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Our History

CGG has been a pioneer in the advancement of geophysics since the original company was created in 1931. Since then we have gone from strength to strength - technologically, operationally and financially. Now, with the recent acquisition of Fugro Geoscience, CGG will become a fully integrated Geoscience company.

Travel with us through time (by clicking on the left-hand timeline) to find out more about some of the significant historical advances that have made CGG the leader it is today.

  • CGGVeritas acquires Fugro’s Geoscience Division and becomes CGG, a fully integrated Geoscience company with a total workforce of approximately 10,000 staff working in over 70 locations.

  • CGGVeritas conducts first BroadSeis surveys Offshore China.

    CGGVeritas enters into agreement with Fugro to acquire Fugro's Geoscience Division.

  • CGGVeritas celebrates its 80th Anniversary.

  • Launch of BroadSeis seismic technology for recording broader bandwidths and maximizing, to a greater degree than ever before, the spatial and temporal resolution of seismic data.

  • CGGVeritas acquires Wavefield Inseis, a Norwegian marine competitor.

    CGGVeritas completes acquisition of a seismic survey offshore Sumatra intended to build a clearer geological model of the region in order to improve the understanding of the mechanics of tsunami generation.

    Sercel acquires Quest Geo Solutions and Optoplan.

  • A record year, with net income at $205M and all financial objectives achieved.

    Sercel acquires Metrolog.

  • CGG and Veritas DGC combine to create CGGVeritas, a leading global geophysical services and equipment company.

  • CGG celebrates its 75th Anniversary. CGG and Veritas DGC enter into a definitive merger agreement.

    Sercel announces the launch of Nautilus, entering the marine positioning market, SeaRay, a seabed system with MEMs sensors, and SeaPro Nav, a navigation system for offshore seismic.

  • Veritas DGC celebrates its 40th Anniversary and acquires the Hampson-Russell seismic interpretation and software group.

    CGG launches its Eye-D reservoir solutions service, and acquires Exploration Resources, increasing its fleet to 13 vessels.

    Veritas DGC builds new Global Processing Facility (powered by 64-bit AMD Opteron™ dual-core processors) in Houston, doubling its seismic data processing power.

    Sercel announces the launch of the 428XL and Sentinel solid streamer.

  • CGG launches WaveVista, wave equation depth imaging software.

    Dave Robson retires from Veritas DGC; Thierry Pilenko takes over as Chairman and CEO.

    Sercel buys Thales Underwater Systems, Orca Instrumentation and Createch Industries.

  • CGG starts to use cluster computing for the first time.

    Sercel acquires Sodera, one of the main suppliers of airguns.

  • Dave Robson, CEO of Veritas DGC wins 'Canada Entrepreneur of the Year' award for his achievements in building Veritas into a world-class geophysical company.

    CGG's Kuala Lumpur data processing center becomes one of the Company's three main regional hubs, after London and Houston.

    Sercel announces the Nomad 65, a new generation of all-terrain vibrator, and its new Digital Sensor Unit (DSU).

  • CGG purchases two seismic survey vessels and multi-client data from Aker Maritime.

  • Veritas DGC opens new headquarters building in Houston, USA and installs three more Data Visualization Centers in Crawley, UK, Calgary, Canada, and Perth, Australia.

    Sercel acquires Mark Products.

  • Veritas DGC acquires Time Seismic Exchange, a growing land seismic data library company in Canada, Guardian Data Systems, a data archiving and transcription company based in Australia, and Enertec Geophysical, a Canadian competitor.

    Robert Brunck becomes Chairman and CEO of CGG. The Company opens a processing center in the Asia Pacific region.

    Veritas DGC earns reputation for accomplishing difficult jungle projects.

    Sercel acquires GeoScience Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary Syntron.

  • Veritas DGC installs industry-first, new-generation Data Visualization Center in Houston, USA.

    CGG carries out offshore surveys in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Veritas DGC vessel, the SR/V Veritas Viking, sets a record by towing the industry's first 12,000-meter streamer.

  • CGG is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Veritas DGC acquires Rees Geophysical (a land seismic acquisition company) in Oman.

