••• 15.11.21 - Spanish Court clears Captain, Merchant Navy in Prestige oil spill.
A Spanish court on Wednesday found the crew and the government not guilty of criminal responsibility in the 2002 sinking of the Prestige oil tanker, Spain’s worst ever environmental disaster.
The sinking off the country’s northwestern coast coated thousands of kilometres (miles) of coastline, mainly in Spain, with foul-smelling black fuel, and forcing the closure of its richest fishing grounds.
After an 11-year judicial investigation the Galician region’s high court said in a verdict and sentence that the disaster was partly due to the 26-year-old tanker’s poor state of repair.
But the three judges of the high court concluded it was impossible to establish criminal responsibility and Captain Apostolos Mangouras, Chief Engineer Nikolaos Argyropoulos and the former head of Spain’s Merchant Navy, Jose Luis Lopez, were found not guilty of crimes against the environment.
Lopez was the only government official charged in the case.
Mangouras, 78, was found guilty of a lesser charge of disobedience and given a nine month suspended sentence.
After a storm damaged one of its fuel tanks, the ship had spent days drifting at sea with 77,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil on board, having been refused permission to dock by Spanish, Portuguese and French authorities.
It eventually split into two and sank around 250 miles off the coast, continuing to spurt oil into the water from the sea bed.
The captain was accused of disobeying government authorities who wanted the 26-year-old tanker as far from the coast as possible. That decision was correct, the court said.
"The Spanish authorities had the correct advice to evaluate the hypothesis on whether or not the boat should be moved away from the coast," said Chief Justice Juan Luis Pia, as he read the verdict and sentence out loud in a televised court hearing.
Judges said the leak was caused by deficient maintenance which the crew did not know about.
••• 15.11.21 - PGS announces new survey in Gulf of Mexico.
Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) announces the TRITON GeoStreamer® Full Azimuth survey, a new solution to complex imaging problems in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico. PGS offer this survey as the next important advance in tailored acquisition design and state-of-the-art depth imaging which are critical to successful exploration in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico.
This survey will cover approximately 350 OCS blocks (8,100 sq. km) in the Garden Banks and Keathley Canyon areas of the Gulf of Mexico. Within the limits of this survey are BP's sub-salt Tiber discovery in Keathley Canyon 102 and several significant wildcat wells, including BP's Gila well in Keathley Canyon 93 and Chevron's Oceanographer well in Garden Banks 973. The new survey will image the extent of the Wilcox play to the north of Tiber and to the west of Cobalt's North Platte discovery in Garden Banks 959.
The TRITON survey will utilize a total of five vessels in the Orion(TM) configuration to acquire high fold, long-offset, dual sensor full azimuth (FAZ) data. The Orion(TM) configuration combines two high capacity streamer vessels, each towing ten 8-kilometer GeoStreamers®, in combination with three independent source vessels in a simultaneous long-offset (SLO) configuration, to achieve an effective far offsets in excess of 16 kilometers. Acquisition modeling indicates that this design is essential for illuminating the deep sub-salt Wilcox targets in Garden Banks and Keathley Canyon areas, which historically have been the most difficult imaging areas in the Gulf of Mexico.
PGS' industry leading GeoStreamer® dual sensor technology provides enhanced signal to noise and low frequency response for all offsets. The imaging workflow will include velocity model building leveraging the full suite of PGS model building tool, including our proprietary hyperTomo technology. To create the best possible image, we will leverage TTI RTM with 3D angle gather output, allowing for image optimization and pre-stack data access throughout the model building sequence and for final image optimization.
••• 14.11.21 - Latest PGS MultiClient Acquisition Offshore Ireland Combines Towed Streamer EM with 2D Seismic.
PGS has completed the first ever full-scale simultaneous acquisition of towed streamer EM and 2D GeoStreamer® seismic. The first datasets for this MultiClient acquisition will be available late Q2 2014.
The program, which was undertaken with industry support, consisted of approximately 3,000 line km of seismic and towed streamer EM data. It was acquired over a four week period this summer in the Fastnet and Celtic Sea Basins offshore Ireland.
The seismic survey was acquired with GeoStreamer® technology, which reduces seismic noise and enables far better reservoir resolution and description. This state-of-the-art dataset will provide valuable regional subsurface coverage, tying several wells across the basin, and aims to reduce the exploration risk across the basin.
The simultaneous acquisition of Electromagnetic (EM) data, using the new PGS Towed Streamer EM system maps the subsurface resistivity, enabling greater understanding of the subsurface structures. High resistivity is associated with oil and gas accumulations. This measurement can also be used to detect basement, carbonate and salt layers.
Petroleum exploration activity is increasing within the Celtic Sea Basin, the Fastnet Basin, and the South Celtic Sea Basin offshore southwest Ireland.
Vintage seismic data in this region is generally of poor quality and has focused primarily on the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous plays. The new PGS acquisition, combining EM with the latest seismic acquisition and processing techniques, aims to confirm the presence of deeper targets. GeoStreamer® 2D data will also improve the resolution of shallower formations, including ties to the 400 MM barrel Barryroe Discovery.
This survey, as agreed with the Government of Ireland, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, represents a work program commitment in respect of Licensing Options 13/1 and 13/2.
The PGS MultiClient data library in Europe not only includes extensive coverage offshore Ireland, but also includes data from the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea, the Faroes Shetland Basin, the Rockall Trough, and the Atlantic Margin.
••• 13.11.21 - TGS, Dolphin announce its first 3D Multi-client Seismic Survey Offshore Brazil.
