Business Ethics Geo-services marine seismic Marine Seismic Market Marine Seismic Operations UN Global Compact

The Sound of Death?

The Sound of Death?

Whaling was the oil business of its day..

Nathaniel Philbrick

The motive behind criticism often determines its validity. Those who care criticize where necessary. Those who envy criticize the moment they think that they have found a weak spot.

Criss Jami, Killosophy

The objective of marine seismic surveys is not to annoy, harm or kill cetaceans or other marine fauna.  I believe that this is an important consideration.  This was not always the relationship between human energy needs and cetaceans.  Cetaceans, or whales, are divided into two main groups: toothed whales and baleen whales.  From the 16th through the 19th century, whales were principally killed for a source of oil used as fuel in lamps.  Although the relative value of various whale products varied across time and place, whale oil was the principal economic driver of the commercial whaling industry.  The efficient killing and processing of whales was the business objective of the commercial whaling industry.  Technological developments in whaling, such as ship speed, determined which cetaceans could be hunted commercially.  There was a precipitous decline in the use of whale oils from its peak in the 19th century into the 20th century that coincides with the commercial development of the petroleum industry as a source of fuel oil and manufacturing products.  Perhaps the petroleum industry saved the lives of thousands of cetaceans and prevented the extinction of several species?  What is known is that as the source of the commodity of whale oil began to deplete, technologies to improve hunting success, as well as incentives to replace the fuel both grew. 

The objective of marine seismic surveys is to create maps of the geology to guide oil and gas drilling operations.  Seismic reflection data is used to produce these maps.  The seismic reflection method requires introducing a controlled seismic energy source into the Earth.  Each layer within the Earth reflects a portion of the wave’s energy back and allows the rest to refract through.  In the marine environment, the these reflected compressional energy waves, or sound waves, are recorded by receivers.  The points being mapped are the midpoints between the source and receiver sensor(s).  In the 1950s, marine seismic research crews would toss boxes of live dynamite off the stern of the vessel. The dynamite would explode about a hundred meters behind the ship.  This was the seismic source.  One of the crew, Stephen Chelminski, recognized how dangerous this practice was and so endeavored to find a better and safer marine seismic source.  Lives were being lost and property destroyed using the dynamite source tossed from the vessel stern.  Chelminski earned the coveted Kauffman Gold Medal Award in 1975 in recognition for his development of marine seismic airgun technology.  The most common energy source used for marine seismic surveys these days are arrays of specially placed and timed airguns.  However, in recent years, marine seismic airguns have become especially controversial due to their perceived impact on the health and well-being of cetaceans.

Technology and Methods Designed to Kill Cetaceans
Airgun Technology Designed to Aid in the Mapping of the Marine Subsurface

Whaling was banned in many countries in 1969 because some species of cetacean were near extinction.  Globally, the commercial whaling industry was essentially ended in the late 1980s.  In 1982 the International Whaling Commission (IWC) placed a moratorium on commercial whaling.  The purpose of the IWC is the conservation and safeguarding of cetaceans and other marine mammals to allow the recovery of pre-industrial whaling levels.  However, countries such as Norway, Iceland, and Japan oppose the IWC moratorium and support commercial whaling.  Aboriginal whaling is allowed to continue on a subsistence basis but not as a commercial activity.  There has been a paradigm shift from whales being regarded as a commercial commodity to becoming a spectacle.  Over the past few decades, whale watching has become a significant industry in its own.  In some countries whale watching has replaced whaling, while in others the two industries coexist.  The marine seismic airgun opponents view cetaceans as spectacles that need to be protected and preserved.  Whalers see cetaceans as a commodity.  The cultural battle grounds are in place around the world, from the protesting of marine seismic surveys offshore the east coast of the United States to The Great Australian Bight in Australia.  Airguns are currently the best energy source to use to accomplish survey objectives.  At the same time, the marine seismic survey commercial industry is relatively new and much is still unknown about its long-term impact on cetaceans and other marine animals.  Marine seismic surveyors endeavor to take measures and develop technologies to minimize the impact of their methods and equipment, such as airguns, on cetaceans, and other marine animals to satisfy customer requirements, but whose principal objective concern is analyzing and processing seismic, and other geophysical data, to produce useful maps that will reduce drilling risks. 

The [oil and gas] industry is slow to change, But certainly, I’ll be happy when it happens.

Stephen Chelminski, Geophysicist who DEveloped AIRGUN TECHNOLOGY and is currently working on marine vibrator technology

For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.

Margaret Heffernan

As a young man, I took a trip to Seattle, Washington, USA.  In some bookshop I saw a pin that read, “Save the whales, what did the cows do wrong?”  I have been on many whale watching trips and enjoyed rare occasions of seeing cetaceans from the seismic vessels that I worked on.  I was raised and lived my younger adult life in the western US.  From this vantage point, void of any tangible socio-economic or cultural ties to whaling, whales were simply magnificent marine life visible without having to dawn scuba gear.  Cattle, on the other hand, defines the American west.  Cinema and television have glorified the rancher cowboy and cattle driver.  Cattle may roam the land of the American west, but they do so as property with “brands.”  Cattle are bred for beef, and another bred for dairy.  Beef and Dairy are traded commodities, and their population controlled through market demand.  In the US west, much of the Federal government land is leased to ranchers to graze their cattle.  Ranching and dairy production are commercial industries.  Cattle were not native to North America.  Prior to the (predominantly) European colonial conquest and expansion into western North America, bison – or buffalo – grazed the plains and grasslands.  These nomadic Native North American peoples subsisted on bison.  However, the commercial hunting of bison took the 60 million precolonial bison population to under 1000 in the late 19th century.  Private reserves and US Federal intervention prevented the extinction of the bison.  Bison population is only a small percentage of precolonial numbers.  Domestic cattle have taken over the rangeland.

Parties to the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) disagree about the necessity for continuing the moratorium on the commercial hunting of whales.  In fact, some believe that commercial whaling can be good for managing cetacean populations.  Whalers recognized that over-whaling has a negative impact on profits.  So, economic self-interest ultimately led whalers to take action to conserve the resource upon which they depended.  However, the United States, Great Britain, Australia and other nations supported the moratorium on whaling, not because the need to allow for more time for cetacean population recovery and management, but because certain nations believe whales have a right to life.  And with any moratorium on seismic airgun testing, cetaceans have the right to a pleasant life.  This position is no longer a strictly environmental viewpoint, it is an ethical viewpoint.  The same young man who visited the bookshop in Seattle, also was an avid hiker and backpacker who lived in New Mexico and loved The Land of Enchantment.  In fact, I was a member of the environmental group, The Sierra Club.  The Sierra Club is known for encouraging an appreciation for nature and the environment through sponsoring and leading hikes through such areas.  In fact, I led some hikes as a member of the local chapter of the club.  Because cattle can be grazed on Federal government land, which is also land which could be used for hiking, hikers would often encounter cattle and or their excrement along the trails. 

As a hiker, I didn’t like to encounter domesticated excrement.  At the same time, I was not bothered at all to spot a deer or bighorn sheep or come across their scat.  At some point, I made a decision to become a vegetarian.  My reasoning was that if I did not want to encounter cattle poop, I could not support the industry that used the same land I enjoyed for hiking to make hamburgers an affordable food choice.  I want to add that I also ran into hunters on these trails during certain times of the year.  I always felt that hunters had a better appreciation for the environment than many environmentalists did.  Food chains need predators, and many had been killed by ranchers or other livestock owners who had a commercial interest in protecting their cattle population.  Hunters at least understand that meat doesn’t just pop-up cellophane wrapped.  It was a living creature once.  And here is my ethical dilemma with saving the whales: whales at least are free range.  Fish populations, such as northeast North America cod, have also been overfished.  Wild fish stocks have been depleted through overfishing globally and have been replaced with fish farms.  Cattle are grazed and then sent to feedlots to be fattened-up prior to slaughter.  Chicken and pigs are factory farmed.  The short lives of these creatures prior to slaughter is cruel and deplorable.  But, out of sight, out of mind.  The point is, eating KFC is likely a less ethical food choice than eating whale, if you examine the quality of life of the creature prior its being killed.  What can’t be lost is that chicken tends to also be some of the cheapest meat to buy. 

We know, at least, that this decision (ending factory farming) will help prevent deforestation, curb global warming, reduce pollution, save oil reserves, lessen the burden on rural America, decrease human rights abuses, improve public health, and help eliminate the most systematic animal abuse in history..

Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals

Humans regard animals as worthy of protection only when they are on the verge of extinction.,

Paul Craig Roberts

Modern human lifestyle consumes vast amounts of energy.  Coal fueled the industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th century and powered the steam engine.  Steam engines had more to do with the demise and near extinction of both cetaceans and bison.  Faster whaling ships, coupled with both onshore and offshore processing of carcasses, made killing whales too easy – to the point that some species neared extinction.  Oil became the dominant fuel in the 20th century and remains so today.  Offshore crude oil accounts for around 30% of the global demand for oil.  According to Wikipedia, raising animals for human consumption accounts for approximately 40% of the total amount of agricultural output in industrialized countries. Grazing occupies 26% of the earth’s ice-free terrestrial surface, and feed crop production uses about one third of all arable land.  The human footprint has expanded and destroyed many natural habitats and taken a number of creatures to, or near the brink of, extinction, not only cetaceans.  The real question that needs to be addressed is what lifestyle choices of convenience are we really willing to give-up?  The majority of humans enjoy having electricity to keep all of our appliances going.  This includes our cell phones and laptop computers, as well as our refrigerators to keep food cold.  It includes our food choices.  Many humans enjoy the convenience of automobiles and airplane travel.  Saving the whales – or prioritizing their collective welfare – does not really make one an environmentalist.  There is a litany of lifestyle choices that contribute to our energy consumption that impacts the planet.  You cannot really be for saving the whales if you enjoy eating hamburgers bought at a drive-through window.

If there were no customers for offshore oil, there would be no marine seismic – or other geophysical – exploration.  There would be no need for airguns.  So, yes, let’s improve how energy is consumed.  Let’s explore and develop renewable energy resources where we can.  And let’s continue to improve the sources used in the marine seismic experiment.  Let’s try to minimize the impact that exploring for resources offshore makes.  Let’s improve our monitoring of cetaceans and make sure that airguns are not used when cetaceans are nearby.  Let’s continue to develop marine seismic vibrator’s as sources.  Marine seismic airguns have not really been used so long.  The real impact on the different species of cetaceans is not fully understood.  Nevertheless, concerns must be listened to and addressed.  Those in the marine seismic industry, or offshore oil and gas industry, are not focused on destroying the environment or in harming cetaceans.  That’s not the objective.  The objective is to make better maps so that drilling is safer and less risky.  Protesting over activities that you do not agree with is important for citizens.  But, protesting offshore activity is only meaningful when it is accompanied by a supporting lifestyle choice.  Protesting airguns will only make a difference if your personal lifestyle choices do not include the necessity for offshore oil.  And when this is true, marine airgun exploration will be unnecessary.

Man’s law changes with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same..

Native American Crow Tribe Saying

Forests and meat animals compete for the same land. The prodigious appetite of the affluent nations for meat means that agribusiness can pay more than those who want to preserve or restore the forest. We are, quite literally, gambling with the future of our planet – for the sake of hamburgers,

Peter Singer, Animal Liberation

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Submitting Grievances and Whistleblowing as a Foreign Worker

The Ambush Meeting

Submitting Grievances and Whistleblowing as a Foreign Worker – Part One

By administrative-injustice-legal-blame’ model I mean ‘investigations’ focusing on finding ‘unreasonable’ actions influenced by the negligence Bolam definition of failing and which results in un-remediated ‘injustice’.  This whole model is inherited from negligence claims and is very different and often totally contrary to the goal of finding out why harm was caused and how to prevent it.

Richard von Abendorff, Why finding ‘maladministration’ is a flawed model

It is worth mentioning that compromise agreements, at whatever level, are used widely in the NHS, the private sector and other parts of the public sector. That does not necessarily mean that someone has been stopped from speaking about patient safety, and to connect the two all the time is erroneous and wrong.

David Nicholson, The price of silence: to what extent is the NHS gagging whistleblowers?

Can a UK employer legally simultaneously apply to continue sponsoring a foreign worker on a Tier 2 SOL Visa (15 July 2013) as well as initiate disciplinary actions based on poor performance (13 June 2013)?

As a US citizen, I was sponsored for employment by a company in England whose parent company is based in Norway. The initial three-year sponsorship was ending, and I was applying for a leave to remainor to renew my and my dependent family member visas. The company in England was in the process of renewing their sponsorship of my Tier 2 visa. The application process based on Shortage Occupation List (SOL) was not trivial nor inexpensive and required the intentional and directed involvement of company agents. The company had even engaged a legal firm specializing in Tier 2 visa sponsorship to review the documentation submitted to the UK Border Agency to facilitate a successful application process so that I could legally work in the UK. The process additionally included processing applications for my dependent wife and school aged children. Of course, as one can imagine, as a foreign worker especially, the visa application renewal process was a principal concern and interest of mine.

Unfortunately, there had been issues in the workplace for several months. These issues came to a head about a month before (13 June 2013) my leave to remain application processing and continued Tier 2 sponsorship had been approved. I had been invited to a distressing meeting on very short notice by the human resources (HR) manager, my first line supervisor, and his boss. Following this watershed event in my working life, I sent an e-mail and requested an explanation as to what had just happened from the HR Manager? I was denied all of my requests made within my e-mail to the HR Manager. Many troubling assertions were made during this meeting, and I wanted to address them head-on. Most notable of my requests was whether the meeting was compliant to the company’s policy and procedures. Given the tone and topic of the meeting, it seemed unconscionable to me that minutes were being withheld. I knew at this point that something wrong was happening to me, but I was powerless because my legal right of redress was being perverted and obstructed. I was near positive that policy and procedures and my rights under contract of employment were being breached.

The PGS Exploration (UK) Limited [PGSUK] Workplace Bully/Bullies Ambush Meeting. Minutes of the meeting were withheld. PGSUK never addressed whether the meeting followed PGSUK policy and procedures. Why?

