Offshore SeisNews ©

••• 24.12.08  Hutton hull breaks free offshore Shetlands.
The hull of the Hutton tension-leg platform yesterday morning broke free from one of the tugs towing it. The incident occurred around 170 kilometers (105 miles) northeast of Lerwick in the Shetland Islands.
According to the Shetland Coastguard, one of the two tow lines broke during severe weather. The platform was held in position, as the 200-meter (656-foot) tow line could cause damage to subsea pipelines and manifolds in the area. The broken tow line was brought back on deck with the help of Havila Shipping anchor handling tug supply vessel Havila Saturn.
The platform broke free east of the Cormorant and Eider oil fields. Although the cause of the break is unknown, a Coastguard spokesman indicated to EnergyCurrent that both tow lines were damaged, and there has been speculation that the high seas and storms could have been responsible.
The Hutton hull will be towed to Lerwick, then to Invergordon, Scotland, where Murmansk icebreaker Vladimir Ignatuk and URS anchor handling tug President Hubert will refuel.
The Hutton platform hull was on its way to the Gulf of Mexico from Murmansk, Russia, with a scheduled stop in Cadiz, Spain. The hull was being transported by Murmansk Shipping Co. for Gazprom subsidiary Sevmorneftegaz. The hull has been sold to be used as a component in a new platform offshore Mexico. It is unknown whether the platform will still make the stop in Cadiz.
The Hutton tension leg platform was the first ever production tension leg platform, and was originally installed in the North Sea by Conoco in 1984. The platform was decommissioned in 2002.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 24.12.08  New seismic vessel coming up for PVEP.
PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corp. (PVEP) is expected to add a 2-D seismic vessel to its operating fleet in Vietnam next January. The vessel will be handed to Nordic Maritime for final fitting at a Singapore shipyard before setting sail for Vietnam. The 2-D seismic vessel was converted from a fishing trawler named Pavlovsk at Cochin Shipyard in India. Delivery is now expected in end-December.
Nordic Maritime was awarded a contract worth US$30 million by PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corp. (PVEP) to provide complete project management and supervision for the conversion work. The vessel will be sold to PVEP upon delivery from the shipyard.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 24.12.08  SeaBird contracts and vessel update.
SeaBird Exploration Limited has been awarded two contracts for the Aquila Explorer in South America and the Far East. These contracts are back-to-back and will commence when Aquila Explorer is ending the contract with PGS in early 2009. Furthermore, SeaBird has been awarded a new contract for the Geo Mariner in the Middle East. These contracts secure satisfactory back-log for the Aquila Explorer and Geo Mariner until the later part of Q2 2009. The total value of these contracts are in the range of USD 30 million and are expected to yield average day rates in excess of our current guiding for these vessels of USD 75-90,000.
SeaBird has now executed a formal contract with BP Exploration & Production Inc. for the ocean bottom nodes seismic acquisition survey in Green Canyon, Gulf of Mexico, USA, including the Hugin Explorer and Kondor Explorer, following the letter of award previously announced.
This survey will commence upon completion of the current survey in Block 17, offshore Angola for Total. Completion date for this survey is now expected to be early Q2 2009 due to ongoing improvements to the deep-water node system. BP is also a partner in block 17.
CEO of SeaBird, Mr. Tim Isden states that "we are pleased that we are able to continue building our vessel backlog at day-rates above our guided levels, despite the turmoil in the financial markets and the drop in oil price."
Source: SeaBird

••• 23.12.08  StatoilHydro is terminating its procurement process for rig hire for operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf due to high rig rates.
"We focus on reducing costs and making strict priorities," said Anders Opedal, head of procurements in StatoilHydro.
The invitation to submit tenders for rig hire was distributed during the summer of 2008, and covered both semi-submersible mobile rigs and jack-up drilling rigs with contract start at the end of 2012.
When the deadline for submitting tenders expired on August 25, StatoilHydro had received tenders for a total of 28 rigs from 15 suppliers.
The rig rates have risen considerably the last years in a period of high oil price. From the invitation to tender was distributed and up to the present, the financial crisis has led to higher insecurity in the world economy, which has made the oil price drop by more than 60%.
Based on changed framework conditions StatoilHydro decided to ask for updated tenders from the suppliers to be submitted by December 1. The updated tenders included reduced rig rates.
"Despite the reduction in the prices offered, there is still a considerable gap between the tenders and the expectations we have concerning the rates," said Opedal. "We have therefore decided to terminate the procurement process."
Source: StatoilHydro

