Geophysical Services Market - Snapshot

Based on type, geophysical services can be categorized into aerial-based and land-based geophysical surveys. Land-based geophysical surveys play a vital role in the exploration of various minerals, hydrocarbon sources, oil and gas reserves, etc. These surveys also help understand geophysical conditions of the ground surface and sub-surface. Aerial-based surveys capture images by using fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

geophysical services market

Rise in Number of Multi-client Projects and Shale Gas Exploration in U.S. to Trigger Investments in Geophysical Services

The oil & gas industry has been focusing on increasing its exploration activities of onshore areas owing to the commercial viability of the existing proven onshore oil reserves at prices lower than offshore oil reserves. Rise in exploration of shale gas reserves in the U.S. has been a key factor driving investments in geophysical services in the country. The oil & gas industry requires seismic services and analytical data from providers of geophysical services. Thus, growth in exploration activities in developed countries is expected to boost the global geophysical services market during the forecast period. Multi-client project or multi-client data is seismic survey data that is acquired on non-exclusive basis. It is cost-effective and can be sold several times. From the perspective of end-user companies such as oil & gas companies, licensing non-exclusive multi-client seismic data is less expensive than acquiring data on a contract basis. From the perspective of geophysical-based data acquisition, multi-client seismic data is more cost-effective and offers the potential of high profit margins, as it can be sold several times to different companies. Companies providing geophysical services also engage in various multi-client data acquisition projects. End-user companies prefer multi-client geophysical/seismic data reports due to the lower investment involved. This is boosting the geophysical services market, especially in the seismic technology segment.

Water Exploration, Agriculture, and Environment to Present Growth Opportunities

Besides oil & gas and mining, other end-user industries such as water exploration, agriculture, and environment are key consumers of geophysical data. Water exploration and agriculture industries have started exploring geophysical services in order to attain water and food security. The minimum daily requirement of water for domestic usage stands at 200 liters per person in developing countries such as India. This has paved the way for exploration of freshwater sites through geophysical services. Rise in investments related to geophysical services in water exploration and agriculture industries is estimated to augment the demand for magnetic, gravity, resistivity, and electromagnetic based geophysical services in the near future. The global water exploration industry is beginning to employ geophysical services prior to the commencement of groundwater drilling activities. Water/groundwater geophysical exploration methods provide a clear picture of underground formations to understand the hydrologic cycle and groundwater quality; and identify the nature, number, and type of aquifers.

Decrease in Seismic Survey Contracts/Investments to Restrain Market Growth

Decrease in the number of seismic survey contracts is a major factor hampering the geophysical services market. Multi-client seismic survey activities provide lucrative opportunities to survey companies; however, there exists high risk of sales not covering the cost of acquisition and processing of such data. Losses suffered in multi-client seismic activities are usually compensated by contract seismic survey activities. However, contract seismic survey activities have decreased significantly over the last few years, due to the contraction in the oil & gas industry. Contract seismic survey activities have also declined owing to the low average pricing and relatively high non-chargeable vessel time. Thus, decline in the number of seismic survey contracts is projected to adversely affect the geophysical services market in the near future.

Developments & Innovations in Product and Technology

In August 2018, TGS announced its entry into a collaboration with Fairfield Geotechnologies to increase the business potential for exploration in the Delaware Basin in the U.S. by using the modern land imaging technology. In February 2017, CGG was awarded a contract by Brunei Shell Petroleum for the period of six months. According to the contract, CGG will provide processing services for 2D, 3D, and 4D seismic data acquired onshore and offshore of Brunei. This is expected to expand CGG’s business in Asia Pacific. In May 2018, ION Geophysical Corporation announced plans to launch its seventh 3D multi-client reimaging program offshore of Mexico. The new program is anticipated to expand the company’s business in Latin America in the near future. In March 2018, ION Geophysical Corporation announced plans to launch a new 3D multi-client broadband reimaging program offshore of Australia. The new program is expected to enable the company to expand its business in Asia Pacific. In June 2018, CGG completed pre-stack time migration (PSTM) of a 2,500 square kilometer survey in Block 44 of the Porcupine Basin, west of Ireland. This is projected to create business opportunities for various companies in untapped regions. In February 2017, CGG bagged a six-month contract from Brunei Shell Petroleum. CGG will provide processing services for 2D, 3D, and 4D seismic data acquired onshore and offshore of Brunei. This, in turn, is likely to expand CGG’s business in Asia Pacific in the next few years.

In Terms of Demand, North America Dominates Geophysical Services Market

Based on region, North America led the global geophysical services market with more than 25% share in 2017. The U.S. dominates the geophysical services market in North America due to the high number of geophysical survey activities in areas such as basins of Oakland, Houston, Seattle, Florida, New York, and Philadelphia. In February 2018, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) began the first phase of aerial-based geophysical surveys with a series of high-resolution flights near Greenwood, Mississippi, to acquire large-scale data to support the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (MAP) Regional Water Availability Study. Arctic Star Exploration Corp., a diamond mining company, is currently focusing on ground surveys and other airborne geophysical anomalies for the discovery of high potential areas for kimberlite in Canada.