What if the meeting was not compliant to the company’s policy and procedures? What was the legality of being denied constructive, correct and thorough answers to workplace questions in a timely and professional manner? Would I have been submitting a workplace grievance or blowing the whistle? At the time, I had no idea what was happening to me. I have a better idea now, years too late, through reading about topics of workplace bullying, harassment and abuse. What I had just experienced is referred to in bullying literature as an ambush meeting, a tactic often (always!) used by workplace bullies against their targets. The HR manager was intentionally obfuscating the event which he likely knew very well was neither compliant nor legal under law and employment contract. The HR manager was now misdirecting the event to become a disciplinary action rather than a grievance. But, I was a foreign worker being sponsored under Tier 2 SOL visa provisions. The employer had made legal claims regarding my competence and abilities to the UK Border Agency that allowed me to work in the UK and displace a local worker. Simply, it did not make sense that a “poor performer” could be legally employed on a Tier 2 visa. Could they? BUT, poor performance is a legitimate reason to terminate an normal resident employee in the UK. This is what the HR manager knew very well!

Workplace Bully Ambush Meeting – IMG 2/2
Ambush Meeting – Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) Namie Video

There are things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.

Willa Cather

In my work with the defendants, I was searching for the nature of evil and I now think I have come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It’s the one characteristic that connects all the defendants, a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow men.

Captain G. M. Gilbert, the Army psychologist , Nuremberg trails (1945-1949)
HR Manager Response to Ambush Meeting Query. My career and reputation was being threatened, but supporting documentation was intentionally withheld to pervert the course of justice / obstruct my legal right under contract to file a grievance.

Can a UK employer legally simultaneously apply to continue sponsoring a foreign worker on a Tier 2 SOL Visa (15 July 2013) as well as initiate disciplinary actions based on poor performance (13 June 2013)? I had never been provided with information by the HR manager or company directors which definitively addressed these important issues constructively. I never received confirmation that company policy and procedures, as well as UK labor standards were being followed. Mind you, the bullies through HR were essentially threatening my professional reputation and livelihood during the meeting. Yet, in spite of the seriousness of the matter, I was being intentionally denied information and documentation to act on. I saw this all as unfair, unreasonable, and unprofessional. I still do. The company had challenged me to a duel, but was not allowing me to defend myself. It clearly was a violation of the company’s published Core Values and Code of Conduct. Further to this, I was a foreigner in a foreign land being treated this way, which made it all even more distressing.

These presented e-mails showed that there was a conspiracy to withhold actionable information from an employee. (This information was discovered through a Data Protection Act 1998 subject access request.) The employee had essentially been forced to leave their employment because of misrepresentations (lies) and withholding of actionable information, such as the ambush meeting minutes. Isn’t this fraud? In lieu of the minutes to the 13 June 2013 ambush meeting, a letter was written that captured many of the (unsubstantiated) claims which were made during the meeting. What was not immediately apparent at the time was that the letter had transcended the ambush meeting participants. The letter was written and signed by the manager of HR on behalf of the UK company. The UK company was directed by Norwegian parent company executives, including the CEO/President and the CFO/EVP (executive vice-president). A lawyer who worked for the UK company served as secretary. So, this lawyer essentially wrote the letter signed by the HR Manager (24 July 2013). Therefore, if there was a breach in policy, procedure, or employment and contract law, it was not only understood and approved by these company directors and secretary, but was part of a nefarious (criminal?) conspiracy. In other words, any non-compliance or breach in policy or law would have been carried out intentionally and with comprehension of any legal violations or ramifications. This would include any duplicitous information provided to UK Border Agency to affect the Tier 2 SOL visa.

Bullies Ambush Meeting Conspiracy and Cover-up. Meeting participants are denying me my legal right to complain.
Bullies Ambush Meeting Conspiracy and Cover-up. Meeting participants are denying me my legal right to complain. (First Mail – discovered through a subject access request (SAR) citing the UK Data Protection Act 1998 in October-December 2014.
Bullies Ambush Meeting Conspiracy and Cover-up. Meeting participants are denying me my legal right to complain. (Second Mail – discovered through a subject access request (SAR) citing the UK Data Protection Act 1998 in October-December 2014.
Ambush Letter produced in Lieu of Providing Requested Ambush Meeting (13 June 2013) Minutes – Part 1
Ambush Letter produced in Lieu of Providing Requested Ambush Meeting (13 June 2013) Minutes – Part 2
Ambush Letter produced in Lieu of Providing Requested Ambush Meeting (13 June 2013) Minutes – End of Letter Part 3
The UK Companies Act 2006 – General Duties of Directors
UK Companies Act 2006 – Role of Secretary
Code of Conduct – Law Society
UK Whistleblowing – Public Interest Disclosure Act [PIDA]
The Norwegian Code of Practice for Corporate Governance – Ethics
Whistleblowing and Norway’s Working Environment Act 2015

As a foreign worker, the mistreatment was very distressing. At the time, I was unfamiliar with the concept of workplace bullying, mobbing, and the tactic of the ambush meeting. At the same time, I had been an employee most of my life and had a conceptual understanding of fair and legal employment practices. Prior to my work in the marine seismic survey industry, I had been employed with various entities under or contracted by the US Department of Defense (DoD). During that time I had completed management training which covered US employment laws and best practices. Work attached to the US Federal government is especially sensitive to issues that would place the US government, as an employer or contractor, in legal jeopardy. I also understood the importance of proper and justified documentation. Even though US employment is known to be at will, it did not mean that employee rights could completely be trampled on. However, in the UK my employment was bound by an employment contract which is supposed to provide more worker protections and avenues of redress. I can honestly say that I did not completely understand the performance improvement plan, except that I reasoned that it could not be put into effect unless it was backed thoroughly by documented evidence. I was confident that no such evidence or justification existed. I had never experienced HR being so involved in the evaluation of my work performance. I did not even work with the HR department and the HR Manager had no direct knowledge of my work. I remained committed to follow through on my initial instinct and challenge and respond to the propriety and merits of the Investigation into possible implementation of a performance improvement plan (PIP) with a grievance.

At this point, it’s really important that you don’t get caught up in shaming or blaming. Just answer the question and give your spouse or partner room to do to the same. You are simply noticing what aligns with your values and what doesn’t.


Your relationship with your line manager may give a clue as to the real reason for the PIP. The importance of workplace relationships should not be underestimated; it is frequently the case that contention in the workplace is down to a personality clash. Many individuals who are put on a PIP can cite an underlying motive which has nothing to do with the standard of their work and more a breakdown of personalities.

Philip landau
The Geo-Services Industry

Paul Pelletier – Public Salon: – Workplace Bullying


Bullying Business Ethics Geo-services harassment Human Resources marine seismic Marine Seismic Market Marine Seismic Operations mobbing UN Global Compact Whistleblower

Institutional Betrayal, DARVO, Workplace Mobbing, Gaslighting, and the Geo-Services Professional

One trick is to pull a little bait and switch on your own brain. It goes like this: When the urge comes to do the counterproductive thing, don’t resist. Instead, replace.

Carl Richards

When a person trusts that a system designed to defend, respond, protect, or seek justice will do its job after an interpersonal trauma, and when that system either chooses not to respond (omission) or worse, chooses to lay blame at the feet of the victim (commission), institutional betrayal occurs.

Phil Monroe, Institutional Betrayal: Secret Ingredient to PTSD

According to research by psychologist Jennifer Freyd, PhD, when wrong-doers are confronted with their acts (which may be criminal), they show a pattern that can be abbreviated as DARVO, which stands for Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.  Victims of wrong-doers have a need for the truth to be revealed and for justice.  But, the proclivity of the toxic and narcissistic organization is to suppress such truth, protect the wrong-doers and evade responsibility by denying the truth and attacking the victim.  Therefore, rather than a victim making specific public allegations that will invoke such focused attacks and reprisals, it is perhaps safer and more productive to illuminate patterns of behavior, grounded in research, that will enlighten and protect potential future victims of institutional betrayal, while giving credence to current victims’ narratives.   In institutional betrayal, power and prestige within the institution is preserved through protecting the wrong-doer over the victim.  Victims place their trust in institutions based on expectations that the institution is worthy of their trust.  Stakeholders in the institution trust that the published institution core values, policy, and procedures are in place to protect their own, as well as other institutional stakeholder’s, vested interests.  After all, the main objective of publishing such information within business proposals and annual reports is to inculcate such feelings of trust in the values of the institution and its leadership.  When institutions do not respond in accordance to their espoused values, they betray this trust and in such cases, this betrayal of trust can be more traumatizing to the victims than the initial perpetrated wrong-doing, according to Betrayal Trauma Theory (BTT).   

Institutional DARVO
Institutional Betrayal

Mobbing is the nonsexual harassment of a coworker by a group of other workers or members of an organization of the one who is targeted.  The term psychological terrorism is also used to describe workplace mobbing.  Mobbing is not a conflict over facts and reasons.  Mobbing is a form of genocide where the objective is to eliminate the target that poses a threat to the power structure, influence, and reputation of the institution, and more precisely, its leadership.  Workplace mobbing tactics often are used against whistleblowers – workers who report concerns about illegal or unethical behavior in the workplace.  Mobbing requires the support of top management.  Mobbing cannot be sustained without the permission and/or direction from top-management.  The damage done to a person through workplace mobbing is an injury, not an illness.  Fundamentally, it is a workplace health and safety issue.  Therefore, there is always an effort by top-management to skirt responsibility and accountability for their intentional or negligent injurious actions.  The objective is to make the workplace so miserable for the target that they will leave voluntarily without a fight.  Workplace mobbing and bullying results in a number of health injuries and consequences for both the target, as well as his/her family.   The fabric of relationships within the organization is damaged and the victim of mobbing has suffered an injury that can be life threatening.  Victims of mobbing are documented to become ill and die prematurely or commit suicide.  Mobbing is violent health-harming abuse perpetrated through the abuse of authoritative power and a profound breach of trust.

Gaslighting is an insidiously cruel form of sociopathic narcissistic psychological manipulation and abuse often practiced to gain power and control over a target.   The objective of the gaslighting is to cause the target to lose their sense of identity and perception of what’s really happening around them.  The term originates from the 1938 stage play, GaslightIn the play, a husband dims the gas lights while he searches for jewels that he believes were hidden in the attic by his wife’s aunt, who was murdered in the apartment which his wife inherited.  The wife notices the dimming gas light, as well as other strange goings-on.  The husband tries to persuade her that she is imagining the light change, and other things.  The objective is to replace the truth with a lie.  The term gaslighting is now used colloquially to describe efforts to manipulate someone’s perception of reality.  Gaslighter’s will use persistent lying, denial, misdirection and contradiction to destabilize the victim’s beliefs and make them doubt their perceptions of events.  In the workplace, for instance, an individual who reports or discloses being harassed and bullied, or other workplace behaviors that may contradict their understanding of policy, or even the law, may become targets of gaslighting.  Gaslighter’s may try to make the victim believe that no wrong-doing has occurred and that they are just coping badly with “work performance” or other unrelated issues.  Gaslighting and workplace mobbing, or gang-bullying, can be applied together in a collective effort to force the target out of their job in retaliation for disclosing and revealing such wrong doing.  Mobbing and gaslighting are tactics used to force whistleblowers out of the workplace.

DARVO also exists on an organizational level. When a company or organization is complicit with the accused who employs the same strategy, it’s “institutional DARVO,” and what Freyd calls a form of betrayal.

Ashley Judd

And leadership is even more frightened that they might lose power, so any signs of “trouble” can easily be perceived as threats to that power.

Janice Harper, PhD, Just Us Justice

What is the difference between lying and fraud?  At what point does telling lies go from being a poor decision to a violation of the law?  Fraud is an intentional false representation intended to mislead the receiver to their detriment.  Courts will often look at what the liar(s) gain if the lie is believed and what harm is caused to the person who relied on truthful information.  If the victim believed the lie and acted as if it were true and suffered some sort of injury because of the betrayal in trust, there could be liability for fraud.  Denying or ignoring the truthful narrative of a victim is a lie and a betrayal, and a particularly pernicious form of denial is DARVO.  Organizations, like people, have an incentive to protect their ideal image.  Organizations have attributes and personalities formed by the decisions and actions of directors and top-management.  It is these decisions and actions which form the institution or corporate character.  This is not to be confused with the published corporate values, mission statements, and annual reports, which are created to form an ideal perception of the corporate character.  Narcissism describes a self-absorbed person.  Narcissists are prone to frequent lies and exaggerations and enjoy getting away with violating rules and social norms.  Narcissists project a false idealized image of themselves and use or control others as an extension of themselves.  The narcissistic organization becomes similarly self-absorbed in protecting an ideal identity above dealing with contrasting reality.  When agents of organizations gang-bully and gaslight targets in the workplace, it above all involves a conspiratorial myriad of intentional false representations intended to mislead and change the targets perception of true events to their detriment.

Participants in the atrocities and genocide carried out by Nazi Germany justified their actions on following the orders of superiors, or obedience to authority.  Could it be that the millions of accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders?  In 1961, US Yale University psychologist, Stanley Milgram, began his famous experiments into analyzing obedience to authority.  The Milgram Experiment wanted to determine if ordinary people are likely to follow orders given by an authority figure, even to the extent of killing an innocent human being.  Obedience to authority is ingrained in us all from the way we are brought up.  People tend to obey orders from other people if they recognize their authority as morally right and/or legally based. This response to legitimate authority is learned in a variety of situations, for example in the family, school, and workplace.  The experiment concluded that ordinary people are likely to follow orders given by an authority figure, even to the extent of killing an innocent human being.  Ordinary kind and humane people can easily become sadistic under certain conditions.  When someone in a position of leadership makes it clear that certain individuals are undesirable, these targets may be mistreated, shunned, and even falsely accused of misconduct and crimes.  If people believe that they will not be held accountable for their actions, and the more they see others acting aggressively without sanction, the more likely they will behave aggressively.  However, if people were reminded that they had responsibility for their own actions, almost none of them were prepared to obey. 

It is important to remember that the heinous genocide and elimination of those deemed socially undesirable during of the Holocaust was not only legal, but also a principal objective of the authoritative Nazi regime in power.  There was, and would have been, reprisal and punishment to those citizens who thwarted those objectives.  Nevertheless, many charged in carrying out these objectives were punished, and even executed, following the Allied trials that followed the conclusion of the Allied victory of World War 2.  In the Milgram experiment, teacher subjects were allowed to dispense punishment to “learners” under the direction and authority of the Yale University researcher.  Yale University’s reputation provided additional allegiance and obedience to follow these instructions.  Further, the teachers were not enfranchised in the Yale University organization.  They were not fellow researchers with an understanding of the experiment or knowledge of human psychology.  Mobbing and gaslighting behavior may be authorized by leaders – those holding authoritative decision-making power – of organizations, but those who follow the sole instruction of authority are also agents who have pronounced their commitment to uphold laws, organization policy, and organization values. 

