Geophysical Surveying & Mapping Services Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Geophysical Surveying & Mapping Services Industry Profile

Companies in this industry gather, interpret, and map geophysical data. Major companies include ION Geophysical, Global Geophysical Services, and NuTech Energy Alliance (all based in the US), as well as TGS-NOPEC and Petroleum Geo-Services (both based in Norway), WesternGeco (the UK), and Logan International (Canada).

Worldwide, oil and gas exploration drives demand for geophysical surveying and mapping services. To meet growing demand and make up for depletion of existing oil sources, new oil reserves must be discovered. The largest oil and gas producing areas of the world include Saudi Arabia, Russia, the US, Canada, and Iran, according to Rystad Energy.

The US geophysical survey and mapping services industry includes about 850 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $1.7 billion.


Demand is driven by oil and gas exploration activity. The profitability of individual companies depends on their ability to maintain a steady flow of contract work. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in purchasing and administration, as well as the ability to serve major clients from multiple locations. Small companies can compete by specializing in a specific geography or survey type. The industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about 90% of revenue.


Major services for geophysical surveying and mapping services include data collection, data sales, and integrated geophysical services.

Establishments in this industry typically specialize in locating and measuring subsurface resources such ...

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