What is currently happening?
Geophysical Service Incorporated is fighting the expropriation without compensation, and abuse of its intellectual property, by government, and government agencies. This fight is costing GSI tens of millions of dollars in lost revenues, not to mention the costs of legal action to protect and recover its property. The intellectual property is the seismic data GSI has collected offshore Canada, for decades.
- As a brief background in offshore areas, The National Energy Board, Canada Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board and the Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board require mandatory submission of non-exclusive or speculative seismic survey results as a condition of obtaining permits to do the work. It may be legitimate that the Boards need this data in order to have current information for approval of work programs and for proper evaluation and management of resources. The boards created a time frame to keep the data confidential for a period of ten years, although GSI questions the right to set any time frame to ever disclose this information.
- After government created periods of confidentiality run out the seismic data is available to be shown or “viewed” by those in the industry interested in exploration. The boards told industry they would only act as a library. GSI in fact discovered that in some cases its data was being copied and in worse cases scenarios the data was reproduced for sale to third parties.
- Further to this in 2010 then Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Natural Resources Kathy Dunderdale made the announcement that the province was changing the way speculative or non-exclusive seismic data was being released after a 10 year confidentiality period. The plan was to move from paper files to digital ones. This was termed modernizing to “keep up with technology” but it simply expanded the release of the very data that GSI licenses to customers.
- The boards are now using the data to promote the offshore by giving it away for free and reaping the benefits in the form of increased royalties on oil and gas production, taxes and local employment.
- Property Rights Under Threat - Watch the video here