We should never forget that everything Adolph Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Retaliation against whistleblowers is common and severe and includes negative job performance evaluations, micromanagement, isolation, loss of job, and blacklisting.

Kathy Ahern, PhD., RN, Institutional Betrayal and Gaslighting: Why Whistleblowers are So Traumatized

Gang-bullies and gaslighter’s breach all of these commitments and provide their allegiance to corrupt wrong-doers with authoritative power.  Categorically, this not “professional” behavior.  Beyond this, the law and organization policy most certainly advocate the intervention by professionals to not follow lawless, arbitrary and capricious authority that can seriously endanger the health and well-being of a coworker.  For any policy not to state this would be malpractice.   (This was not the case in Nazi Germany.)  Joining the mob and protecting corrupt leadership may enable employees to secure benefit and promotions for helping management eliminate a “difficult” employee – the whistleblower – or the target of discriminatory or abusive treatment.  Isn’t this bribery for the purpose of perverting the course of justice? Anyone who threatens the narcissistic delusion of the organization has put themselves in jeopardy.  In a safe and functional organization, disclosures are handled according to both the law and policy.  Whistleblowing tends to refer to disclosures which are not handled appropriately and result in acts of retaliation and reprisal against those who make protected disclosures.  So, why is providing protected disclosure – or whistleblowing – about organization wrong-doing so dangerous and damaging for professionals who do so, when just the opposite should be true?

Transparency International, U4 Expert Report

When what should happen is quite the opposite to what the employee who discloses wrong-doing is experiencing, cognitive dissonance is created.  There is a betrayal of trust which undermines one’s sense of reality and confidence.  Most whistleblowers disclose with the belief that the organization leadership will be just as troubled by the reported behavior as they are.  The whistleblower has been promised by the organization that disclosures will be handled fairly and effectively.  It is a legal and fiduciary promise made by leadership.  When the whistleblower begins to see the published proclamations as false assurances and is at the receiving end of unabashed reprisals, this distresses the whistleblower immensely.  Many whistleblowers experience long-term Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD).  Disclosing organization wrong-doing often implicates higher level executives, directly or indirectly.  DARVO occurs when the perpetrator, which could be an organization, literally accuses the victim of doing something specific that they did.  For instance, if you accuse perpetrators of defamation for evaluating your performance arbitrarily and not in accordance to the organization performance management system, as is common for workplace bullies and the mob, the perpetrator will deny the bullying and claim your accusations are defamatory.  The organization will protect the improperly empowered wrong-doers.  There will be no fair investigation or resolution, in contradiction to the written policy.  The victim of harassment/bullying by the mob will likely be terminated and blacklisted, all the while the narcissistic organization will preserve the myth of being guided by high values and fairness.  This is an orchestrated deception.

Betrayal is very threatening to our survival as humans.  When former colleagues and professionals assist in the elimination of the betrayed target, it comes as a shock.  It is very painful and confusing to the target who cannot understand what’s going on?  The betrayed target is likely to be enraged at the trusted institution and fellow employees who have breached their trust and demonstrated cowardice and lack of moral fortitude.  Once former colleagues align themselves with the immoral mob, there can be no redemption.  An initial moment of guilt may occur with the initial small betrayal.  This is followed by anger at the target because being angry with the corrupted power structure and calling them out is too risky.  The anger is fueled by fear and guilt that they have become accomplices in evil and compromised their own principles by betraying the target.  Following the initial betrayal, the subsequent lies and betrayals increase in intensity.  The problem is that eventually the betrayals will be discovered.  The mob must create justifications for their decisions that support the false narrative of events aligned with the corrupt power structure that oversaw the gaslighting and manipulation in the workplace which was orchestrated to eliminate the target.  The mob would like to frame the targets reaction as unhinged, when it is entirely normal for a betrayed person or victim to act as a betrayed person or victim.  The participants within the mob must collectively maintain the mythological institution identity or face internal or external legal reprisals and accountability.  They do this knowingly to protect a hypocritical and corrupted power structure and false institution identity at the expense of the victim.                          

Every life is a test but, in the workplace, few are tested more than whistleblowers.  The act of whistleblowing is a comprehensive test of the whistleblower’s values, loyalties, and above all their self-worth.  The whistleblower who survives, survives these tests. 

K. R. Sawyer, The Test Called Whistleblowing

Whistleblowers are “not” wimps. They are mighty men and women of valor as Jesus Christ was when He overturned the tables of “The Den of Thieves” who were using His Father’s House to make money.

Margaret Kannaday, Jesus: The Whistleblower

Mistreatment of workers in the workplace has always existed.  At the same time, more recently a growing attention has been given to issues such as workplace harassment, bullying, and mobbing.   In 1976, Carroll M. Brodsky, a psychologist and anthropologist, opened the discussion of workplace abuse with his book The Harassed Worker looking at the outcomes and accidents from worker stress and exhaustion.  In the mid-1980s research by psychologist and pedagogist Heinz Leymann began further investigating workplace stress and introduced our modern concept of workplace bullying and mobbing.  Workplace bullying and mobbing are identified as principal workplace health and safety hazards.  Workplace environments where mobbing and bullying occur have been antecedent to both the Piper Alpha (1988) and the Deepwater Horizon (2010) offshore oil rig disasters.  The Piper Alpha disaster cost the lives of 167 offshore workers and was the deadliest offshore disaster.  The Deepwater Horizon is the largest offshore environmental disaster and it also cost the lives of eleven (11) offshore workers.  Workplaces environments where there are feelings of economic uncertainty from downsizing and restructuring leave fewer people to do more work and also make the competition for positions intense seem to fuel harassment, bullying and mobbing cultures.  While the cyclic oil and gas industry that employs geo-services professionals is not unique in terms of harvesting workplace conditions conducive to workplace harassment, bullying and mobbing, but is especially susceptible during down cycles which exacerbate uncertainty.

Much of the research work by Freyd focuses on sexual offenders and identifies a form of institutional betrayal, which is a negative reaction when an assault is reported.  This negative response by the organization adds additional trauma to the victim beyond the interpersonal violation.  The comment that is often heard, “The rape was bad, but what was even worse was how I was treated after the rape occurred.”  Institutional DARVO occurs when DARVO is committed by an institution (or with institutional complicity).  Institutional DARVO is when an institution minimizes – sometimes to the point of ignoring – the harms done to the victim(s) and frames the alleged perpetrations in such a way to blame the victim and protect the perpetrators.  An example of institutional DARVO would include to institutional leaders responding to disclosures by gaslighting victims into thinking they do not have a sufficient understanding of policy and practice and that there was no non-compliant or illegal behavior.  In the case of bullying and mobbing, the ruse of “poor performance” is often used as a justification for mistreatment.  Institutions may also obstruct the victims redress through outright lying about policy and legal obligations of the institution.  Institution betrayal really boils down to leadership corrupting the processes of redress in order to avoid culpability.  The institution does not follow their own rules and decisions are made with arbitrary caprice. 

Milgram demonstrated the power of authority over the minds and wills of ordinary people.  Milgram’s experiment was conducted following the trial of Otto Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem.  Eichmann was executed in 1962.  The trial was followed closely by the media and was the inspiration for several books.  One of the more famous books was written by Hannah Arendt.  Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe Eichmann.  Banal evil is characterized by a belief that what one is doing is not evil, rather, what they are engaging in is a behavior that is, or has been, normalized by the society in which they reside.  The horrors of the Holocaust, to which Eichmann assisted through overseeing the deportation of many of the Jewish population to the Auschwitz concentration camp, resulted in the murder of about 75 percent upon arrival.  Eichmann was loyally following the laws and carrying out the evil objectives of the Nazi regime.  Institutional betrayal and acts of psychological violence in the workplace, such as harassment, mobbing and bullying is different.  Those who follow the evil dictates of authority are usually acting against the policy and laws.  Such “professionals” are actively and willingly complicit in the destruction of the victim’s professional life and reputation, as well as the family and loved one’s who depend on their betrayed victims.  These acts are evil.  Such behavior is only normalized through the indifference of legal authorities to pursue such evil institution leadership and mob participants.  Scientific research has determined proclivities and patterns followed by abusers and criminals.  Now, institutional governance bodies and law enforcement must actively embrace the research and the body of knowledge it provides to aid victims.  For institutional governance and law enforcement not to do so is a further betrayal to victims and a miscarriage of justice.  Being a victim or doing the right thing should not be dangerous. 

The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.

Hannah Arendt

Consecrated persons, chosen by God to guide souls to salvation, let themselves be dominated by their human frailty or sickness and thus become tools of Satan.

Pope Francis, 2019 Sex Abuse Summit
Bullying Business Ethics Geo-services harassment Human Resources marine seismic Marine Seismic Market Marine Seismic Operations mobbing UN Global Compact Whistleblower

No Narcissists in Geo-Services – NONGS

No Narcissists in Geo-Services (NoNGS)

No Psychopaths in Geo-Services
Characteristics of Psychopaths
No Bullies in Geo-Service (NoBGS)

…  we argue that organizations can adopt collective narcissistic identities that will produce wrong (i.e., non-virtuous) behavior. This happens because the organization’s narcissistic identity—including the corresponding motive to protect its identity—is more powerful than a motive to behave morally

Extreme narcissistic organizations want to appear ethical because appearing ethical feeds their narcissism, and so the costs of creating formal ethics programs are small compared to the ego-defense benefits. But such programs are instrumental for the narcissistic identity, not ethical conduct, and therefore will not much affect the behavioral status quo. ~ Organizational Narcissism and Virtuous Behavior

Why Enterprise Compliance Programs Fail (24-April-2016)

Our Deepwater Horizon (4-April-2016)

Workplace Bullying is an Agency Problem and Often a Crime (1-February-2016)

Between the Bully and the Deep Blue Sea (5-June-2015)

Avoiding the Tragedy of Whistleblowing
Bribery – Wikipedia

Bribery is the act of giving or receiving something of value in exchange for some kind of influence or action in return, that the recipient would otherwise not offer. Bribery is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as the offeringgivingreceiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legalduty.[1] Essentially, bribery is offering to do something for someone for the expressed purpose of receiving something in exchange. – Wikipedia

It is unethical for a lawyer to threaten to present criminal, administrative or disciplinary charges to obtain advantage in a civil dispute.  Blackmail consists of threats made to gain anything of value from the other person, such as money, property or sexual favors.  Extortion constitutes a threat to accuse someone of a crime, or to expose or impute to him/her any significant misconduct, accompanied by a demand for payment “or else.”

Business Ethics Geo-services Human Resources marine seismic Marine Seismic Market Marine Seismic Operations Whistleblower

Shearing the Trough in Marine Seismic Streamer Acquisition with Nodes

Ocean Bottom Node Seismic Acquisition Challenges High-end Seismic Streamer Acquisition

History is so important. It has been said that the three most important words in the English language are “remember, remember, remember.” 

Chances multiply when you take them.

Since May 2015, MarineSeismicSurvey (MSS) blog articles have mostly focused on the marine seismic streamer market as a gauge of the health and trend of offshore geophysical exploration.  However, marine seismic streamer activity can no longer be considered singularly in such analysis.  The growing ocean bottom seismic (OBS) market, being forged by ocean bottom node (OBN) technologies, must be taken into account moving forward.  The percentage share of OBS in the marine seismic survey market has been increasing over the past decade, and some analysts are predicting that OBS will command a 30% marine seismic survey market share by 2020 with its continued rise.  This is remarkable for several reasons.  The plunge in oil prices in mid-2014 significantly impacted marine geophysical exploration.  However, marine geophysical exploration has historically been a boom or bust business defined through a litany of bankruptcies, mergers, and acquisitions.  Oil prices have always been cyclic.  Therefore, the trend and buoyancy of the marine geophysical exploration survey industry remains a good indicator for the overall trends and health of the offshore oil and gas industry. 

Marine seismic surveys, in simple terms, map the subsurface points between a source and receiver(s).  For some time, the most time-efficient and cost-effective way to map these points is through narrow azimuth (NAZ) streamer acquisition.  Standard NAZ marine seismic acquisition is where source(s) and streamers are towed together behind a single vessel.  It is principally the cost of the seismic vessel and seismic in-sea equipment that determines the price of a survey.  Surveys are priced on a day rate, square kilometer rate, or the number of these “mid-points”, or common depth points (CDPs) mapped.  Because each source, almost always an air gun blast or “shot”, maps to the number of receiver sensors located on the streamer cables, there has been an incentive to tow as many streamers as possible to reduce time and costs of marine seismic surveys.  To facilitate this, newer marine seismic streamer vessels have steadily become larger and more powerful.  They are also more expensive to equip and operate.  OBS acquisition has been slower and more expensive method.  However, OBS is seen to provide better data quality.  There have been notable technology innovations introduced into the marine seismic streamer market during the past decade to improve data quality.  Similarly, more powerful computing power has improved final data quality and imaging of marine seismic streamer acquisition.

The marine seismic streamer market has always been tenuous and competitive.  In late 2013, CGG acquired Fugro GeoScience’s marine seismic streamer fleet.  Fugro exited the marine seismic streamer market before the mid-2014 plunge in oil prices.  However, they retained their OBS capability as a joint venture with CGG which is Seabed GeoSolutions.  OBS data was regarded as “better” because it was derived from multi-component (2-4) sensors, whereas seismic streamer data sensors were single component.  One of the problems with marine seismic streamer data was the loss of recorded bandwidth which correlates to depth that sources and streamers are towed.  This loss of bandwidth is known as a “ghost notch” caused from upcoming energy cancelling down-coming energy from the water surface.  In 2007, a dual-sensor towed streamer was introduced into the market that could rival OBS data quality.  In 2009, the first dual-sensor 3D survey was carried out, ushering in an industry wide embrace of “broadband” seismic streamer data.  Another way to acquire broadband seismic data from single-sensor streamers is through varying the depth of the streamers and then applying sophisticated data processing algorithms.  In 2013, a 4-component streamer was introduced into the market. As vessels got larger and towed larger spreads, there also became a need for improved streamer control equipment. 

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Steve Jobs

We are witnessing a seismic change in consumer behavior. That change is being brought about by technology and the access people have to information.

