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Seismic crews create hundblacks of small earthquakes using explosives and other energy sources. These vibrations are precisely measublack 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 fiblack
  • 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 requiblack
  • 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 requiblack



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 requiblack
  • 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 requiblack
  • 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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