1963 was a year of significant change in the geophysical phase of the oil industry. Trading of geophysical records has been much more prevalent in the past couple of years and this in turn has resulted in a large increase in the number of 'hot' shots taken in areas of particular interest. There was a very interesting increase in quick runs over lands offered at Crown Reserve sales and although this short term contract is less desirable than lengthy month in month out work programs it accounted for an appreciable number of work weeks throughout the year.
The sharp fluctuations in this industry from one season to another is still a sizeable problem from the point of view of retaining trained personnel and maintaining advanced type of equipment.
At the start of the year there were only 86 crews engaged in 'wrinkle seeking' operations across western Canada, five lower than the previous January. Midyear activity was in balance with June of 1962 but at year's end the record shows 70 crews working, eight more than December of last year. In the initial months of 1964 this figure is expected to show another slight increase. The gradual decline of geophysical activity from peak rates in the late fifties and early 1960's has leveled out to an extent, improved revenues and the need for increased exploration activity could see 1964 reverse the six-year downward trend. December 1963 is the best year in the past five with the seventy crews running compared to 61 in 1962; 64 in 1961; 62 in 1960 and 63 in 1959.