Howard Schultz

While there have been remarkable innovations and advances in marine seismic streamer acquisition technologies and techniques, advances have also been made in OBS that are together transforming marine geophysical business model paradigms.  In a competitive market, innovation is essential.  However, conservative concession operators have shown a reluctance to pay any premium for such innovations.  Within the MSS blog article, Toward a New Horizon in the Marine Seismic Streamer Industry (24-January-2018), we reminisced about Schlumberger’s seismic acquisition entity, WesternGeco (WG)’s, history and their contributions to the marine seismic industry.  Schlumberger’s CEO, Paal Kibsgaard, announced that the company would exit the marine and land acquisition businesses in January 2018.  The reason essentially boiled down to the return on investment developing and deploying innovative technologies.  The MSS blog article, Upstream Exploration and the Paradox of Choice (5-June-2015), describes how the operator competitive bidding process discourages more expensive innovative proprietary technologies until they are commoditized and offered by a variety of service company providers.  An example of this is in the variety of solutions offered for marine broadband streamer acquisition.  Broadband is commoditized, the specific techniques and equipment used are distinct and vary in equipment and operational costs.

On 15 November 2018, it was announced that relative newcomer, Shearwater GeoServices (Shearwater), had completed the acquisition of the marine seismic acquisition and operations of WG.  Shearwater’s portfolio now includes marine seismic streamer, as well as ocean bottom seismic (OBS) exploration services.  On 27 December 2018, seismic streamer player, Polarcus, announced their winning a combined towed streamer and ocean bottom node (OBN) contract that they will perform cooperatively with SAE Exploration.   Earlier, 7 December 2018, ocean bottom node player, Magseis, acquired Fairfield’s Seismic Technologies data acquisition business to become Magseis Fairfield.  These moves in late 2018 have redefined the marine seismic industry.  Both Magseis and Shearwater are both relative newcomers to their respective principal markets.  Through their acquiring additional marine data acquisition resources, they are now both dominant players.  Shearwater added seven (7) marine seismic streamer vessels to their fleet, as well as three (3) multipurpose source and OBS vessels.  MagSeisFairfield will also have a dominant position in the OBS/OBN market.   

Schlumberger made a decision to exit the data acquisition game.  It has been my position since my first blog post article, The Seismic Vessel Over-Capacity Problem (5-May-2015) that the marine seismic streamer market provides a snapshot of the trends and health of offshore development and overall oil and gas spending and growth.  Both Schlumberger (of which WG was a part) and Fairfield will continue to have a presence in providing seismic data processing, imaging, and multi-client (MC) products and services.  Both Schlumberger and Fairfield are innovators of proprietary technologies in marine seismic acquisition and are currently pursuing claims of patent infringement against their rivals.  Schlumberger’s is challenging ION streamer control technology.  Fairfield’s recent claim of patent infringement of their OBN acquisition technology by Seabed GeoSolutions (SG) are current examples.  Both Shearwater and MagSeisFairfield will quite possibly be in sole possession of cutting edge proprietary data acquisition technologies. 

A century ago, petroleum – what we call oil – was just an obscure commodity; today it is almost as vital to human existence as water.

James Buchan

I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.

JefF Bezos

The plunge in oil prices in mid-2014 led most seismic streamer acquisition vessel owners to reduce the number of operating vessels to adapt to the reduced offshore exploration opportunities.  In the near-term, this took a large fleet of capable vessels and equipment off the market.  With reduced demand for oil exploration, seismic streamer vessel fleets have been decimated.  The marine seismic acquisition equation has changed significantly.  Over-capacity in the marine seismic streamer vessel market exists when the number of vessels (streamers) in the market is greater than the demand for data acquisition surveys that will employ such vessels.  In a robust demand market, larger fleets could be deployed strategically to minimize costly uncompensated transit times between surveys.  Equipped streamer vessels are expensive to maintain.  The objective is always to keep vessels working and reduce transit time.  If the marine seismic vessel is on-site, but idle – or on standby – for a variety of reasons, the goal of the vessel owner is to be compensated for the idle time by the contractor.  Of course, the operator/contractor also wants to minimize their incurred expense when vessels are not acquiring data (which meets the contractor data requirements) in the (contract) acquisition business model.  The marine seismic streamer fleet had been steadily adding vessels capable of towing larger streamer spreads, which also meant reduced survey times.  Larger spreads complete surveys in less time.  In a market with reduced opportunities it is even more difficult to keep fleets working steadily and profitably.

In spite of all of these factors, reducing survey time and cost to operators, especially during a time of reduced oil prices, survey cost is the principal consideration.  In times past, in areas of robust exploration, multiple seismic vessels could be working in the same area.  This was problematic for high quality seismic data acquisition.  The sources used by the different survey vessels would impact the seismic data.  Seismic interference, as it was referred to, occurred when the source signal from another survey vessel polluted the recorded records from the primary survey.  Expensive time-sharing agreements would compel seismic vessels to cease data acquisition while the other recorded to reduce seismic source interference.  However, there are now seismic data processing techniques which can separate out unwanted seismic signal, thus again reducing idle time and expense once caused from seismic source interference.  In fact, such data processing has been refined enough to allow surveyors to intentionally overlap source interference.  As mentioned earlier, the points being mapped are essentially the midpoints between the seismic source and receivers.  Adding sources in acquisition and overlapping sources for deblending in data processing is now an offered solution which again reduces survey time and cost, but increases potential vessel idle time.

Geophysical survey customers are cost conscious consumers and are, for the most part, risk adverse and not aggressive using innovative technologies that increase survey costs.  However, geophysical survey customers seem willing to try new technologies and techniques that decrease survey costs.  In such a competitive environment, customers can often get the benefit of both new technology and techniques without a premium cost.  The incentive for vessel owners is to keep the vessels as busy as possible to reduce loss from idle time.  All of these factors do not easily explain the rise in OBS/OBN marine seismic market share so much as the decimation of the marine seismic streamer fleet.  Marine seismic streamer acquisition is still the most time efficient marine seismic acquisition technique.  In times past, offshore project development required that oil prices be above $70 USD/bbl.  This value is not firm, but any trading value of over such an arbitrary threshold provides more opportunities for investment in seismic surveys.  Most frontier exploration initiates with 2D (single streamer) marine seismic surveys.  This data can then be used to evaluate the area and plan subsequent 3D (multiple streamers) marine seismic surveys, which in turn define targets for offshore drilling.  4D marine seismic streamer acquisition is used over existing reservoirs to improve oil recovery.  4D programs are intended to replicate the source and receiver positions of previous 3D surveys and detect changes over time and determine optimal drilling locations. 

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.

Bill Gates

Predicting oil prices is anyone’s guess.

Soren Skou

In the current market (with oil prices trading below the threshold value for profitably), developing new fields is prohibitive.  OBS/OBN acquisition can focus on developed or trafficked areas where streamer acquisition is hindered by obstructions or other hazards and risks that exists when towing a 1100 m x 8000 m (or larger) streamer spread 5-15 m below the sea surface.  OBS/OBN exploration programs can be more focused on quality over quantity of CDPs.  In other words, getting more oil and gas from already developed fields where there is existing infrastructure in place is less risky than exploring in remote expansive areas.  The improved data processing deblending techniques provide the ability to acquire marine seismic data with multiple overlapping sources.  Add to this more sophisticated interpolation algorithms means new acquisition source-streamer configurations can be employed to reduce survey time and costs.  Less in-sea equipment also has many operational advantages.  Towing wider spreads with fewer streamers can save on fuel and reduce the number of streamer control and positioning equipment to monitor and maintain.  Of course, from a health and safety perspective, reduced maintenance means less risk exposure by offshore workers.

OBN seismic data acquisition is becoming more efficient and less costly to deploy and is now poised to challenge the high-end marine seismic streamer market.  OBS/OBN technology is equipped with multicomponent sensors that can collect full azimuth seismic data.  The step change advances in OBN include longer battery life in nodes and faster automated deployment.  Much the higher cost of OBS/OBN is attributed to time efficiency, where as much of the expense for marine seismic is the large and powerful streamer vessels themselves.  OBN technology can acquire 4D seismic data, as well.  OBN surveys will take market share away from high-end marine seismic streamer surveys, especially as oil prices remain below the offshore development threshold price.  In this cost sensitive environment, cost effective 3D exploration employing a combination of three (3) or more sources and seismic deblending data processing techniques will be attractive for frontier exploration.  Marine seismic streamer and OBN will battle for acquiring data to reach untapped regions of existing developed fields.  This is what I believe will shape the marine geophysical data acquisition market.  As has always been the case, oil prices will continue to control marine seismic market.  Also, as has always been the case, innovation that best solves the problems of customers will win the day.    The plunge in oil prices in mid-2014 significantly impacted marine geophysical exploration.  Marine seismic will remain a boom or bust business defined by bankruptcies, mergers, and acquisitions until there is a paradigm shift in how innovation is embraced by marine seismic survey customers.

Keeping customers is about the experience, and the employees control the culture and temperature of the business. Never forget that.

Steve Wynn

At its heart, engineering is about using science to find creative, practical solutions. It is a noble profession.

Queen Elizabeth II


Business Ethics Geo-services Human Resources Marine Seismic Market Marine Seismic Operations UN Global Compact Whistleblower Workplace Bullying, Harassment & Mobbing

Norwegian Geo-Services Compliance Team Stonewall Whistleblowing – 2016

2016 Exchange on Norwegian Geo-Services  LinkedIn Comment Space.  The Company never answered any substantive questions and would delete them.  I was whistleblowing because Compliance ignored e-mail complaints and would not speak on the telephone. Eventually, the whistleblower was restricted from LinkedIn for revealing corruption and asking questions!
The Crimes of Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) CEO Jon Erik Reinhardsen

Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Compliance Team Conceal Illicit and Non-Compliant Acts through Stonewalling – 2016

How a Dysfunctional and Non-Responsive Compliance Program Harms the Reputation of PGS

Revised 22 October 2018.  Publication of unanswered Petroleum Geo-Services ASA Compliance Hotline e-mails documenting PGS Legal Compliance Inaction and Apathy.  

When I felt that my own professional and personal reputation had been defamed, I submitted a thorough formal grievance challenging the management of my employer, PGS Exploration UK Limited (PGSUK), directly to substantiate their orally and written aspersions.  I am now a former employee of PGS PGSUK.  I am a USA citizen who was sponsored to live and work in England on a Tier 2 visa, along with my wife and dependent children.  PGSUK is an affiliate of Norwegian based marine seismic service company, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS).  When I tried to find redress through practicing my legal right under employment and contract law to initiate the grievance procedures outlined within the PGSUK Policy Handbook, this right was impeded through managements conscious efforts to bypass the processes and  laws governing my employment as a foreign worker.  My rights were manipulated and denied and the health and safety of my family placed in danger through these same consciously violent acts by negligent management.  As a foreign worker with no ties to the community, I was employed within a toxic and dehumanizing workplace.  But, I would not leave without defending my rights, dignity and reputation as a professional.  I tried to follow the rules.  Within my written grievance, I write:

A main motivation for my response in the form of a grievance is that one should never allow a defamatory statement to go unchallenged. Silence is perceived as acceptance. If one does not respond about what has been said and written about them – especially at a professional level – then it must be true.  

Employer personnel files contain the documentation that is needed to provide an accurate view of an employee’s employment history.  The documentation supports the employer’s decisions and must be of a legal standard to protect the employer in a potential lawsuit.  Most employee personnel files will never be tested in this way.  But, this is the standard for and basis for maintaining such records at all.  The personnel file contents demonstrate the employer’s rationale behind hiring, promotions, transfer, rewards and recognition, and termination decisions.  Outcomes are the derivative of processes and are only valid to the extent that the processes followed best practices as prescribed in policy which is guided by employment law.  My grievance was grounded in the belief that my personnel file data was intentionally defamatory and the byproduct non-compliant processes.

Ten months after I left England, I submitted a subject access request to PGSUK citing the UK Data Protection Act 1998.  I discovered that defamatory and inaccurate personnel records populated my personnel file contents.  This was done intentionally by PGSUK to create a false history of my employment which would obviously would harm me for future opportunities.  This was the basis for my filing a grievance in the first place and why defamation was specifically an issue that was brought up.  Another key issue brought up within my grievance document was that PGS Core Values were being ignored.  PGS Core Values and PGS Code of Conduct are specifically mentioned within the terms and conditions of my original employment contract.  I felt that management had breached these terms and conditions through their deliberate and destructive decisions focused on me.  I was a target of workplace gang-bullying and harassment.

The best way for an individual or company to maintain a stellar reputation, first and foremost, is to be proactive and ensure that one’s decisions are guided by ethical values.   Enterprises must be principled and resolute about following such guidance.  The UK Companies Act 2006 clearly establishes that directors and secretary (“directors”) have the fiduciary duty to protect the reputation of the company that they direct.  Employee’s, present and former, are bound by Confidentiality conditions, such that they will not engage in activities and public disclosures that will negatively impact the business.  This, of course, includes its reputation.  The exception to any such public disclosures are protected disclosures, or whistleblowing.  Such protected public disclosure is provided through the UK Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) and is specifically referenced within the PGSUK Policy Handbook.

Most people when accused of a crime that they are innocent of will vehemently deny it and take action in the moment and not wait over three years to be outraged and file criminal defamation charges in a foreign country.  We must concede that the reaction of PGSUK directors, Rune Olav Pedersen, Gottfred Langseth, Christin Steen-Nilsen, and former secretary Carl Richards is not normal.  At what point are such publications the fault of those charged with guarding the company reputation?  Where was the proverbial “line in the sand” in terms of what disparaging commentary would be tolerated?  The first and only official condemnation of my postings came in the form of a criminal complaint made by PGSUK directors.  However, prior to being President and CEO of PGS, Pedersen was General Counsel and Legal Compliance.  He also ascended to be an Executive Vice President of Marketing.  As a member of the legal compliance team of PGS, in 2016 several e-mails were directed to him and his team.  All e-mails directed to Pedersen were not answered at all.  I did have some exchange with other compliance team members.  Between April to September 2016, I complained to the PGS compliance team on several occasions.  I provided published blog article content and links for their consideration.  The final blog article sent specifically to Pedersen’s attention was titled The Crimes of Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) CEO Jon Erik Reinhardsen. 