••• 22.12.08  Construction commences on Polarcus vessels NB71 and NB72.
Plate cutting ceremonies marking the commencement of construction for Polarcus vessels NB71 and NB72 were held on the 15 and 18 December 2008 respectively. This brings to six the number of 3D seismic vessels Polarcus currently has under construction at the Drydocks World - Dubai shipyard in the United Arab Emirates.
Vessels NB71 ("Polarcus Asima") and NB72 ("Polarcus Alima") are both 12 streamer 3D vessels of design type ULSTEIN SX134. These 92m vessels will carry the high ice class notation ICE-1A from the DNV classification society and will on launch be amongst the safest and most environmentally sound seismic vessels in the market, with diesel electric propulsion, high specification catalytic convertors, DP2 dynamic positioning, grounding avoidance systems, double hulls and advanced ballast water treatment / bilge water cleaning systems. As with the preceding four vessels already under construction for Polarcus these two new vessels will also comply with the stringent DNV CLEAN DESIGN notation.
"I am especially pleased that we were able to mark these two important events this month", commented Rolf Ronningen, CEO Polarcus. "Since our launch in May the team has made excellent progress both in the vessel building program and in the development of the company infrastructure and support systems. I am very confident that this effort will continue unabated in 2009 as we prepare for our first operations in the Fall."
Source: Polarcus

••• 19.12.08  Norway-based SCAN Geophysical ASA and GX Technology (GXT), a subsidiary of ION Geophysical, have executed a formal contract for a seismic acquisition project offshore Argentina.
The contract, which follows a previously announced letter of intent, will cover the acquisition of up to 8,000 kilometers (4,970 miles) of long offset 2-D data, some of which will be used to complete GXT's ArgentineSPAN program. SCAN's high capacity 2-D vessel, M/V Geo Searcher, will be equipped with a 10,000 meter (32,808 ft) solid streamer and special tuned source for used in the project.
Acquisition is scheduled to commence within the next week.
Source: SCAN Geophysical

••• 18.12.08  Nordic Venturer lined up for seismic stint in Indonesia.
TGS NOPEC seismic vessel Nordic Venturer will head for a survey off Indonesia next week. The vessel is contracted to acquire at least 7,000 kilometres (4,350 miles) of 2-D seismic plus option for another 7,000 kilometres (4,350 miles) of line seismic off West Sumatra.
Nordic Venturer is en-route to Singapore after a three-month multi-client seismic survey offshore Vietnam. The vessel is expected to remain in Indonesian waters for at least four months to complete its next survey.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 18.12.08  FOGL begins survey program offshore Falkland Islands.
Falkland Oil and Gas (FOGL) has begun a site survey program of its license areas to the south and east of the Falkland Islands. The site survey program will be undertaken on five different programs. The company expects the survey program to be completed in early 2009.
M/V Fugro Meridian, operated by Fugro Surveys, has begun to acquire digital site surveys in order to assess drilling hazards in the top few hundred meters (328 + feet) of sediment below the seabed. Detailed seabed bathymetry and imaging surveys will be obtained to ensure the suitability and stability of drill sites.
British Antarctic Survey vessel James Clark Ross has been contracted to deploy wave and current meters. The instruments will be used in environmental assessment and the preparation of rig mooring and riser design.
The final part of the survey program is a coring program to establish the make-up of the top 150 meters (492 ft) of seabed. Information from this program will be used in the detailed casing design of the wells. Construction support vessel M/V Fugro Saltire will begin this part of the program in January 2009.
FOGL is now attempting to secure a suitable drilling rig for operations in the area.
Source: FOGL