    Sercel acquires the vibrator technology of Mertz.

    Shown above, a robotic tape vault for data management.

  • Digicon and Veritas combine to form Veritas DGC Inc. which immediately upgrades its asset base, installing new HP and SUN computer systems and an NEC SX-4 supercomputer to enhance data processing capabilities.

    Sercel acquires Opseis Geophysical Systems.

  • Start of worldwide expansion of CGG's dedicated centers.

    Veritas earns reputation for successfully conducting difficult Arctic projects.

  • CGG carries out the first 4D seismic surveys.

    Digicon becomes the first geophysical company to offer pre-stack time migration (3D MOVES), another breakthrough in seismic imaging at that time.

  • CGG launches the 3D seismic vessel 'Harmattan', able to tow five streamers.

    Veritas, now employing about 450 staff, goes public on the Toronto Stock exchange.

  • Veritas launches 'SAGE' data processing system, probably the most advanced production processing system available at this time.

    Veritas earns a reputation for accomplishing difficult mountainous projects.

  • Syntron Asia (now Sercel Singapore) is established.

  • CGG opens data processing center in Oslo, Norway (with a satellite link to Massy, France).

  • Digicon launches Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) initiative, including development of new SeismicTANGO data processing system to replace DISCO.

    Syntron Europe (now Sercel England) is established.

  • Digicon records its first non-exclusive 3D marine data library program (in Mobile Bay, Gulf of Mexico).

    Hampson-Russell Software is founded in Calgary, Canada.

  • The increasing use of 3D seismic leads to a race to develop systems that offer an integrated package of data acquisition, processing and interpretation.

    CGG installs its first satellite data link between French and UK data processing centers.

  • Claude Sarocchi becomes Chairman and CEO of CGG.

    Sercel introduces the SN368 single-channel cable telemetry system - up to 1200 channels with a 2 ms sampling rate, making 3D operations industrially possible!

  • In Massy, France, CGG installs the largest computer of the time, the Cray 1S.

    Syntron develops the Syntrak 480 Marine Digital Telemetry System.

  • Digicon opens a new data processing center in Brisbane, Australia - a significant expansion into new Asia Pacific markets.

  • In Canada, Veritas processes the industry's first-ever 3D seismic survey.

  • CGG's 50th Anniversary.

    Digicon employee John Sherwood invents DMO (Dip Move Out) data processing technique.

    CGG is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange and introduces combo crews (combined vibroseismic-explosive crews).

  • Digicon launches its first custom-built seismic survey vessel - the 290-ton Digicon Explorer.

    CGG permanent staff reaches 4,000.

    Digicon develops and markets 'DISCO' seismic data processing software running on DEC's VAX 11/780 computer system.

  • Digicon deploys the geophysical industry's first ever digital marine seismic streamer - the DSS-240.

    Digicon becomes the first geophysical company to offer commercial depth migration, a quantum leap in seismic imaging fidelity.

  • Veritas purchases FPS (Floating Point Systems) CPUs to replace Array Processors, achieving substantial increase in processing speed.

    CGG performs its first 3D survey in the North Sea.

  • CGG opens data processing center in Houston, USA.

    Sercel introduces the SN348 - the first single-channel cable telemetry system to be used in extreme conditions. The industry standard!

  • The 3D seismic exploration concept makes headway.

    Sercel introduces TIGRE computer-based system integration for fully accurate cross-correlation before recording.

  • Digicon conducts extensive surveys in Alaska.

    In Calgary, Rafael B. Cruz & Associates Ltd. is purchased by David B. Robson and renamed Veritas, the latin word meaning 'truth'.

  • Syntron, a competitor to Sercel, is founded by Jim Cole.

  • Shown above is the CGG booth at the Frankfurt tradeshow.

    CGG's first regional data processing center opens in Senegal.

  • CGG introduces 3D seismic exploration with 'wide-line profiling' and is the first contractor to tow three parallel streamers.

    Digicon opens a second overseas data processing center in East Grinstead, UK.

    Sercel introduces the SN338 with Instantaneous Floating Point (IFP) amplifier, the first really portable digital system and the cutting edge of data acquisition technology.

