Our history begins back in December 14th, 2010, when Seismik was established as a private company in the Czech Republic. There were 5 founding members with Leo Eisner, as a major share holder and Jana Lauerova as procurist. The Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics had a one year long option to gain 20% but never exectuted this option.
The first contract was focused on induced seismicity with a large independent US based oil and natural gas company. We benefited from initial cooperation with MicroSeismic, Inc., know how and experience from Leo’s 10 years of work for service sector together with the professional team of top level researchers and operatives. From the very beggining, our aim was high quality service to international clients – oil and gas producers.
The very first year brought also exciting development of gaining a new client for the analysis of the 2011 Blackpool seismicity – we have been part of the international team working for Cuadrilla Resources. Our company used the advanced methodology of template detection to provide solid evidence for weak seismicity preceedign the felt seismicity in the Blackpool case. This insight (summarized in 2014 publication) enabled establishment of traffic light system for future shale gas development in the UK.
The first year, the year 2011, was probation stone of out effort and expertize, and our team started grew: we have offered the first internship, hired new employees and widened our contractor cooperation including Petr Matousek.
2012 and 2013 years were years of solid growith and gainign of reputation. The year 2011 ended with three clients and we could still be regarded as a service company of a single client. During the following two years the number of clients grew 7 and our portfolio started diversify from induced seismicity to downhole reprocessing and geothermal projects. With the client base growth we were able to invest more into technology development and communicated our discoveries with new publications: the year 2012 brought articles in the First Break and The Leading Edge and the year 2013 brought the first publication in a peer reviewed journal Geophysics. The publications reflected the technology orientation of our company with goal of state of the art service to induced seismicity community. This was also priced with Innovation award for filing a patent on differentiation between natural and induced seismicity.
As our customer base grew we were able to hire new employees including Ph.D. Zuzana Jechumtalova in the fall of 2013. At the same time we relaized limitation of the human resources with good training. To motivate new students in applied geophysics we started to award Seismik Price to the best Bachalor and Magister Thesis in 2012. The prize attracted attention to top students over the last year and we broadened the scope from Prague institutions to Brno, Bratislava and Krakow.
As a pre-requisite of offering the full range of services of a company like Seismik and ensuring the high quality we have decided to offer also data acquisition and purchased a set of monitoring equipment suitable for real-time monitoring of hydraulic fracturing in 2013. The equipment includes wi-fi antenas for real-time data acqusition. We have several team training of analysts. As result the company started to offer a new product to our clients, the SafeFrack monitoring of induced seismicity in the real-time. Unfortunately this move was not followed by the shale gas revolution in Europe as it was originally expected.
The company also started to organize professional training courses on microseismicity in Prague. These courses were based on conituous education course of Leo Eisner and two succcessful courses were held in 2012 and 2013. These courses enabled us to realize how complex it is to organize the professional training and we decided to collaborate in the similar size company ont he future courses with HOTENG Engineering in Leoben Austria.
The year 2014, the last year of very high (over $100/barrel) oil prices, brought very rapid growth of the company as the number of clients doubled in this year and the number of employees exceeded 15 (including Miloslav Musil in addition to contractors) the company needed to move to the new spacing. As our office space in the IRSM CAS was limited we decided to move out to a nearby location at Kubisova 8, Prague 8 in a beautiful villa overlooking Prague including the Prague castle.
The growth of projects and client diversification did not stop us from developing our technology and we presented 5 expanded abstracts and published/contributed to three peer reviewed articles in this year. The technical development was also certified with award of our first patent (filed in 2012) on differentiation of induced and natural seismicity and broadening of the scope of product lines offered to our clients.
In this year we expanded to new markets including China and Japan, Middle East, South and North Americas. 2014 was indeed an amazing year for the company brings record turnover and profits, which wisely were left by the owner in the company as the end of the year started to show the cyclical nature of the oil and industry.
The years 2015 and 2016 represented a major challenge to the company as both years resulted in loss of the profitability of the company and reduction of the workforce. Specifically we were very hard hit by losing the long term client of ours in the year 2015, the company we worked with for previous fours years. Nevertheless, the company showed its resilience, regrouped and while reducing the workforce by approximately 30% we have refocussed and overcame the hard times in the industry. We have started to build professional sales team and continued developing the technology, including 9 abstracts and 4 articles in The Leading Edge, the First Break and other jounrnals.
The real-time monitoring technology in the year 2015-2016 was significantly improved and we reorganized our services to be able to provide 24/7 seismic monitoring for long stretches of several months.
The efforts on improving our internal quality of the organization culminated in an effort to reorganize our processes to comply with the ISO 9001. The year 2016 was crucial for developing these procedures and enabled us to win the certification in 2017.
Like phenix rising from its ashes Seismik regained confidence of its clients and thanks to the years of hard work, polishing the internal procedures and repeating checks of the quality we returned to profitability with the newly won ISO 9001 certification. We continue publishing our new technology and looking forward to meeting and overcoming the challenges striving for excellence in both technology as well as quality of our customer services.