••• 18.12.08  EMGS launches fully equipped EM survey vessel.
Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA (EMGS) has launched the world's first purpose-built Electromagnetic (EM) survey vessel. The BOA Thalassa was built by Bergen Group Fosen, and EMGS has leased it from owner BOA Offshore on a long-term charter.
EMGS CEO Terje Eidesmo said, "This state-of-the-art vessel is a product of more than a decade of experience from more than 400 surveys and 120 vessel months across the world's mature and frontier offshore basins. The introduction of this high-capacity vessel is a milestone for EMGS and our customers, as it will lead the way in a new-generation technology - 3D EM surveying.
"EMGS is experiencing increasing demand for 3D EM surveys, and this development coincides with the launch of this vessel and the recent introduction of our Clearplay services."
EMGS will increase its survey capacity greatly by the BOA Thalassa's ability to handle a record number of receivers. The BOA Thalassa carries 100 receivers and can double this figure. Surveying efficiency and flexibility is increased by the vessel's high speed, large fuel volume, extensive storage capacity, good fuel consumption and extended weather window.
A fully integrated spare equipment set and a new advanced on-board processing system should enhance the quality and improve the delivery time for EM data.
Source: EMGS

••• 18.12.08  SCAN Geophysical to conduct Ecuador seismic survey.
SCAN Geophysical ASA has signed a contract with Petroproduccion Empresa Estatal de Exploracion y Produccion de Petroleos del Ecuador, an affiliate of Petroecuador, for the acquisition of about 10,000 kilometers (6,213 miles) of 2D seismic offshore Ecuador.
The survey will cover the majority of the Ecuadorian coast with a focus on basins in the Esmeraldas, Manabi, Guaya and Santa Elena provinces. The survey will support the Ecuadorian government's plan to develop its hydrocarbon prospects. SCAN's new multi-purpose seismic vessel, the M/V SCAN Stigandi, will be acquiring the data.
"This seismic program is a milestone in Ecuador's strong commitment for expansion of available offshore natural resources and SCAN is honored to be a part of this historic event," said Kjell Karlsson, vice president of marketing and sales for SCAN in Oslo. "We are also pleased to be acquiring this program with our newest and most technologically advanced vessel which features state-of-the-art on board equipment and an 8,000 m (26,246 ft) solid streamer."
Source: SCAN Geophysical

••• 16.12.08  Hexio finances seismic research vessel.
GC Rieber Shipping's subsidiary Hexio has financed the acquisition of the seismic research vessel Geo Explorer through a US $16.7 million long term loan facility with DnB NOR Bank as lender.
Geo Exploreris a 2D/source vessel, currently on time charter to Fugro Geoteam until March 2009. The vessel, which was acquired in July 2008, has now been financed through a US $16.7 million long term mortgage loan with DnB NOR Bank as lender.
Source: Scandoil

••• 16.12.08  CGG extends navigation reach.
France’s seismic and survey group CGGVeritas has bought out a UK software company which provides navigation equipment. Quest Geo Solutions has been bought for an undisclosed cash consideration by a CGGVeritas subsidiary Sercel, with the French group saying the deal extends the existing partnership between the two companies: Sercel already distributes Quest navigation software including proprietary products Triggerfish and Geometis.
Sercel will benefit from increased development and support resources, CGG said.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 16.12.08  Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA has been awarded a contract worth about $7.5 million to use its Clearplay Test service to rank several hydrocarbon prospects offshore Malaysia. The 3D electromagnetic (EM) surveys will start shortly.
Terje Eidesmo, EMGS chief executive officer, commented: "Our services provide rapid, accurate ranking of hydrocarbon prospects in offshore locations. Testing these prospects with EM technology significantly reduces the likelihood of drilling dry wells, which in turn means reduced commercial risk for this repeat customer."
The prospects will be targeted by towing an EM source over receivers placed 1 - 2 km apart in a grid. The wide-azimuth, 3D EM data will then be processed to create resistivity maps and volumes.
"More of our customers are turning to survey layouts where the receivers are placed in a grid rather than in lines, and this trend will accelerate in the future. These 3D EM surveys provide data for the entire prospect, not just a limited part. The result is a much clearer and more complete understanding of the subsurface and an improved estimation of the hydrocarbon volume. This is of great benefit to our customers," said Eidesmo.
Source: EMGS

