager


Junior Operator / Observer
  • works in the recorder and assists the operator as necessary
  • this is a training position that leads to a senior operator position
  • reports to Operator / Observer


Party Manager
  • responsible for the recording crew, all accommodations, hotshot payments, and client relations in the field
  • reports to head office and to the client's representative in the field
  • responsible for the conduct and productivity of the crew
  • responsible for all data from the seismic job
  • pay varies
  • tons of overtime
  • accommodation paid
  • hotshot (meal allowance) in town or provided meals in camp
  • lots of travel



Line Clearing Crew Positions


Cat Push
  • responsible for the supervision of the slashing crew, cat operators, operators of other line clearing equipment, all accommodations, hotshot payments, and client relations in the field
  • reports to head office as well as to the client's representative on site
  • responsible for the conduct and productivity of the line clearing crew
  • pay varies
  • tons of overtime
  • accommodation paid
  • hotshot (meal allowance) in town or provided meals in camp
  • lots of travel


Cat / Mulcher Operator
  • responsible the safe and efficient operation of the cat, mulcher, or other line clearing equipment
  • reports to the Cat Push
  • responsible for determining and clearing safe routes around obstacles
  • may use GPS for guidance, otherwise follows the line of sight cut by the slashers
  • pay varies
  • tons of overtime
  • accommodation paid
  • hotshot (meal allowance) in town or provided meals in camp
  • works closely with the Line Producer


Head Slasher
  • cutting and clearing trees for seismic lines, pipelines, etc.
  • require own chainsaw and PPE (personal protective equipment)
  • require chainsaw ticket
  • pay by hour or meter
  • responsible for the safe operation and productivity of the slashing crew
  • reports to Cat Push, Slasher Push, or Survey Coordinator


Slasher
  • responsible for safe operation of chainsaw and other equipment
  • reports to head slasher
  • pay by hour or meter
  • require own chainsaw and PPE (personal protective equipment)
  • require chainsaw ticket
  • helps head slasher as required
  • reports to Head Slasher



Seismic Drilling Positions


Drill Push
  • responsible for all drilling rigs on the job
  • responsible for all equipment and explosives
  • responsible for ordering all necessary equipment and explosives
  • responsible for safety on the job site, including safe handling of explosives
  • reports to head office, and to the client representative on site
  • pay varies


Driller (seismic)
  • drives and runs the drilling rig
  • drills holes on shot point flags and supervises the loading of dynamite
  • responsible for the safe operation and productivity of the drilling rig
  • responsible for all equipment, drill bits, dynamite, blasting caps, and other explosive material
  • responsible for the safety of the driller's helper
  • reports to the Drill Push
  • pay by meter drilled, by hour, or by day


Driller's Assistant
  • loads dynamite into shot holes
  • responsible for safe explosive handling
  • reports to the Driller
  • pay by meter or foot drilled, by hour, or by day
  • helps driller as required



Vibe and Alternative Source Positions

Vibe Tech
  • ensures that all vibrators are properly maintained and operational
  • responsible for the safe and efficient operation of all vibrators on the job
  • responsible for the maintenance of all vibrators and related equipment
  • responsible for the training and supervision of Vibe Operators
  • reports to head office, Operator, and Party Manager
  • Vibe Techs and Operators typically travel with the seismic crew
  • usually requires Heavy Equipment Technician certification
  • pay varies with experience and certification


Vibe (or other source) Operator
  • drive and run the vibrators for vibroseis operations
  • for vibroseis operations, the Vibe Operator replaces the drillers and shooters
  • responsible for locating the vibrator in the correct positions for shots
  • responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the vibrator
  • reports to the Vibe Tech and Operator
  • works closely with the Operator via 2-way radio
  • Vibe Operators typically travel with the seismic crew
  • pay by hour or day



Seismic Survey Crew Positions


Survey Coordinator (Seismic)
  • responsible for the safe operation, conduct, and productivity of all chaining and survey crews on the job
  • reports to head office and to the client representative on site
  • daily pay


Line Producer
  • senior seismic surveyor
  • uses existing survey evidence to place the seismic line in the correct position
  • instructs the slashers where to cut the seismic line
  • decides where to deflect the seismic lines to avoid major obstacles
  • works closely with Cat Operators and Head Slasher to construct the line, as well as detours around obstacles for drill rigs and trucks
  • in heli-portable operations, chooses locations for heli-pads
  • responsible for the cleanliness and safety of the line
  • reports to Survey Coordinator


Surveyor - GPS (seismic)
  • uses GPS equipment to locate the seismic line and place flags at designated intervals
  • responsible for keeping shot points legal distances from houses, water wells, pipelines, etc.
  • responsible for survey data
  • responsible for all GPS equipment
  • responsible for actions of surveyor's helper, if provided
  • creates chaining notes and line sketches
  • daily pay
  • reports to Survey Coordinator


Surveyor - Conventional (seismic)
  • responsible for the safe operation of the survey crew
  • operates the survey instrument
  • daily pay
  • measures distances and angles between points on the seismic lines
  • double checks the work of the chainer
  • creates line sketches
  • ties seismic lines to existing survey evidence to verify location
  • responsible for field survey data
  • responsible for the surveyor's helper's actions
  • responsible for keeping explosives legal distances from houses, water wells, pipelines, etc.
  • reports to the Survey Coordinator


Surveyor's Assistant
  • daily pay
  • helps the surveyor as required
  • uses a rod with prisms to reflect the beam of the survey instrument to measure distances and angles
  • responsible for giving the surveyor accurate shots on all shot points and land contours
  • if chaining, responsible for choosing locations for shot points, as well as the accurate numbering and placement of flags
  • reports to the Surveyor


Chainer
  • pulls a cable with marks at designated intervals where flags are to be placed
  • creates chaining notes and sketches of the seismic line
  • decides where to place shot points to maintain legal distances from houses, water wells, pipelines, etc.
  • responsible for the safe placement of shot points
  • responsible for the chainer's helper's actions
  • reports to the Survey Coordinator
  • daily pay


Chainer's Assistant
  • places flags on marks on the cable
  • measures distances from flags to features in terrain
  • numbers all flags
  • responsible for the accurate numbering and placement of flags
  • reports to Chainer
  • helps chainer as required
  • daily pay


Mapper
  • uses GPS or conventional equipment, as well as specialized computer equipment to create a detailed map of the seismic lines and surrounding areas
  • responsible for including all relevant information on maps
  • daily or hourly pay
  • reports to Survey Coordinator


Pipe and Buried Utility Locator
  • uses information and maps from oil companies, as well as field evidence to determine the location of buried pipelines, cables, and other utilities
  • uses specialized equipment to find, track, and mark pipelines and buried utilities of all kinds
  • responsible for finding and documenting all pipelines and other utilities in the area of the seismic job
  • responsible for the training and safety of the locator's helper
  • daily or hourly pay
  • reports to Survey Coordinator
  • may require Pipe Locating ticket


Assistant Locator
  • helps the Pipe Locator as necessary
  • daily pay
  • reports to Pipe Locator



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