Reducing Seismic Exploration’s Footprint

The COSIA Land Challenge

Foresight and Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) are looking for ways to reduce boreal forest disturbance from seismic oil sands exploration while maintaining seismic data quality to ensure safe and effective development of oil sands resources.

Submission Form

Submission window closes: April 1st, 2021


We’re challenging seismic exploration pioneers to launch the next generation of oil sands exploration

Seismic exploration evaluates underground oil sands resources using energy waves that can be used to interpret the subsurface. Current solutions require clearing corridors, often through boreal forest, to put equipment in place or to drill underground to make the energy waves necessary for mapping.

COSIA members are seeking to reduce forest disturbance by at least 50 per cent without sacrificing data quality. Potential solutions could include:

  • Shrinking the size of equipment and practices to reduce land disturbance.
  • Moving seismic survey equipment to the air.
  • Installing seismic equipment at existing exploration wells.
  • Applying alternative sampling theories to reduce the amount of sampling.

“COSIA is committed to accelerating environmental performance improvement in the oil sands and our members continue to seek out technologies that can make a difference,” said Jack O’Neill, Land Director at COSIA. “Launching this competition is the latest component of a multi-year program that includes research, testing and collaboration. We encourage innovators from around the world to put forward their ideas and technologies and be part of the clean tech innovation story in Canada’s oil sands.”

Intakes to submit your solutions for the competition will be open from February 2 to April 1, 2021. Finalists will be selected from the submitted solutions, and will have the opportunity to pitch their solutions to COSIA members. A total of $15,000 cash will be awarded to the winners chosen from the pitch session. Further details on the prize will be covered in the webinar on February 2. Additional information about criteria, eligibility and requirements are available here.

Note that the cash awarded is the prize for having the winning solutions, and not to buy out the technology. If COSIA members are interested in applying a technology, they will reach out to the solution provider for further discussions.

To learn more about the challenges and opportunities around near zero footprint seismic exploration, check out this report COSIA commissioned, published in May 2020, reviewing exploration tools and techniques to support the Land Challenge.

Additional details about the competition’s criteria, eligibility and requirements, are available here:


Watch the informational webinar, held on February 2, 2021 here:

This open innovation competition is funded by Alberta Innovates.

For more information, please contact:

Astrid Nunez 604-358-5079

 [email protected]

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