••• 15.12.08  Wavefield employees speak up on CGGVeritas bid.
OSLO: Representatives from the employees of marine geophysical company Wavefield Inseis have responded to the board of directors Dec. 5 statement on the voluntary offer made for the company by CGGVeritas. The board had recommended that Wavefield shareholders accept CGGVeritas' offer of one share in CGGVeritas for seven shares in Wavefield , and also said it had not received a joint statement on the offer from the employees of the company.
The Wavefield employees state that the board of directors did not consult the employees and has not considered all of the facts before their decision.
The employees of Wavefield Inseis feel that as a stand alone seismic company, Wavefield offers a much greater potential for higher return on the shareholders investment with its modern fleet and development of new technology in the Optowave 4C Ocean Bottom Cable.
The employee statement added, "We are a highly motivated and committed workforce that believes in the quality of management and our fellow employees to enable this company to continue to grow and maintain profitability."
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 12.12.08  Murmansk transport hub one step further realization.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on implementation of the project "Development of Murmansk Transport Hub". The decree entitles involved federal bodies to buy or expropriate land plots.
The decree that was signed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin this week, states that Development of the Murmansk Transport Hub will be financed by the federal budget as part of the earmarked program "Development of Russia’s transport system 2010-2015" and by the Murmansk regional budget and private investors.
Murmansk port will become a northern Russian hub for container shipping, oil reloading and coal and fertilizers terminals, and will be integrated in the International North-South Transport Corridor.
According to the decree, the Federal Agency for Sea and Inland Water Transport (Rosmorrechflot), the Federal Road Agency (Rosavtodor) and the Federal Agency for Railroad Transport are entrusted to organize expropriation of land plots for federal use and to conclude agreements on acquisition of plots.
Source: BarentsObserver