Many of the same claims that were directed to Pedersen within my 2016 blog publications are repeated within future blog post articles.  My intention was to make sure that the same base complaints were true and continued to be considered relevant.  I continued publishing content and expanding the recipients of my complaints because the many issues important to me were never acknowledged or resolved by PGS, most notably the directors of PGSUK.   I have always requested a thorough third party (police) investigation.  In fact, if the directors of PGSUK were truly confident of their innocence, they would invite such an investigation to exonerate themselves.  Currently, an updated report submitted to UK ActionFraud (police) accusing the directors of criminal behavior has been published on my website for some time.  No one from PGSUK has ever addressed or clarified the accusations made or asked for the reports removal.  Current publications implicate the same people as the articles published and forwarded to PGS compliance in 2016.  Pedersen reneged on his duty to defend the reputation of PGS in 2016, as the e-mails below clearly show.  So, who bares responsibility for damage to that reputation in 2018?

The Crimes of Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) CEO Jon Erik Reinhardsen (4 November 2016)


Business Ethics Geo-services Human Resources Marine Seismic Market Marine Seismic Operations UN Global Compact Whistleblower Workplace Bullying, Harassment & Mobbing

Petroleum Geo-Services and PGS Exploration UK Limited Conceal Illicit and Non-Compliant Acts through Stonewalling – 2014

Why do PGS Human Resources  (HR) and Legal Personal Data Processors Refuse to Answer Simple Questions?

I am a USA citizen who was sponsored on a Tier 2 visa, shortage occupation list basis, along with my wife and dependent children, to work with PGS Exploration UK Limited, 4 The Heights, Brooklands, Weybridge, England, KT13 0NY (PGSUK).   I was officially employed by PGSUK from 26 September 2010 through 31 December 2013.  Paperwork to renew my visa was submitted 15 July 2013.  We all lived in Weybridge, England, during this time.

My employment terminated through a settlement contract agreement which was proffered to me following my submitting a workplace grievance on 20 September 2013.  The grievance specifically cited misconduct and non-compliant behavior and actions by my first line supervisor, Edward von Abendorff, Vice-President, Marine Contract Sales – Africa, his boss, Simon Cather, Marine Contract Regional President – Africa, and David Nicholson, Human Resources Manager.

In October 2014, I submitted a subject access request (SAR), citing the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) to receive copies of personal data which PGSUK was processing in my name.  When I received my “personal data” from PGSUK, I noted multiple problems, especially with the documents residing within my professional personnel file.  The documents bore no counter-signature and were factually incorrect.  Most obvious, was the reference to a 11 September 2013 meeting date, which was referenced in two separate documents.  The 11 September 2013 meeting never happened.The 11 September 2013 meeting was rescheduled for 20 September 2013, the day which I delivered my grievance to the first line supervisors of the subjects identified within the grievance.  The superiors were executives of Norwegian parent company, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS).  Cather reported to Per Arild Reksnes, Executive Vice-President, Marine Contract and Nicholson reported to Terje Bjølseth, Senior Vice-President, Global Human Resources.  John Greenway, Senior Vice-President was also copied, along with my work colleague, John Barnard, who was my witness.

Employees who are terminated by a settlement agreement contract need to receive qualified legal advice before signing.  I engaged solicitor Philip Landau with the London legal firm Landau, Zeffertt and Weir (LZW).  LZW had also been made aware of the change in meeting time.  The meeting had been referenced from a letter delivered to me on 24 July 2013, which was the memorialized basis for my submitting a grievance.  However, the grievance document also referenced a 13 July 2013 meeting which I was called to without any warning.  Following the 13 July 2013 “ambush meeting”, I requested minutes of the meeting, how the meeting comported to PGSUK internal policy and UK employment law, and queried about submitting a workplace grievance.  As the grievance document clearly states, I never received these minutes of the meeting.  I was also never informed as to how the ambush meeting comported to PGSUK internal policy and UK employment law.  The ambush meeting was a very distressing event in my life.

Based on the contents received through my SAR, I now believe that the settlement contract agreement is not a legal instrument.  I believe that it was necessary for LZW to be complicit in processing the illegal settlement contract agreement.  Settlement contracts are very binding and are designed to make future claims virtually impossible.  This is the reason that it has been so difficult to compel changes, or find redress..  In late 2014, I had identified many of the same problems which I identify today and publish about.  However, in 2014, I did not suspect that LZW had helped advance the defamatory personal data residing within my personnel file.  Further, most electronic (email) data received through the SAR does not mention the points raised within the grievance document, but are mostly about the review of the settlement contract agreement.  PGSUK also engaged law firm Watson, Farley, and Williams (WFW) to represent them during the settlement agreement contract negotiation process.  This means that three (3) different data controllers all processed knowingly inaccurate personal data, as proven by the reference to the 11 September 2013 meeting which never happened.  It is this concerted and determined conspiracy of actors which have prohibited redress and denied me my human rights.  I believe that I was the victim / target of an orchestrated confidence fraud.  My being a foreign worker likely was a factor in selecting me.

I have known since late 2014 that something very wrong had happened.  However, in 2014 I had not fully processed all of the information and understood the extent of what happened to me.  On 5 December 2014, 6 (7) December 2014, and 20 December 2014, I wrote complaint e-mails to PGSUK.  However, it should be noted that Nicholson, who had been a principal subject of my grievance citing misconduct (bullying and harassment), the mismanagement of the employee performance management system, and the dissemination of defamatory information about me, was also the main data processor for the SAR submitted in 2014.  Nicholson wrote a 22 December 2014 letter on behalf of PGSUK essentially telling me to accept the personal data processing or “shut up.”  PGSUK also threatened legal action if I continued my pursuit for the truth and the reinstatement of an accurate recounting of my employment history with PGSUK.  The 22 December 2014 letter specifically mentions  the three fore-mentioned e-mails.  True to form, there were no timely responses to the 5 December 2014 email, and this was why the 6(7) and 20 December 2014 emails needed to be written.

The directors of PGSUK, relevant to my grievance and subsequent settlement agreement contract were:  John Erik Reinhardsen, Gottfred Langseth, Christin Steen-Nilsen, and secretary, Carl Richards.  While the 22 December 2014 letter was signed by Nicholson, it was written and sent on behalf of PGSUK and its directors/secretary who allowed Nicholson to be so involved in processing my personal data, in spite of the documented problems in his doing so.

The 22 December 2014 letter:

The 6 December 2014 e-mail referenced within this letter is dated 7 December 2014 in my records and is part of this article.  I was in Houston, Texas, USA when the contents from my subject access request (SAR) was received.

The list of people provided within the 22 December 2014 letter does not make sense to me.  These are all human resources personnel, except for Simon Cather.  My first line supervisor, Edward von Abendorff is not listed.  Cather was Marine Contract Regional President – Africa and was von Abendorff’s boss.  But, I did not report directly to Cather and he would not have assessed my performance from the standpoint of a first line supervisor.

As stated previously, von Abendorff, Cather, and Nicholson, were all named subjects within the submitted 20 September 2013 grievance document.  I received no direct communications from    Reksnes, and more notably, Bjølseth.  Nicholson continued coordinating the grievance procedure as though he had never been named in the contents of the grievance.  A grievance hearing was scheduled for 14 October 2013.  However, on 10 October 2013, Nicholson proffered me a settlement contract agreement so that I would forego my legal right under employment contract to submit a grievance.  I now believe that this proffering was another breach in my employment contract.

I first initiated contact with Landau on 11 October 2013. I was curious about the situation and being proffered a settlement contract agreement to interrupt the grievance procedure outlined within the UK Personnel Policy Handbook (2013).  Landau was provided with a copy of the grievance document with the names redacted.  Landau was also provided information regarding the advance proffering of the settlement agreement contract before the scheduled 14 October 2014 grievance hearing.  Landau never asked about or mentioned anything about the PGSUK grievance procedure and recommended an enhanced settlement contract agreement.  I now believe that Landau was compromised early on and that is why he did not ask more about or recommend that I follow the prescribed grievance procedures.   

The grievance hearing was chaired by Terje Bjølseth, PGS Senior Vice President Global Human Resource, and Per Arild Reksnes, Executive Vice President Marine Contract (at the time),  They didn’t view the personnel file?  Also, my employment was terminated through a settlement contract.  I had been told by Nicholson that lawyers from both the UK/London office and Oslo office had read the grievance and decided to offer the settlement contract agreement because I was “in dispute with the Company.”   No lawyers of PGSUK/PGS processed my personnel file?  Landau never processed the contents of my personnel file?  And WFW, who eventually would represent PGSUK in settlement negotiations never processed my personnel file data?

By engaging Landau, I did not believe that I would need to learn about employment law in another country.  However, the website states that if the grievance procedure is included in the employment contract, then employers must follow those procedures or otherwise be in breach of the original employment contract.  Grievance procedure was part of my employment contract.  So, why did all the lawyers – experiences UK employment law lawyers – allow processing the settlement contract agreement?  This is yet another reason why I believe the settlement contract agreement eventually signed by me is not a legal instrument.  

The 5, 7 and 20 December e-mails written by me point out many factual dependencies between true events and the data that PGS Exploration UK Limited is processing in my name.   During the settlement contract agreement negotiations, I had requested that all derogatory and defamatory data being processed to be expunged – removed – from my personnel file.  I was especially concerned by content authored by any of the three subjects of my grievance: von Abendorff, Cather, and Nicholson.  The response to this request is held in a 4 December 2013 e-mail from WFW lawyer, Rhodri Thomas, that was  forwarded to me by Landau, and is clear:

“This amendment is not acceptable.  PGS’s personnel records are its property and must naturally give an accurate record of all employees’ employment history, it will not agree to redact or amend these in any way.”

However, when I discovered inaccurate defamatory personal data being processed within my personnel file data, Nicholson included within the 22 December 2014 letter:

“Instead, a copy of your email of 5 December has been placed on your personnel file (and is held also in our email and document database), and the points you have raised about the data we hold are accordingly held together with your other personal data.”

We regard this as a satisfactory and proportionate approach to our obligation to ensure that personal data held about you is accurate.”

The 22 December 2014 letter contradicts the 4 December 2013 email that states that PGSUK will not alter the data in any way.  This e-mail was approved by my legal adviser, PGSUK, and their legal adviser – three different data controllers.  However, PGSUK (“We regard …”) agrees to amend the personnel file data as a proportionate approach to our obligation to ensure that personal data held about me is accurate.  In other words, PGSUK is acknowledging that the personal data processed for the settlement contract agreement was not accurate.  So, how can the settlement contract agreement be a legal instrument if it was processed using inaccurate data?

It should be noted that LZW (Landau / Rushton) was formerly engaged 22 October 2013.  The 25 October 2013 Memo, which I regard as a forgery, was created when LZW was engaged as MY legal adviser.  The 25 October 2013 Memo is very important.  The Memo is never mentioned in email communications between me and LZW.  Further, the contents establishes that my termination was due to defamatory performance based reasons, and that I was not a target of health harming gang-bullying.  This is significant, and that is why I cannot breath well until the issue is truly resolved.  This is another indication that I was the target of a confidence fraud carried out by the conspiracy of three different data controllers.

Rhodri Thomas, WFW lawyer representing PGSUK e-mail : 4 December 2013 – This amendment is not acceptable. PGS’s personnel records are its property and must naturally give an accurate record of all employees’ employment history, it will not agree to redact or amend these in any way.


When I submitted the SAR in 2014, I had no way of knowing that so many questions would be raised.  I could not have conceived that the legal adviser I hired would be compromised.  All I knew, is that I identified inaccurate defamatory data being processed by PGSUK when I shouldn’t have.  The other tell-tale sign is that none of the documents in my personnel file bare no counter-signature.  I have not signed any of the documents which I have requested removed.  What kind of lawyers or HR professionals would process such documents?

The reason that PGSUKs response to my more recent 2018 SAR citing the General Data Protection Requirement is inadequate is because they have never really answered the questions raised within the 2014 SAR contents provided to me.  In 2014, I had not had the opportunity to even conceive of being a victim of a fraud like this.  But, in 2018, I have connected more dots that have raised more questions.  I was hoping that the appointment of a new PGS Data Protection Officer and a new PGSUK Head of Legal would help me get some of the many questions finally answered.  I was wrong.

Instead, PGSUK directors have are hunting down a whistle blower who lives in Thailand.  They have given a Thai lawyer power of attorney.  Is this even legal?  And is the Thai lawyer allowed to pursue protected public disclosures in Thailand outside the scope of the prescribed Confidentiality provisions contained within the PGSUK Policy Handbook.  Aren’t PGSUK directors fiduciary duty to INVESTIGATE whistleblowing claims?  I am scheduled to appear in Thai criminal court 29 October 2018.  The PGSUK directors want me to go to jail so that they will not have to answer serious questions regarding their decisions, actions, and behaviors.  Please stop them.

Thank you for your consideration,

Steven Kalavity

Business Ethics Geo-services Human Resources Marine Seismic Market Marine Seismic Operations UN Global Compact Whistleblower Workplace Bullying, Harassment & Mobbing

Second Open Letter to PGS Exploration UK Limited Directors Rune Olav Pedersen, Gottfred Langseth, Christin Steen-Nilsen, Carl Richards and UK Serious Fraud Office (15-Oct-2018)

Second Open Letter to PGS Exploration UK Limited Directors Rune Olav Pedersen, Gottfred Langseth, Christin Steen-Nilsen, Carl Richards and UK Serious Fraud Office

Regarding:  Petroleum Geo-Services ASA and PGS Exploration UK Limited Director Abuse of Fiduciary Duty, Fraudulent Misrepresentation and Vexatious Litigation

Unanswered Letters:

UK ActionFraud

UK Serious Fraud Office

Norway Police

Caseworker(s) Information Commissioner’s Office

Rune Olav Pedersen, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director

Gottfred Langseth, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director

Christin Steen-Nilson, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director (no e-mail)

Carl Richards, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) former Secretary


Gareth Jones, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Human Resources Manager

Daphne Bjerke, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Data Protection Officer

John Francas, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Head of Legal

Lars Mysen, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) General Counsel

Transparency International – Norway

SEG Whistleblower – membership

My name is Steven D. Kalavity.  I am a citizen of the United States of America (USA).  I currently live in Chiangrai, Thailand on visa with my Thai wife and three Thai – American children. From 26 September 2010 through 31 December 2013, PGS Exploration UK Limited sponsored me and my family dependents on a Tier 2 visa.

