Geophysical Inspector Program


Geophysical Inspector Program

The Geophysical Inspector Program was instituted by the Government of Alberta as a mechanism of checks and balances for seismic exploration activity in the province. As part of the program, geophysical inspectors conduct random inspections of seismic field operations to ensure legislative compliance; act as liaisons between government, industry, and the public; field questions and address concerns; and in cases of dispute regarding seismic operations, facilitate resolutions and positive outcomes for all involved stakeholders.

More information about the program, its goals, and intended outcomes is available on the Alberta government’s website here: Geophysical Inspector Program

Duties of geophysical inspectors
The Geophysical Inspector Program consists of inspectors in the AER field offices who will

  • conduct random field inspections of seismic crews throughout the province on private lands and road allowances,
  • act as liaisons between the industry, the government, and the general public for inquiries and concerns about seismic exploration in the province, and
  • facilitate discussion and attempt to resolve issues and concerns between the geophysical industry and landowners, municipal districts, counties, and designated special areas.

Landowner assistance
The Geophysical Inspector Program also exists to help landowners, counties, and municipal districts (including special areas and irrigation districts) with geophysical-related inquiries and concerns associated with exploration activities. Geophysical inspectors called upon to conduct investigations into issues and concerns may initiate joint meetings between the impacted industry participants, landowners, municipal districts, counties, and special areas in an effort to facilitate disputes. The investigation of landowner concerns includes the following:

  • Flowing or cratered shot holes
  • Livestock damages
  • Permit disputes
  • Structural damage
  • Surface damages
  • Trespass (and related damage)
  • Water wells
  • Other miscellaneous inquiries

Geophysical Permit Agent Course
For interested parties, a geophysical permit agent course is offered through ENFORM, the Calgary-based safety association for Canada’s upstream oil and gas industry. Although this program is not mandatory, it is highly recommended that all permit agents complete this course.

All successful students will receive a geophysical permit agent certification number from ENFORM upon satisfactory completion of the course. Landowners are encouraged to request a record of the geophysical permit agent’s certification number to confirm that the geophysical permit agent has completed the industry and government recognized program.

Geophysical Inspector Contact information
Stakeholders are invited to contact geophysical inspectors with any concerns or issues or for pertinent information about geophysical operations. Please contact the AER by phone at 1-855-297-8311 or by e-mail at

If there is an issue, a concern, or an alleged compliance issue, an unbiased field investigation may be initiated in an attempt to reach a resolution between affected parties.

Additional Information
For more information on geophysical operations and landowner rights, visit

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development