Highly Competitive Market with Dominance of Top Players

The global geophysical services market is highly fragmented, with the presence of large numbers of local and international players. Leading players dominate the market. Key players operating in the geophysical services market are EON Geosciences Inc., Dawson Geophysical Inc., Geotech Surveys, Compagnie Générale de Géophysique (CGG), TGS, Spectrum Geophysics, Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc., SEA GEO SURVEYS PVT LTD., New Resolution Geophysics, ION Geophysical Corporation, and Phoenix Geophysics.

Geophysical Services Market - Overview

The global geophysical services market is highly consolidated. Large numbers of geophysical survey-based data acquisition companies operate in the global market. Players that dominate the market account for significant market share. This leads to intense competition. Design, technology, and engineering of systems are key differentiating factors for different players. Scale of operations, range of data network, and capability to analyze and offer feasible solutions determine profitability and market share of market players. Besides oil & gas and mining, other end-user industries such as water exploration, agriculture, and environment are key consumers of geophysical services. Land-based geophysical services play a vital role in the exploration of various minerals, hydrocarbon sources, oil and gas reserves, etc. These services also help understand geophysical conditions of the ground surface and sub-surface. Aerial-based survey captures images by using fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. However, drones are expected to replace fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters in aerial-based geophysical surveys in the near future.

This report analyzes and forecasts the geophysical services market at the global and regional level. The market has been forecast based on revenue (US$ Mn) from 2017 to 2026, considering 2017 as the base year. The study includes drivers and restraints of the global geophysical services market. It also covers impact of these drivers and restraints on demand for geophysical services during the forecast period. The report also highlights opportunities in the geophysical services market at the global and regional level.

The report includes detailed value chain analysis, which provides a comprehensive view of the global geophysical services market. Porter’s Five Forces model for the geophysical services market has also been included to help understand the competitive landscape. The study encompasses market attractiveness analysis, wherein products and applications are benchmarked based on their market size, growth rate, and general attractiveness.

The study provides a decisive view of the global geophysical services market by segmenting it in terms of technology, end-user industry, type, and region/country. In terms of technology, the geophysical services market has been classified into magnetic, gradiometry, gravity, electromagnetic, LIDAR, hyperspectral, ground penetrating radar, resistivity, seismic, and others. Based on end-user industry, the geophysical services market has been divided into oil & gas, minerals & mining, agriculture, water exploration, and others. In terms of type, the global geophysical services market has been segregated into aerial-based survey and land-based survey. These segments have been analyzed based on present and future trends. Regional segmentation includes current and forecast demand for geophysical services in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa.

The report provides the actual size of the geophysical services market for 2017 and estimated size for 2018 with forecast for the next eight years. The global geophysical services market has been analyzed in terms of revenue. Market numbers have been estimated based on technology, end-user industry, and type of geophysical services. Market revenue and size have been provided in terms of global, regional, and country level markets.

The report comprises profiles of major companies operating in the global geophysical services market. Key players include EON Geosciences Inc., Dawson Geophysical Inc., Geotech Surveys, Compagnie Générale de Géophysique (CGG), TGS, Spectrum Geophysics, Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc., SEA GEO SURVEYS PVT LTD., New Resolution Geophysics, ION Geophysical Corporation, and Phoenix Geophysics. Market players have been profiled in terms of attributes such as company overview, financial overview, business strategies, and recent developments.

The global geophysical services market has been segmented as follows:

Global Geophysical Services Market, by Technology

  • Magnetic
  • Gradiometry
  • Gravity
  • Electromagnetics
  • LIDAR
  • Hyperspectral
  • Ground Penetrating Radar
  • Resistivity
  • Seismic
  • Others

Global Geophysical Services Market, by End-user Industry

  • Oil & Gas
  • Minerals & Mining
  • Agriculture
  • Water Exploration
  • Environment
  • Others

Global Geophysical Services Market, by Type

  • Aerial-based Survey
  • Land-based Survey

Global Geophysical Services Market, by Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • U.K.
    • France
    • Italy
    • Norway
    • Russia & CIS
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Australia
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Kuwait
    • Qatar
    • Nigeria
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

Key Takeaways

  • North America is the leading consumer of geophysical services across the globe. The region constitutes around 25% to 30% share of the global market. The market in the region is expected to expand at a moderate pace during the forecast period owing to the shale gas revolution.
  • Costs of geophysical services are highly dependent on type of service (per mile) with respect to the equipment utilized
  • The aerial-based segment is projected to expand at a faster pace in the mining sector vis-à-vis that in other sectors. Currently, the mining industry accounts for more than 70% share of aerial-based services.
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