50 years of Sigma

When Wes Rabey started Sigma in 1966, he was already a successful, accomplished, and well-traveled veteran of over 20 years in the oil and gas industry.  Fresh from five years in London, England, selling geophysical services globally, Wes returned to Calgary to continue the business that he had started doing speculative surveys – a world-wide first in the industry.

As he talked with oil companies to sell them the data he had acquired, Wes noticed that many companies wanted to trade for seismic from larger oil companies, but often didn’t have any seismic to trade in return. Wes saw an opportunity to act as an intermediary; he could sell a company’s seismic, and give the funds raised from the transaction to that oil company so that they could use those funds later when they wanted to purchase or acquire seismic. The combination of speculative surveys and brokering seismic – another thing that Wes was a pioneer in – created not only Sigma, but the business that we know today.

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, it is a time to reflect on that accomplishment. And apologies for being a bit self-congratulatory.

How do you get to 50? Start with a good idea, execute it well, stay focused on continual improvement, work with others for the good of the industry, and always foster innovation. Sigma has tried to stay true to those values throughout the years, and hopefully it has helped us to achieve our place as a trusted provider. Those values have also enabled Sigma to create a culture within our firm where several ex-presidents (including Wes) remain on the board and offer their advice, and where many key employees have been with the company over 20 years.

While it is important to celebrate our past, we now focus on the future; the future of our industry and the future of the brokerage and seismic business. We are excited about the opportunities that we see going forward – opportunities to make getting the seismic you need a lot easier, a lot quicker, and a lot more automatic. It’s why we have invested in a complete redesign of SigMAP, why we have enhanced your ability to research seismic – and do an initial QC – at your own leisure in your office or on your mobile device. It’s why we are working with partners to connect you directly to the seismic you want, and to deliver it to you over the internet.

Our focus on the future is why our services group has grown significantly during the recent downturn – because we can provide help to our customers to manage as much of their seismic asset as they need us to, for as long as they need us to. The people we provide come with the complete backing and knowledge of Sigma, gained over those 50 years, so our customers can be confident that they will get the answers and help they need. Most importantly they know that our focus is on making their asset perform to its maximum potential.

We work with geoscientists every day, and we have seen the impact on them, and on all of our businesses, of the recent downturn. It’s why we chose not to have our traditional cocktail party last year, and why we reluctantly made the same decision this year. Although we would love to celebrate our milestone with our customers, we have instead chosen to donate to the CSEG Foundation to support under – and unemployed geoscientists.

As we celebrate our 50th year, and look forward to continuing to innovate, grow and evolve, all of us at Sigma thank you sincerely for your many years of support. Many many thanks, and all the best of the season.