••• 12.12.08  TGS, WAGSCO open seismic data facility in Lagos.
TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co. and West African Geophysical Seisdata Co. (WAGSCO) opened a secure dedicated facility for data storage, tape copying and seismic processing. Located in Lagos' Lekki Peninsula area, the operation will serve the ongoing needs of nearby state and private sectors in oil and gas exploration.
In addition to standard storage and tape copying tasks, the facility offers data recovery from older media formats, data viewing workstations and high-speed communication facilities for online data inquiry and retrieval. The data center is networked to TGS Imaging's processing nodes in Houston, USA, and Bedford, U.K., and is able to perform duplication and integrity checks, data transcription, sub-volume extraction, data split/merges and pre-stack work.
The partnership between the two companies combines TGS' quarter century of geophysical data storage expertise and seismic processing capabilities with WAGSCO's local operational capacity and market awareness. The data center facility has integrated fire and security systems and protocols to mitigate loss risks. The facility is in compliance with Nigerian government directives regarding data storage.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 12.12.08  Optimism prevails in the Norwegian oil industry - claims OLF.
In spite of the financial crisis companies in the oil industry have a positive outlook for the future, says the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF).
"The engine in the Norwegian economy is more important than ever. Wise political decisions are important to ensure that Norway maintains its solid footing in the future," said Per Terje Vold, Director General of the OLF in a statement issued earlier this week.
OLF has published the first edition of its economic barometer for petroleum activities. The conclusion of the report, based on the responses of 4,921 companies across Norway, 1,080 of which have oil-related turnover, is clear: the higher the percentage of oil-related sales, the better the prospects for 2009.
"The results clearly show how the oil industry moderates the decline in the Norwegian economy in these difficult economic times. The robust activity in the industry is saving jobs all over the country," said Mr Vold.
Vold emphasised that the industry sees itself playing a supporting role for the Norwegian economy for many years to come. "When we see just how important the oil industry is for the future, it is worrying that some political parties want to rob people of their jobs, and the welfare state of its most important source of income," he said.
Three of four companies with more than 25 per cent oil-related sales report that the recent developments in the share and financial markets have not led to reduced activity.
The companies with the highest percentage of oil-related turnover are the least affected.
Four of five companies have not experienced reduced access to credit. However, five per cent of the companies report that they have experienced problems making payments due to reduced availability of credit.
Thirteen per cent of the companies say that their financial costs have increased in general for the same reason.
"The survey shows that the most important job is to straighten out the credit crisis in the market," said Mr Vold.
Companies with a high percentage of oil-related sales still assess the market as good in 2009, but weaker in 2010.
Companies with low or no oil-related sales have a less favourable assessment of the market in 2009, but assume that it will take a turn for the better in 2010.
"The investments for 2009 are already determined, and this is certainly reflected in the survey. However, like all other sectors, the companies in the oil industry are concerned with capital discipline. Therefore, we may see a falling trend in 2010 if the price of oil remains low," said Mr Vold.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 11.12.08  Apache wrapping up Timor Sea survey.
Apache Corp. is expected to wrap up a 3-D seismic survey over two Timor Sea permits AC/P37 and WA-341-P off Australia by mid-December.
The Canis 3-D survey first began on Nov. 3 and will see the acquisition of 1,195 square kilometres (461 sq miles) of new seismic data in water depths ranging from 20 metres to 220 metres (66 ft to 722 ft) using Fugro-Geoteam AS seismic vessel M/V Geo Atlantic. The survey is supported by Tanager Offshore AS supply vessel Tanux 1.
M/V Geo Atlantic is next scheduled to undertake a seismic survey for Apache off Barrow Island.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 10.12.08  Shtokman delay with "colossal significance".
Talking to the press Mr. Komarov, CEO of Gazprom's Shtokman Development, said that the Shtokman gas project in the Barents Sea will remain economically viable with oil prices at about 50-60 USD per barrel, the Moscow Times reports.
He also said that a delay of one or two years would have a "colossal significance" for the project. Gazprom expects Shtokman to be providing 11 percent of output by 2020.
A number of experts believe however that the Shtokman partners will not be able to meet the ambitious production deadline of 2013. In a seminar last week, Norwegian INTSOK representative Hakon Skretting indicated that the project’s final investment decision could be delayed into 2010.
Mr. Skretting, a man believed to be in close contact with several of the Shtokman-stakeholders, later clarified to BarentsObserver that the process is progressing and that a delay is only a possibility.
The partners in the Shtokman Development Company, Gazprom, Total and StatoilHydro, are according to plans to decide on the project’s final investment decision in fall 2009. The investments for the first Shtokman development phase has earlier been estimated to 15 billion USD.
Source: BarentsObserver

••• 10.12.08  Limerock Partners invests in RXT.
Lime Rock Partners, a Cayman Island-based investment fund managed by Lime Rock Management has entered into an agreement with Reservoir Exploration Technology (RXT) for the subscription of a total of 12,796,100 shares in RXT, and intends to participate in a bond issue giving Lime Rock Partners the right to subscribe for additional 31,147,869 shares in the company.
The completion of the agreement was conditional on an extraordinary general meeting of RXT due to be held December 9th. Assuming completion and full subscription (excluding any repair issue) of the above mentioned planned capital increase, Lime Rock Partners will own 25.8 per cent of the then issued and outstanding shares and votes in RXT.
Assuming completion and full subscription of the above mentioned planned capital increase, and completion of the bond issue warrants held by Lime Rock Partners will equal 62.7 per cent (38.5 per cent when exercised) of the shares and the votes in RXT.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 09.12.08  Wavefield awarded ExxonMobil seismic program offshore Norway.
Wavefield Inseis ASA announced that it has been awarded the 2009 Ringhorne/Balder/Forseti Seismic Program offshore Norway by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Norway AS.
The survey will take approximately one month and will be acquired by one of Wavefield's high capacity 3D vessels during the second quarter of 2009. The project is the first that Wavefield will have conducted for ExxonMobil.
"We know that ExxonMobil is an industry leader in every aspect of the energy business so this award is particularly significant for us," stated Wavefield CEO Atle Jacobsen. "It is another important milestone for our company."
Source: Wavefield Inseis