PGS Exploration UK Limited, 4 The Heights, Brooklands, Weybridge, England, KT13 0NY, directors and former secretary have engaged in aggressive and inhumane vexatious litigation in a foreign country to suppress protected public disclosures.  I have made allegations that the Company directors and former secretary have engaged in criminal behavior.  I am a whistleblower.

PGS Exploration UK Limited directors are executives of Norwegian company Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, based in Lysaker, Norway.  I am asking the authorities in England and Norway to immediately demand that PGS Exploration UK Limited directors withdraw all their legal claims made in Thailand.

The claims put forward in Thailand are in breach of PGS Exploration UK Limited internal policy, and therefore the directors have no fiduciary authority to authorize or advance their complaint in a foreign jurisdiction.  PGS Exploration UK Limited directors are abusing their positions and are in breach of their fiduciary duty.  In doing this, PGS Exploration UK Limited directors have also authorized the illegal use of PGS Exploration UK Limited resources.

Two claims of criminal defamation have been initiated against me in Thailand by a Thai lawyer whom has been given power of attorney by the PGS Exploration UK Limited current directors and former secretary.  The Thai lawyer has no knowledge of the veracity of my public disclosures.  None of the directors reside, nor have professional interests, in Thailand.  All of the public disclosure has been made in the English language and has been intended for PGS Exploration UK Limited directors and agents, as well as the Petroleum Geo-Services board of director’s members and executives.

The first claim made against me in Thai criminal court was forwarded by the current PGS Exploration UK Limited directors: Rune Olav Pedersen, Gottfred Langseth, and Christin Steen-Nilsen.  The second claim has been made by former PGS Exploration UK Limited secretary, Carl Richards, who resigned 25 May 2018.  The initial mediation court date in Bangkok, Thailand is scheduled for 29 October 2018, with a follow-up proceeding scheduled on 12 November 2018, in Chiang Rai, Thailand, depending on the outcome of the 29 October 2018 proceeding.   I reside in Chiang Rai, Thailand, with my family.  PGS Exploration UK Limited could have scheduled the first hearing in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

I believe that the proceeding scheduled in Bangkok, Thailand is an intentional attempt by PGS Exploration UK Limited to further harass and bully a whistleblower and harm the health and wellbeing of me and my family to the greatest extent possible.  PGS Exploration UK Limited and Carl Richards are being as mean, vindictive, and unethical as possible to try and quiet my public disclosure.  They have casts aside their contractual obligations to abide by the Petroleum Geo-Services ASA Core Values, PGS Exploration UK Limited internal policies, and their commitments to principles of the UN Global Compact to persecute me and my family.  It is a selfish and repugnant abuse of position and abrogation of their fiduciary duties.

Most of the public disclosures referenced within these claims were produced while Carl Richards was acting as PGS Exploration UK Limited secretary.  The public disclosures relate directly to the performance (or malpractice) of his fiduciary duties.  The Thai lawyer was provided with my personal passport data, home address, and e-mail address by Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, Data Protection Officer (DPO).  This personal private data had been provided to the Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, DPO in relation to a recent subject access request citing the General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR).  I believe that the use of my personal subject data to launch a claim outside the authority of the director’s legal fiduciary duty is a violation of my human rights and the GDPR.  Providing my personal data to Carl Richards, as a private person, is an even more egregious violation of my human rights.

I am currently disputing the propriety of PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA processing of my personal data and have been corresponding with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).  PGS Exploration UK Limited directors and legal counsel have been included in these communications.  Much of the public disclosure has been in regard to my belief, supported by e-mail and other documented evidence, that PGS Exploration UK Limited human resources and legal counsel have knowingly created and processed non-compliant and illegal personal data about me.  This fake data was used to advance an illegally proffered settlement agreement contract used to terminate my employment.

ICO has been aware of my disagreement with the personal data PGS Exploration UK Limited is processing in my name for some time.  I also raised these concerns with UK ActionFraud 24 August 2015, and have periodically updated this complaint.  In 2016, I submitted several complaints to Petroleum Geo-Services ASA legal compliance.  This followed numerous complaints made through the Petroleum Geo-Services ASA LinkedIn™ social media comment space.  Most queries were not answered.  Petroleum Geo-Services ASA contends there was an investigation.  However, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA refuses to share their investigation report.  I do not believe that there was a valid investigation and that Petroleum Geo-Services ASA legal compliance has been directly involved in the alleged illegal acts.  I also submitted a report to the UK Serious Fraud Office in 2017.  PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA were made aware of these claims prior to their launching their Thai claim.

Most of the public disclosures regard PGS Exploration UK Limited director’s violations of English contractual and employment law and internal policy.  This includes, but is not limited to, the UK Data Protection Act 1998, and now the General Data Protection Requirement , the Companies Act 2006, the Equality Act 2006, the Fraud Act 2006, the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, and of course the Public Interest Disclosure Act.  The Thai court system is not the appropriate legal venue to adjudicate matters of English law.  PGS Exploration UK Limited is misrepresenting their claims as though their claims are truthful and not disputed.  The irony is that PGS Exploration UK Limited and Carl Richards have refused multiple requests to demonstrate that they are processing legal and compliant data derived from legal and compliant processes.  In other words, they refuse to prove that they have behaved legally in accordance to the laws of England and PGS Exploration UK Limited internal policy.  It should be clear that there must be nefarious motivations for PGS Exploration UK Limited directors to exploit the Thai criminal justice system.

PGS Exploration UK Limited within a 16 July 2018 e-mail response to a subject access request citing the General Data Protection Requirement remained committed to not clarifying issues or answering questions thoughtfully brought forth originally by a subject access request submitted in 2014 citing the UK Data Protection Act 1998.  PGS Exploration UK Limited states in their response to my subject access request:

Excerpts from the 16 July 2018 PGS Exploration UK Limited response to my 2018 GDPR subject access request

We have determined that the applicable law allows us to deny your request on the basis that processing of your personal data, if any, that may have occurred since your previous request on 10 October 2014 (the “2014 SAR”) would have only been performed in order to seek privileged legal advice in respect to your various direct and indirect communication with or about PGS and/or its employees.  Accordingly, we are denying your request under Data Protection Act 2018, Schedule 2, paragraph 19(a).


You should also note that under the terms of the settlement agreement between you and PGS dated 5 December 2013 (the “Settlement Agreement”) you agreed not to further pursue your grievance or any analogous or substantively similar or other grievance against PGS and that PGS, nor any other company in the PGS group, shall have any further obligations to you in respect of such grievances.


You further agreed not to divulge confidential information or the existence or terms of the Settlement Agreement, nor to make or publish any statement that directly or indirectly disparages, is harmful to or damages the reputation of PGS or any Related Party of PGS.


PGS reserve its rights to enforce the terms of the Settlement Agreement in respect to any breaches by you of the Settlement Agreement.


Bluntly, I have not regarded the referenced settlement agreement contract as a valid legal instrument for some time.  My public disclosure has stated this in many different publications.  My public disclosure has also stated that I regard my public disclosure as protected, or that I am a whistleblower.  My claims of director and executive criminal conduct were first publicly published in 2015 through the LinkedIn™ Pulse publishing venue.  This would have constituted a breach in a legal settlement contract agreement.  PGS Exploration UK Limited made similar threats to me following my complaints regarding the data being processed in my name within a 22 December 2014 correspondence.  Within the 22 December 2014 letter, PGS Exploration UK Limited states that they will not alter or remove any of the data which I identified as inaccurate and non-compliant.

At the same time, however, PGS Exploration UK Limited, did state that they would add one of my complaint e-mails (5 December 2014) into my professional personnel file.  So, PGS Exploration UK Limited did not refuse to alter my personal data.  What they did was place accurate data into the personnel file after inaccurate personal data was used to process the settlement contract agreement.  This challenges the legality of the settlement contract agreement, in my view.  Why would PGS Exploration UK Limited agree to alter my personnel file data with inaccurate data?  There are many other compliance issues raised within this 22 December 2014 correspondence which PGS Exploration UK Limited refuses to clarify.  I began publicly publishing my complaints and frustrations about these matters because PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA refuse to answer my reasonable questions.  Recently, I have copied ICO caseworkers on e-mail communications with PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, with regard to the latest response to my subject access request so they can witness firsthand the irresponsible actions of these data controllers.

According to a confusing 22 December 2014 email written to me requesting that I stop my questions, PGS Exploration UK Limited states that they do not even process the 20 September 2013 grievance document within my professional personnel file.  So, exactly what will be considered similar to it?  I believe that the 20 September 2013 grievance which identified manager misconduct, policy and contract breaches, and breaches in UK employment and contract law was also whistleblowing.  Many of my queries have been in regard to the 22 December 2014 email which has opened many questions.  I believe that the referred settlement contract agreement was proffered illegally to terminate my employment without following my legally guaranteed process of grievance.  Termination for whistleblowing is automatically an unfair dismissal.

With regard to PGS Exploration UK Limited’s alleged violations of internal policy and the UK Public Interest Disclosure Act through initiating defamation claims in Thailand, reference the PGS Exploration UK Limited Policy Handbook (2013):

2.9 Confidentiality                                    

During the course of their employment, each member of staff will have access to and become aware of information which is confidential to the Company. Without prejudice to his or her common law duties, each member of staff undertakes that he/she will not, save in the proper performance of his duties, make use of, or disclose to any person, (including for the avoidance of doubt any competitors of the Company), any of the trade secrets or other confidential information of or relating to the Company, or any user of the Company’s services or any company, organization or business with which the Company is involved in any kind of business venture or partnership, or any other information concerning the business of the Company which he/she may have received or obtained in confidence while in the service of the Company. Each member of staff will use his/her best endeavors to prevent the unauthorized publication or disclosure of any such trade secrets or confidential information.

This restriction shall continue to apply after the termination of a member of staff’s employment without limit in point of time but, both during employment and after its termination, shall cease to apply to information ordered to be disclosed by a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction or otherwise required to be disclosed by law or to information which becomes available to the public generally (other than by reason of the member of staff breaching this confidentiality obligation).

Nothing in this paragraph 2.9 will prevent a member of staff making a “protected disclosure” within the meaning of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 where they are lawfully entitled to do so.

For a disclosure to be protected by the Act’s provisions it must relate to matters that ‘qualify’ for protection under the Act. Qualifying disclosures are disclosures which the worker reasonably believes tends to show that one or more of the following matters is either happening now, took place in the past, or is likely to happen in the future:

  • a criminal offence
  • the breach of a legal obligation
  • a miscarriage of justice
  • a danger to the health and safety of any individual
  • damage to the environment
  • deliberate concealment of information tending to show any of the above five matters

A qualifying disclosure to the commission will be a ‘protected’ disclosure provided the worker:

  • makes the disclosure in good faith
  • reasonably believes that the relevant failure relates to ‘the proper administration of charities and funds given, or held, for charitable purposes’
  • reasonably believes that the information disclosed and any allegation contained in it are substantially true

I have submitted several complaints to UK and Norwegian bodies to no effect.  I am very certain about the integrity of the documentation being processed within my PGS Exploration UK Limited professional personnel file.  None of the documents which I requested removed bare a counter signature and contain factually incorrect data, most notably a meeting date of 11 September 2013 that is referenced in two documents.  The 11 September 2013 meeting never happened.  The 11 September 2013 meeting was rescheduled for 20 September 2013, the day on which I submitted the referenced formal grievance.  The 20 September 2013 grievance document is specifically referenced in the settlement contract agreement, as well as the 22 December 2014 correspondence from PGS Exploration UK Limited, and more recently in the 16 July 2018 correspondence from PGS Exploration UK Limited.  However, it is not mentioned in the body of documentation contents of my personnel file and, as stated by PGS Exploration UK Limited, is not being processed currently as part of my personnel file.

An occupational health nurse report requested by the manager of human resources submitted to PGS Exploration UK Limited 16 November 2013 also mentions the grievance document, as well as reports on my personal health issues and stress experienced in the workplace.  PGS Exploration UK Limited does not process this health report which they requested and also did not follow policy guidelines regarding employee stress.  This endangered my own health and wellbeing, as well as that of my family.  PGS Exploration UK Limited has suppressed and destroyed all personal data related to the 20 September 2013 grievance document and supplanted non-compliant fake data supporting a defamatory performance based termination.   I had been led to believe that the settlement contract agreement was with regard to the substance mentioned within the 20 September grievance document.  PGS Exploration UK Limited on 15 July 2013 also did not report any performance issues to UK Border Agency for the renewal of my Tier 2 shortage occupation list visa, and those for my dependent family members.  Clarification on these issues is what PGS Exploration UK Limited has been withholding which I believe constitutes the deliberate concealment of information tending to show illegal and non-compliant acts.

PGS Exploration UK Limited directors and Carl Richards are expediting their claims in Thailand through subversive tactics which do not correlate to PGS Core Value.  They collective, including the Thai lawyer, stalked me by misusing my personal data.  None of the directors had formally contacted me and identified themselves and their concerns prior to launching their claims in Thailand.  The Thai lawyer also never confirmed her identification and credentials in previous communications which regarded a potential claim by Carl Richards.  I asked the Thai lawyer many questions, stated that I regarded my public disclosures as protected whistleblowing.  Further, I rejected claims made by Carl Richards as a private person because my public disclosures have always been in regard to his professional capacity as PGS Exploration UK Limited Head of Legal and secretary.  I had just departed Thailand when I received an e-mail with the court proceeding information documents written in the Thai language attached.  I was not in Thailand when the court claim by PGS Exploration UK Limited directors was delivered.

I had never received any communication from PGS Exploration UK Limited directors regarding my public disclosures prior to this claim being delivered in my absence.  The Thai lawyer had withheld information that she was also acting on the behalf of PGS Exploration UK Limited directors in previous communications.  Had she revealed this, I of course would have been more receptive to dialogue, just as I would have if Carl Richards was representing himself as secretary.  Carl Richards’ complaint, as a private person, was actually the second complaint.  It was received weeks after the court documents were delivered by e-mail.  I believe this behavior has been, at the very least, inconsiderate, irresponsible, and unprofessional.  It seems to transgress the actions of their true fiduciary duties.  They should have behaved differently and used better judgment.  PGS Exploration UK Limited directors’ actions have been clandestine and purposefully harassing.

