Talisman’s Cypress 3D Seismic Program was a large-scale, low-impact, geophysical exploration program located near Fort St. John, B.C. The goal was to acquire seismic data while ensuring the project caused no harm to people, minimized environmental impact and addressed local stakeholder and First Nations concerns. A large helicopter-portable component over challenging terrain made aviation safety a key risk. Managing this risk required operations be conducted during spring and summer months. This led to the challenge of avoiding the disturbance of migratory birds during the critical nesting timing window. In order to manage these two challenges, the team applied new technologies and improved assurance activities.
The final draft of the Helicopter Association of Canada Helicopter Guidelines for Canadian Onshore Seismic Operations was field-tested for the first time, and practical methods for identifying and avoiding active nests were developed and successfully field-tested over a large project area. The learnings from this program have the potential to improve helicopter safety and to develop a workable, beneficial management practice that could improve the industry’s approach to protect migratory birds. Click here to view a short video regarding this successful project.