    Digital Consultants reincorporates as Digicon Inc. and goes public on the American Stock Exchange.

  • Now with approximately 300 employees worldwide, Digicon opens its first overseas data processing center in Singapore.

  • CGG develops a 'migration' processing algorithm.

  • In Calgary, CGG opens its first data processing center outside France.

    Sercel launches the SN 328, a 48-trace digital amplifier.

  • CGG installs EMR computers, and wins award for Excellence in Export.

    Roger Desaint appointed Chairman of CGG.

    Digital Consultants deploys its first land seismic crew.

    The image above shows the technical aspects of airborne processing; a magnetometer (right) and the instrument panel (left).

  • CGG opens its first seismic data processing center in Massy, France.

    Digital Consultants install a state of the art SDS-9300 computer that allows multi-trace, multi-task programming without tape output.

    Digital Consultants' first marine project - QC work onboard two wooden-hulled marine seismic vessels in the North Sea, where WWII mines were still drifting!

    Sercel introduces the SN662, its first digital recorder.

  • Digital Consultants Inc. is founded in Houston by six engineers and geophysicists who share the vision of bringing evolving digital computing technology to the geophysical industry - a new concept.

    Initial capitalization was from the six founding partners putting up just $334 each!

    The Company carries out its first data interpretation job in the North Sea.

    Sercel moves headquarters to Carquefou, near Nantes, in France.

  • Early days of single-vessel marine seismic exploration.

  • Introduction of 'deconvolution' in data processing – the filtering of data to eliminate distortion of the signal – also requiring increased processing power.

    Sercel launches correlating-stacking unit (common depth point stacking and display of seismic cross-section).

  • SMG is renamed Sercel and introduces the AS 626, a 24-trace transistor amplifier.

  • CGG's 30th Anniversary. By this time, CGG had four MT4 centers processing magnetic tape.

  • CGG uses 'multiple coverage' technology to analyze traces, and develops 'Dropter', the first non-explosive seismic source technique.

    An airborne survey department is created within CGG.

    SMG launches its first mass-produced amplifier.

  • Léon Migaux succeeds as Chairman of CGG.

  • CGG’s first dual vessel marine survey, with one boat as source, initially using an underwater dynamite charge.

    A second boat towed the streamer recording the seabed reflections.

  • Early geophysical surveying in Tunisia. Note the line of shothole charges being exploded in the distance.

  • SMG is created as an offshoot of the electronics department of CGG.

  • CGG buys its first IBM 604 computer and acquires an MT4 analogue computing center for processing field data.

  • CGG becomes a limited liability company.

    Discovery of reserves at Parentis, France.

  • Miniaturization of geophones and the use of multiple shooting are exciting new technologies this year.

  • For its 20th Anniversary, CGG moves into new premises in rue Fabert, Paris, France.

  • The Maghreb continues to attract interest for oil exploration.

  • German troops occupying France confiscate CGG equipment.

  • Léon Migaux takes over management of CGG.

  • Life for the early pioneers of seismic surveying was not easy. The work was physically demanding and laborious, huge amounts of equipment and supplies had to be carried on foot, often across large areas of rugged terrain.

    Marcel Schlumberger is named Chairman of CGG.

  • Marcel Schlumberger is appointed Vice-Chairman of CGG after the death of Conrad Schlumberger.

    Early survey assignments take place in the USSR while survey work increases in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Gabon.

  • A CGG survey team enjoys a village stopover in the Atlas mountains of Morocco in the 1930s. Crew members often spent up to a year away from home in gruelling climates.

  • CGG's first use of seismic reflection.

  • The first CGG geophysical survey takes place in West Africa.

  • Compagnie Générale de Géophysique (CGG) is founded.

    Marcel Champin becomes Chairman, with Conrad Schlumberger as Vice-Chairman.

Did You Know?

  • CGG was founded by Conrad Schlumberger in 1931.
  • David B. Robson was voted Canada's Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002 for his achievements in building Veritas into a world-class geophysical company.
  • Digicon was initially capitalized by each of its six founding partners putting up just $334 to start the Company.
  • Today, Sercel alone employs approximately 1600 people.

Stronger Together Video, 2013