In specific regard to the criminal defamation claims made in Thailand, most all of the referenced published content in the complaints pre-dates the 16 July 2018 correspondence received from PGS Exploration UK Limited in response to my subject access request.  The 16 July 2018 correspondence cites no specific content which even breaches the terms of the settlement contract agreement.  However, they warn me that the confidentiality nondisclosure conditions are still in effect.  However, in September 2018, the content reaches the level of criminal defamation in Thailand?  How is this possible?  Much of my public disclosure has warned Petroleum Geo-Services ASA and PGS Exploration UK Limited that they should be more proactive in addressing the online content published because it is harmful to their reputation.  Three-years later, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA and PGS Exploration UK Limited wakes up and blames their criminal negligence on me – in Thailand?  Unless PGS Exploration UK Limited can confirm the legality of the processes and documents that support the settlement contract agreement they are making fraudulent misrepresentations within their 22 December 2014 and 16 July 2018 responses to the subject access requests.

The fact that PGS Exploration UK Limited is not acting on the warnings given through their responses to me subject access requests to pursue breaches of the settlement contract agreement should be telling.  No claim of non-disparagement in England, but criminal defamation in Thailand?  Whatever damage has been suffered is a product of their collective fiduciary negligence.  To that end, only I have lost my job and livelihood while Pedersen has ascended from Petroleum Geo-Services ASA General Counsel to President and CEO.

In light of the recent aggressive actions taken by PGS Exploration UK Limited directors and former secretary in Thailand, there needs to be an equally aggressive investigation conducted in England.  I really need some consideration.  I am a victim of Petroleum Geo-Services ASA and PGS Exploration UK Limited abuse.  As a foreigner, I have always been more vulnerable.   Petroleum Geo-Services ASA has had to disregard published values and policy to pursue their vindictive hunt to destroy a whistleblower who did nothing wrong.  I have been the only one advancing Petroleum Geo-Services ASA Core Values and reputational interests.

I need help – NOW.

Best regards,

Steven D. Kalavity


Business Ethics Geo-services Human Resources Marine Seismic Market Marine Seismic Operations UN Global Compact Whistleblower Workplace Bullying, Harassment & Mobbing

Open Letter to PGS Exploration UK Limited Directors Rune Olav Pedersen, Gottfred Langseth, Christin Steen-Nilsen and UK Serious Fraud Office (9 Oct 2018)

ICO Case Reference Number: RFAxxx327 – PGS Exploration UK Ltd HR Personal Data Processing – Misuse of Personal Data


UK Serious Fraud Office

Rune Olav Pedersen, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director

Gottfred Langseth, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director

Christin Steen-Nilson, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director (no e-mail)

Carl Richards, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) former Secretary


Caseworker(s) Information Commissioner’s Office

Gareth Jones, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Human Resources Manager

Daphne Bjerke, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Data Protection Officer

John Francas, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Head of Legal

Lars Mysen, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) General Counsel

UK Companies House

UK ActionFraud

Society of Exploration Geophysicists – Whistleblower

RE: Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Abuse of Fiduciary Duty and Fraudulent Misrepresentation

My name is Steven D. Kalavity.  I am a citizen of the United States of America (USA).  I currently live in Chiangrai, Thailand on visa with my Thai wife and three Thai – American children. From 26 September 2010 through 31 December 2013, PGS Exploration UK Limited sponsored me and my family dependents on a Tier 2 visa.

On 29-Oct-2018, I am scheduled to attend a hearing in Thai Criminal Court for defamation claims made by PGS Exploration UK Limited, 4 The Heights, Brooklands, Weybridge, England, K.T13 0NY.

I am a whistle blower.  I am the victim of crimes and my human rights continue to be violated through aggressive and unnecessary court actions forwarded in Thailand by PGS Exploration UK Limited directors and secretary (“directors”).

I believe that PGS Exploration UK Limited directors violated my human rights and breached General Data Protection Requirement regulations through illegally providing my passport and address information to the Thai legal firm.  I had provided this information to the Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Data Protection Officer (DPO) to process a recent subject access request.  Petroleum Geo-Services ASA DPO provided no requested personal data, nor addressed my numerous questions.  Instead, my passport and Thailand address information was used to track my travel plans.

The Thai case documentation was sent to my registered address when I was not in Thailand.  The Thai legal firm photocopied my passport and it was included within the complaint.  This data made locating me in Thailand easier.  The Thai court date documents were sent to me by e-mail in the Thai language.  I would need to return to Thailand to translate these documents and actually view the case documents.  PGS Exploration UK Limited directors are using every devious trick to expedite these proceedings and limit my ability to defend myself.  PGS Exploration UK Limited has not provided me with any answers, yet they are able to forward a defamation case as if the facts have been resolved.

PGS Exploration UK Limited directors have provided NO responses to the recent e-mails delivered to them:

·         Letter to UK Companies House and Carl Richards, former PGS Exploration UK Limited Secretary (1-Oct-2018)

·         Letter to UK Companies House and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (24-Sep-2018)

·         Letter to Gareth Jones, PGS Exploration UK Ltd. and ICO Caseworkers (16-Sep-2018)

·         Letter to Daphne Bjerke, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Data Protection Officer and ICO Caseworker (2-Sep-2018)

·         Dear Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Caseworker (1-Jul-2018)

Open Letter to Board of Directors (18-Jun-2017)

PGS Exploration UK Limited directors had to process this case in the Thai language.  This process initiated long before I left Thailand for travel.  I was never formally made aware of any such impending case.  There is very little preparation time available to me to actually find if their actions are even legal.  I do not believe that they are.  PGS Exploration UK Limited directors have given the power of attorney to a Thai lawyer who has no knowledge of the merits of my whistle blowing claims.  PGS Exploration UK Limited directors are abusing their fiduciary duties through providing such power of attorney to operate outside their legal jurisdictions as fiduciaries of an English company governed by English law.

The PGS Exploration UK Limited directors’ fiduciary duties are prescribed through the Companies Act 2006.  English law covers claims of defamation or malicious falsehood.  The settlement contract agreement at the center of the dispute is governed by the laws of England and contained mutual non-disparagement clauses.  It is totally unnecessary and irresponsible for PGS Exploration UK Limited directors to engage a legal firm in Thailand to handle this issue.  PGS Exploration UK Limited directors have no vested business interests in Thailand beyond persecuting me.  Far less effort and resources would be involved to actually show proof that the settlement contract agreement, as well as supporting documents and processes, used to terminate my employment from PGS Exploration UK Limited as foreign worker was legal.  The actual fiduciary duty of PGS Exploration UK Limited directors is to investigate and resolve whistle blower complaints.

The effort to destroy me and my family involves PGS Exploration UK Limited engaging a Thai law firm to translate several court documents and excerpts from my online publications from English into Thai.  Aren’t Carl Richards and Rune Olav Pedersen qualified lawyers?  What justifies this expense of money and resources?  I still need to prepare for the case on 29 October 2018.  There is another case 12 November 2018 if mediation discussions on 29 October 2018 are not successful.  I will also have to incur the expense of translating my defense and defending content which I never published in the Thai language.  All my content was published in English intended mostly for PGS Exploration UK Limited directors.  I will not be able to confirm the quality of the Thai translation.  I believe PGS Exploration UK Limited directors translating my content to Thai is fraudulent misrepresentation.  Everything about this effort is unethical and mean-spirited.  These actions are intended to break me and destroy my family.  These are Petroleum Geo-Services ASA new values.

I have long contended that the settlement contract agreement between PGS UK Limited and me was not a legal instrument.  I have found evidence that my rights to file a grievance were obstructed and denied and that the documents which occupy my PGS Exploration UK Limited personnel file are fabrications which support a performance based termination.  The workplace abuses of harassment and bullying, along with contract breaches and health harming behaviors brought to light in my grievance document are not part of my PGS Exploration UK Limited personal data history.  My human and legal rights of due process following my submitting a workplace grievance continue to be denied by PGS Exploration UK Limited directors.

My online publishing campaign was initiated because of the irresponsible and negligent behavior of PGS Exploration UK Limited directors.  In over three years of sending e-mails, articles, and publishing content to get the attention of PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA agents there has been no response before the Thai legal action.  The blog campaign could have never persisted this long had PGS Exploration UK Limited directors been doing their duty.  I need help, but I do not know who to call anymore.  Like a small flame left unattended, there is big fire.  PGS Exploration UK Limited directors have over three years of published content to try to extinguish the flames.  I am sad that my complaints and reports over the years to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, UK ActionFraud, and UK Serious Fraud Office were not investigated.  I am disappointed by the lack of courage and core values of my former hosts and work colleagues who have ignored the death of me and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA.  If I die or commit suicide, PGS Exploration UK Limited and the English justice system murdered me.  And all I ever really wanted was to send postcards from Thailand to remember our work and travels together.

Best regards,

Steven D. Kalavity

Business Ethics Geo-services Human Resources Marine Seismic Market Marine Seismic Operations UN Global Compact Whistleblower Workplace Bullying, Harassment & Mobbing

Letter to UK Companies House and Carl Richards, former PGS Exploration UK Limited Secretary (1 October 2018)

RE:  PGS Exploration UK Limited – Director and Secretary Fiduciary Negligence


Companies House

UK  Information Commissioner’s Office Caseworker(s) [RFA0XXX327]


Carl Richards, former secretary PGS Exploration (UK) Limited

Rune Olav Pedersen, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director

Gottfred Langseth, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director

Christin Steen-Nilson, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director (no e-mail)

Gareth Jones, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited Human Resources Manager

Daphne Bjerke, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Data Protection Officer

John Francas, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Head of Legal

Lars Mysen, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) General Counsel

Dear Companies House,

My name is Steven D. Kalavity.  I am a citizen of the United States of America (USA).  I currently live in Chiangrai, Thailand on visa with my Thai wife and three Thai – American children.

On 29-Oct-2018, I am scheduled to attend a hearing in Thai Court for claims made by Carl Richards, as a private person.  However, Carl Richards is the former PGS Exploration UK Limited secretary and Head of Legal.  Carl Richards is launching his claim on behalf of himself because he believes his reputation in Thailand has been damaged to a criminal level.  I have informed Carl Richards, as well as PGS Exploration UK Limited directors, that I regard my publications as whistle blowing.   I have always wanted and accepted comments that would improve the published content.  Carl Richards has never provided any.  Therefore, how can there be such a claims made in Thailand by fiduciaries of an English company that were the targets of these criticisms?

Carl Richards has no professional credentials in Thailand that I know about and I have certainly never published anything about it.  Carl Richards believes that he has been defamed to a criminal level through the publishing of evidence based articles criticizing his professional performance as PGS Exploration UK Limited secretary.  Yet, these same criticisms are not regarded as a breach of the non-disparagement clauses within a contract governed by the laws of England which Carl Richards reviewed and approved.  It seems that Carl Richards is misrepresenting his own integrity through advancing this claim in Thailand.

The online publications, which Carl Richards believes are damaging to his reputation, describe real events which occurred while I worked with PGS Exploration UK Limited in England on a company sponsored Tier 2 visa between 26 September 2010 and 31 December 2013.  The blog post articles, and accompanying image files, have been published while I have resided in both Thailand and the USA.  I am not a citizen of England, and neither is my wife.  The only Thai nationals mentioned within the articles are my wife and children, because they have been greatly impacted by these events and are victims of his alleged professional malpractice.  This claim filed by Carl Richards has distressed my family even more, and is a continuation of the concerted effort to destroy me and my family.

The articles are written in the English language, although certain articles have been translated to Norwegian.  The blog post articles and accompanying image files describe people, events, and actions by executives of Norwegian parent company, Petroleum Geo-Services and PGS Exploration UK Limited, which occurred while I was employed as a foreign worker in England.  Carl Richards was Head of Legal for PGS Exploration UK Limited for much of the time I worked in England.  However, Carl Richards became PGS Exploration UK Limited secretary 13 September 2013, at just the point when my dispute with PGS Exploration UK Limited began to have legal ramifications.

I believe that I am the victim of crimes and that my human rights were violated while employed with PGS Exploration UK Limited.  Carl Richards oversaw my termination from employment from PGS Exploration UK Limited.  My employment terminated through a settlement contract agreement.  I believe that this is an illegal contract.  I also believe that forged instruments were created to support the illegal contract proffered as a false pretense for termination.  These beliefs are reinforced by documented evidence, and further by these actions taken by Carl Richards in the Thai legal system.

I have complained vigorously to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office regarding the integrity of the data which PGS Exploration UK Limited was processing in my name.  I implored caseworkers to conduct an investigation to compel PGS Exploration UK Limited to authenticate the documents being processed as my personal data.  I first reported these crimes in August 2015 to UK ActionFraud (police).  I have also submitted a report to UK Serious Fraud Office.  For over three years, all that I have ever asked for is an impartial third-party investigation into my claims.

My postings relate to Carl Richards’ obligations while he was PGS Exploration UK Limited secretary.  Fiduciary duty is not like a coat that is worn when the weather changes.  Fiduciary duty is a legal responsibility.  In Carl Richards’ case, these obligations were under the Laws of England.  Carl Richards was especially obligated to uphold these responsibilities from 13-Sep-2013 to 25-May-2018.  Carl Richards was still PGS Exploration UK Limited secretary when he first contacted me through a private and unverified e-mail account when he informed of his intended claims in Thailand.

As a fiduciary, his responsibility is to the principal, PGS Exploration UK Limited.  The fact that Carl Richards brought these claims to defend his own character apart from his professional credentials is stunning to me.  I have been publishing content critical of PGS Exploration UK Limited that may have impacted the reputation of the company.  The exception to the contractual mutual non-disparagement clauses is whistle blowing.   A fiduciary duty under the UK Companies Act 2006 is to protect the reputation of PGS Exploration UK Limited, not just theirs.  Fiduciaries should also be supportive of whistle blowing.

All of my postings are relevant to this period of time where Carl Richards and PGS Exploration UK Limited directors were in positions to influence decisions and actions which significantly impacted me.  PGS Exploration UK Limited directors, and other named employees, have had multiple opportunities, as well as the resources, to present their defenses.   Their inaction has significantly impacted the well-being of my family.  Carl Richards, as PGS Exploration UK Limited secretary, has never refuted anything written or posted by me.  In fact, not one individual mentioned within my articles has ever commented on, or asked that I cease publishing, my online blog articles or image files prior to Carl Richard sending an e-mail to me from a private and unverified account.

I would not have published anything online if Carl Richards, as an expert on contract agreements, would answer my simple and reasonable questions and concerns.  Is the settlement contract agreement that was used to terminate my employment from PGS Exploration UK Limited a legal instrument?  Will you authenticate as legal and compliant both the processes and documents that support the legal settlement contract agreement?  These are simple questions for an expert to answer.  But, Carl Richards has refused to answer such simple questions which are the basis behind all of my publications.