TGS, in partnership with Dolphin Geophysical, will commence acquisition of a new 3D multi-client survey, Olho de Boi, covering 5,000 km2 offshore Brazil. The survey is designed to image pre-salt plays in the hydrocarbon rich Campos Basin and is located northeast of the Pao de Agucar discovery in an area of similar structural and stratigraphic characteristics.
"The Olho de Boi survey will be TGS' first 3D survey in Brazil," stated Rod Starr, Senior VP Western Hemisphere for TGS. "The Company has conducted considerable geologic review and reprocessing of existing 2D data to ensure strategic placement of the survey in a highly prospective area in the Campos Basin. We expect this 3D survey will be of high interest to the industry for future lease round activities."
The seismic data will be acquired by the M/V Sanco Swift. Data processing will be performed by TGS using its proven proprietary broadband processing technology, Clari-Fi(TM). Data will be available to clients in Q4 2014.
••• 13.11.21 - Dolphin awarded 5 months 3D seismic contract in India.
Dolphin Group ASA have been awarded a 5 months 3D seismic contract with an undisclosed client in India.
The survey, located in North West India, will be started ultimo December with one or several Dolphin' 3D seismic vessels.
Source: Dolphin Geophisical
••• 12.11.21 - EMGS: Update for the vessels Atlantic Guardian and BOA Thalassa.
Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA announced that the vessel Atlantic Guardian, which has been working on a multi-client campaign in the Barents Sea since mid-April is mobilising to the Gulf of Mexico. The vessel will join the BOA Galatea under the current contract for PEMEX. Atlantic Guardian will commence operations in Mexico mid-November and is expected to work on this campaign well into the first quarter of 2014.
The vessel BOA Thalassa completed a USD 50 million contract for Brunei Shell Petroleum mid-October. The vessel then had its announced scheduled yard stay in Singapore for about two weeks and started mobilising towards Malaysia on 2 November. The vessel is about to start operating on the Letter of Intent announced on 24 September. The survey is expected to take about one month. After completion of this survey and possible additional commitments in Malaysia, the vessel will transfer to another part of the Asia-Pacific region to perform a new survey. EMGS has received an additional Letter of Intent to award a contract of one month minimum 3D EM data acquisition in the region. No more than 10 days of transfer and mobilisation should be expected.
••• 11.11.21 - 3D Seismic Survey begins southeast of Falkland Islands.
Falkland Oil and Gas (FOGL) reported Friday that a third 3D seismic survey has begun over its license areas to the south and east of the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.
FOGL reported that the PGS Ramform Titan has begun the seismic survey over the mid-Cretaceous Hersilia fan complex within the northern area licenses. The survey, which is operated by Noble Energy, could take up to four months to complete, FOGL said.
The firm that fast-track data from the two 3D seismic surveys already completed earlier this year has been received, and that interpretation of this data is ongoing.
FOGL said preliminary work on the data has already identified a number of large prospects within the Diomedia fan complex. The new data is also enhancing the firm's understanding of potential prospects within the Fault Block area, adjacent to the Darwin discovery.
A full assessment of all the prospects covered by both surveys will be undertaken using the fully processed 3D data expected to become available in January 2014. The interpretation results should be available by the end of the first quarter 2014.
FOGL Chief Executive Tim Bushell commented in a company statement: "This is our final survey prior to the commencement of drilling operations in late 2014. Upon completion we will have acquired over 10,000 square kilometers of high quality 3D data, which is equivalent in area to over 40 North Sea blocks. This illustrates both the scale of our assets and the commitment of the joint venture to the ongoing exploration program."
••• 11.11.21 - New Seismic Vessel launched for WesternGeco in Flensburg Shipyard.
Flensburg: Where once it was ferries that gave Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft its international reputation for excellence, now it is ultra-modern special ships. Friday the shipbuilders of Flensburg successfully launched the first of two offshore seismic vessels for the WesternGeco concern. The ship was Hull No. FSG 760 and she was named Amazon Warrior.
"What has so far been only theory has now become reality and everyone can see it", said FSG Managing Director Peter Sierk. "Our shipyard has successfully broken new ground and consciously taken the first steps into what is, for us, a completely new market sector - one which has a lot of potential for the future". He and all the other shipbuilders at Flensburger, are particularly pleased that they have justified the confidence placed in them by the customer. Peter Sierk said "it was certainly a very courageous move by WesternGeco to entrust us with this newbuilding order - simply because we had never built an offshore ship before. Despite that, our good points and our reputation persuaded WesternGeco to go ahead a year and a half ago and today we are, one and all, truly proud of this launch".
Yet again, he said, it had been shown that quality, complete adherence to contract and delivery terms, broadly diversified engineering competence and passion along with tailor-made ship designs were the solid foundations upon which Flensburg’s shipbuilding success rested. Hull Nos. 760 and 763 are 127 metre long seismic ships and the biggest in the customer’s fleet. As far as efficiency, comfort, reliability and endurance are concerned, they satisfy the most stringent demands and guarantee safe operation throughout the world - even in the Arctic regions and in the worst weather conditions imaginable.
Ships of this type spend months, even years, in uninterrupted service at sea. Because of this WesternGeco places particular value on accommodation and working areas. There is space on each ship for 76 single cabins, rooms for leisure and communal activities and a large computer centre. Here data from the ship’s geological investigations are evaluated. The seabed measurement data are recorded by different types of cable streamers, hundreds of metres long, which the ships draw along behind them.