Obviously, I do not believe the settlement contract agreement used to terminate my employment from PGS Exploration UK Limited is a legal instrument.  I believe that I was terminated from my position with PGS Exploration UK Limited for whistle blowing.  I am no expert on English contracts.  But, I was fully aware of the events that actually happened at the time.  What I do know, with absolute certainty, is that the documents being processed within my PGS Exploration UK Limited professional personnel file are inaccurate and do not meet any normal legal or compliant standard.  Expert Carl Richards should be able to quickly resolve these concerns.

Pertinent documents do not bare my counter signature and are factually incorrect.  I believe that these documents were created and processed to support the settlement contract agreement that terminated my employment under false pretenses.  An initial settlement contract agreement was proffered to me to terminate the grievance procedure which I had initiated.  Under the laws of England, and under my original contract of employment with PGS Exploration UK Limited, employees have the right to file a grievance and if the grievance procedure is included within the employment contract, employers are obligated to follow the prescribed grievance procedures; otherwise it would be a breach of contract.

Why was the settlement contract agreement proffered to me before completing the grievance procedures outlined within the PGS Exploration UK Limited Handbook?  My grievance cited bullying and harassment, discrimination, negligence, breach of duty of care contractual responsibilities and breach of contractual mutual trust and confidence.  My grievance exposed management misconduct, abuse of position and non-compliant workplace practices.  I believe these concerns reached the level of whistle blowing.  As PGS Exploration UK Limited secretary, Carl Richards had assumed the legal responsibility to ensure that my grievance was handled properly and legally.  My blog post articles have simply asked for proof of this.

I have regarded my blog post articles as therapy for the workplace abuses facilitated by Carl Richards.  The grievance which was submitted described the health impacts of workplace bullying and harassment on targets and organizations.  During the settlement contract agreement negotiations, I felt very distressed.  I took five consecutive sick leave days off from my work.  The human resources manager and my first line supervisor, both of whom were subjects identified as workplace bullies within my grievance document, requested that I see an occupational health nurse.  I did see the occupational health nurse.  I explained to her what was going on with me in the workplace.

The occupational health nurse provided a preliminary report to me and I had requested a copy of the final report.  Carl Richards never intervened at this point either, even though the workplace conditions seemed to be impacting my health.  Employee stress is covered within the PGS Exploration UK Limited Handbook.  Carl Richards should have been aware of my appointment with the occupational health nurse.  The occupational health nurse noted increased stress levels and recommended a follow-up evaluation.  However, I never received this report at the time and never was evaluated again by the nurse.  This intentioned action placed the health and safety of me and my family at risk.

Bullying is a serious health issue in the workplace and a risk factor for anxiety, depression and suicide.  Bullying is often referred to as psychological harassment or violence.  One type of anxiety is complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD).  Symptoms of C-PTSD may include flashbacks, irritability, reckless behavior, avoiding reminders of the traumatic event, feeling numb, memory problems, guilt, difficulty trusting others, and anger.  Carl Richards oversaw my being denied health care while I was a vulnerable foreign worker of PGS Exploration UK Limited.

I have always regarded my online publishing as therapy.  C-PSTD would also explain the escalation of anger in my online publications.  There is pressure for targets of workplace bullying to be heard after their abuse.  Bullies and harassers will intentionally ignore their targets.  When bullies and harassers ignore their targets, it gives them control of the situation, and a power over the target.  This increases the trauma and stress of the target.  In my case of gang-bullying, many people are directly implicated in the creation and processing of fake data that was used to terminate me from employment with PGS Exploration UK Limited.

Through their collective silence, PGS Exploration UK Limited or Petroleum Geo-Services ASA have been defaming and damaging me.  They have continued their bullying and harassment.  Their collective refusal to prove the legality of the settlement contract agreement that terminated my employment, along with the processes and documents that support the settlement contract agreement, denies me the truthful narrative.  A settlement contract agreement used to terminate an employee for performance reasons is fundamentally different than settling a whistle blowing and workplace harassment claim for illegal workplace practices.

Ignoring someone, or giving them the silent treatment, is one of the most used destructive manipulation tactics of manipulative people.  When multiple actors participate it is gaslighting.  It is very distressing and destructive to the targets psychological health and well-being.  It drives victims crazy.  Multiple actors were involved in processing knowingly false and defamatory personal data about me.  I believe that my legal adviser for the settlement contract agreement was complicit, as e-mail communications between him and me do not corroborate the data which PGS Exploration UK Limited is processing as my personal data.  My former legal adviser similarly remains silent, as does the legal adviser that represented PGS Exploration UK Limited during settlement contract agreement negotiations.

I have been publishing content online critical of personal data controllers Norwegian parent company Petroleum Geo-Services and PGS Exploration UK Limited since 3 July 2015.  On 22 December 2014, PGS Exploration UK Limited explicitly threatened legal action if I did not accept their processing knowingly false and inaccurate personal data about me.   I knew that something very wrong had happened to me after receiving that letter.  However, no director or secretary ever contacted me following the initial 3 July 2015 online publication.  Of course, they never invoked the non-disparagement clauses or demonstrated that their actions regarding my termination from employment had been legal and compliant either.  I was ignored.

Carl Richards and PGS Exploration UK Limited have made arbitrary and capricious judgments as to what constitutes disparagement, defamation, or a breach in the settlement contract agreement terms and conditions.  If PGS Exploration UK Limited or Petroleum Geo-Services ASA had published similar critical content about me online, I would have pursued the matter referencing the settlement contract agreement non-disparagement clauses governed by the laws of England.  As long as PGS Exploration UK Limited treat the settlement contract agreement as a legal instrument, there is little that I can do.  PGS Exploration UK Limited’s silence and inaction since 3 July 2015 is fiduciary negligence, in my view.

I published more issues of concern about the settlement contract agreement between me and PGS Exploration UK Limited online the LinkedIn™ platform, 6 September 2015 and 20 September 2015.  These articles called for the resignation of the Petroleum Geo-Services ASA CEO and President.  The 6 September 2015 article was read by many people, according the platform metrics.  In a 10 October 2015 article, I called for expulsion of the Petroleum Geo-Services ASA CEO and President, and other employees, from the professional organization because I believed that these individuals had breached the ethical standards of the organization.  I named several PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA employees within these articles and never once received a comment or rebuke from Carl Richards or PGS Exploration UK Limited directors.  Why?

What was the intention of the 22 December 2014 letter, which threatened litigation if I continued to advance my concerns about the basis and legality of my termination from employment, if PGS Exploration UK Limited directors accepted these publications with no claim of settlement contract agreement breach in the non-disparagement clauses?  Within the 20 September 2015 article, I presented evidence to support my claims.  The presented e-mail and other document evidence showed that my personnel file documents were inaccurate and non-compliant documents.  Neither Carl Richards, nor PGS Exploration UK Limited directors, acted concerned or tried to contact me.

In 2016, I submitted a complaint report to the Petroleum Geo-Services ASA Compliance Hotline.  The response from the Compliance Hotline stated that there was an investigation and no fraud was detected.  I requested a copy of their investigation report.  Petroleum Geo-Services ASA refuses to provide the report or how the investigation was carried out.  I submitted several more complaints to the Petroleum Geo-Services ASA Compliance Hotline and have never received a response.  I continued writing and publishing blog post articles critical of PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA.  Still, no one ever contacted me or asked me to stop.

In 2017, I updated the 2015 ActionFraud report and submitted another report to the UK Serious Fraud Office to include the involved legal advisers which formed the settlement contract agreement.  I have reported Carl Richards and the involved legal advisers to professional law organizations in England that regulate legal professionals.  Carl Richards, and PGS Exploration UK Limited directors, have also been reported to the UK Companies House with regard to their performance in fulfilling fiduciary duties for PGS Exploration UK Limited, as described in the UK Companies Act 2006.

In 2017, I published and Open Letter directed to the Petroleum Geo-Services ASA Board of Directors.  There has been no acknowledgement.  In 2018, I have already written another Open Letter to the new Petroleum Geo-Services ASA data protection officer.  I have also posted an Open Letter to PGS Exploration UK Limited Head of Legal and another one to the PGS Exploration UK Limited human resources manager regarding the same base issues.  No replies for any of them.  There is only the continued silence and ignoring of a whistle blower.

I believe that the claims made against me by Carl Richards for this Thai legal proceeding are without merit for multiple reasons.  Carl Richards is portraying himself as a victim of unwarranted on-line criticism.  However, no one in any official capacity, especially one of PGS Exploration UK Limited director’s, has ever even tried to contact me before Carl Richards.  Their problem is a product of their own creation.  People in authority routinely abuse their positions and ignore their victims to maintain their power over them, and to demoralize, demean and destroy them.  I believe that this is happening to me now.

The silence and inaction by PGS Exploration UK Limited directors constitutes fiduciary negligence as much as it is a weapon used by manipulative people.  I have used social media to voice serious concerns, because Carl Richards, and other PGS Exploration UK Limited directors, do not respond to the many serious allegations that I have made.  Carl Richards is circumventing his fiduciary duties under the laws of England by launching his claim in Thailand.  Carl Richards and PGS Exploration UK Limited directors have also neglected their legal fiduciary duties under the laws of England by allowing events to rise to this level.

Carl Richards has not only had multiple opportunities, but also a fiduciary duty, to address the many valid concerns about his own, or PGS Exploration UK Limited stakeholders, reputations, as well as conduct, before now.  These duties are described within the UK Companies Act 2006.  Carl Richards has also decided to escalate this dispute to the criminal courts of Thailand as a first option and not as a last resort, even though Carl Richards is licensed to practice law in England.  This has taken a tremendous toll on my Thai family.

The best solution, it seems, should have been to exchange e-mails.  If that failed, then the mutual non-disparagement clauses included within the settlement contract agreement which terminated our employment relationship should have been discussed.  This settlement contract agreement is governed by the laws of England.  I have written multiple e-mails, made phone calls, and finally posted directed content online to get the attention of PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA since 3 July 2015.  They never respond privately, and so I have felt the need to go public with my concerns.

It has been my reputation which has been damaged because PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA agents refuse to engage me directly and responsibly to address my valid concerns.  It is this lack of engagement which has frustrated me to escalate my complaints and try to get their attention.  In spite of this escalation, no official of PGS Exploration UK Limited has ever attempted to contact me directly or tried to address my complaints and allegations.  Collectively, PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services have ignored my concerns for over three years of attempted engagement on my part.  I can prove my claims with evidence in an appropriate legal venue.  I have already done so through my online publications. 

It simply should not take over three years for PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA agents to prove that they did their jobs and followed the rules.  The fact that they refuse to answer simple questions shows that they are hiding something.  But, clearly, if my claims are true, and I believe that they are, PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA agents did not do their jobs or follow the rules.  In this case, it is clearly my family who are the victims of PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA agents not doing their jobs and following the rules.  This is what I believe has been published online with evidence to back my claims.

With regard to this proceeding, I received an e-mail from the private Google™ account of a person purporting to be Carl Richards.  This was the first and only complaint that I have ever received regarding my online content.  This e-mail cited some complaints over content which I have published on-line.  I responded briefly to this e-mail, but requested proof of identification before I would consider the complaints further.  I never received another e-mail from this address.

Later, I received another e-mail from a person purporting to be a Thai lawyer who was representing Carl Richards.  Similarly, I requested proof of legal credentials from this person, as well as proof that this person was truly a lawyer representing the Carl Richards who I had worked with in England at PGS Exploration UK Limited.  I never received a response or confirmation from this person either.  So, it was very surprising to me when I received the papers from the court in Thailand without ever receiving confirmation of identity or discussing the issues more fully.  I was actually travelling outside of Thailand when the documents were delivered.

I do not know why Carl Richards is solving this simple legal problem in Thailand.  I am not a citizen of England.  This problem likely would have never happened if I had been an English citizen.  I believe that PGS Exploration UK Limited engaged in their trickery because my family and I were all foreigners and so it would be easy for them to get away with their scheme.  The events written about in my blog articles occurred in England.  I am in Thailand because my wife and children are citizens of Thailand.  We have had a home in Chiangrai, Thailand since 2006.  During all of my oversea assignments, Thailand is where we returned to, and Thailand was my home of record for rotational offshore work assignments with Petroleum Geo-Services.

Carl Richards has been trying to destroy me professionally, psychologically, and financially since 2013.  I was a victim in England, and I am a victim now.  Carl Richards wants to destroy my Thai home and family.  Carl Richards must be held accountable.  Carl Richards, and PGS Exploration UK Limited, must confirm with evidence that the settlement contract agreement that terminated my employment is a legal instrument.  Carl Richards must confirm that the documents and processes that support the settlement contract agreement were also legal and compliant.  Carl Richards must do these things now, because it has always been his duty to do so.  It was his duty in England, and it remains his duty now.

Carl Richards is trying to bypass most every critical action and decision which has brought us to this point as though he had no control of the situation.  He feels that his reputation has been damaged.  Yet, Carl Richards has never defended his reputation through directly confronting the accusations which I have made in a timely manner.  The base accusations have remained much the same since the first 3 July 2015 publication.  The reason that I communicate publicly and online is because PGS Exploration UK Limited and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA agents do not respond to private e-mails or even comment on the online publications.

Every one of my publications critical of Petroleum Geo-Services ASA and PGS Exploration UK Limited has been a risk for me.  The settlement contract agreement contained mutual non-disparagement clauses prohibiting parties from criticizing each other.  They have had multiple opportunities to invoke these clauses over the past three years and have chosen not to do so.  Why is this?  This inaction further supports my assertion that the settlement contract agreement is an illegal instrument.  There are records that Carl Richards, along with his colleague assistant, reviewed and approved the use of this settlement contract agreement.  It has always been known to be an illegal instrument.

I am begging Companies House, Information Commissioner’s Office, and the police to investigate and compel PGS Exploration UK Limited to authenticate as legal and compliant the settlement contract agreement along with the processes and documents and processes that support it.  I should not have to beg for this.  I should have never had to file a fraud report as a foreign worker.  I should have never had to endure the health harming effects of a toxic workplace.  PGS Exploration UK Limited is literally trying to destroy me and my family – the victims of abuse.  I desperately need your help.

Best regards,

Steven D. Kalavity