••• 09.12.08  SeaBird Exploration Limited has received a letter of award from BP Exploration & Production Inc. for an ocean bottom nodes ("OBN") seismic acquisition survey in Green Canyon, Gulf of Mexico, USA.
This survey will commence upon completion of the current contract Total E&P Angola, estimated to February 2009. The survey will be done in the range of 1,300-2,300 meters water depth and carried out with the state of the art OBN vessel Hugin Explorer and Kondor Explorer as a separate source vessel. The contract has an expected duration of around 3 months and is expected to yield an average day rate including mobilization and demobilization in line with our current guiding in excess of USD 200,000 for OBN surveys (Hugin Explorer) and USD 60-65,000 for source vessels (Kondor Explorer).
SeaBird CEO, Tim Isden, stated the following: "This letter of award represents a major recognition for SeaBirds OBN operations and we see great potential for the future in reservoir imaging and 4C / 4D applications .We are extremely happy to reach this milestone and to have another oil major as our contractual partner in our next survey using our autonomous node acquisition system in deepwater and congested areas. We see an increased interest in reservoir monitoring and characterization from the oil companies and have experienced a massive increase in interest for our node technology after commencement of the Total Angola contract".
Source: SeaBird

••• 08.12.08  Wavefield takeover signed and sealed.
CGGVeritas has received clearance from the Norwegian Competition Authority over its voluntary exchange tender offer for Wavefield Inseis.
On Nov. 10, 2008, CGGVeritas announced its voluntary exchange tender offer for 100 percent of the shares of Wavefield Inseis. On Nov. 26, 2008, CGGVeritas gained the necessary approval for its takeover of Wavefield Inseis ASA by the Oslo Stock Exchange. The clearance by the Norwegian Competition Authority satisfies one of the conditions of the transaction.
The Offer Document, as approved by the Oslo Stock Exchange, is available on the CGGVeritas website
The press releases dated Nov. 10 and 26, 2008 announcing the offer and its approbation by the Oslo Stock Exchange are also available on the website.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 08.12.08  ST Marine to design Swire seismic vessel.
The marine arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd. (ST Engineering), ST Marine, secured a S$30 million (US$19.6 million) contract to provide detailed design, construction and outfitting of a seismic survey vessel for Swire Pacific Offshore Operations (Pte) Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swire Pacific Ltd.
Swire had been planning for the newbuild and will be providing the vessel's basic design and major equipment, including the seismic survey equipment. Construction is expected to commence in May 2009 and delivery is planned for the second half of 2010.
The 223-foot (68-m) by 49-foot (15-m) seismic survey vessel, with medium speed diesel propulsion of 2 x 2,880 kW, will be designed, constructed, completed and delivered in compliance with the rules, regulations and with all the requirements and under the survey of American Bureau of Shipping. The vessel will be distinguished in the registry by the symbol and annotation of ABS Class +A1, +AMS, ACCU, SPS, E, Ice Class Notation C.
This contract is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of ST Engineering for the current financial year.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 08.12.08  ION, PGS sign agreement for Orca systems.
Houston-based ION Geophysical Corp.'s Concept Systems software group has signed a five-year agreement with geophysical company Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS). PGS will upgrade all of its existing 2D and 3D towed streamer vessels to the Orca command and control system, and all of its newbuild vessels will be outfitted with Orca on commissioning.
Orca is an integrated command and control system used to manage all aspects of navigation and seismic data workflows onboard seismic vessels. ION stated that Orca would enable operators to operate more safely and efficiently during seismic survey operations while delivering processing-ready data to customers.
PGS has been using Spectra, the predecessor to Orca. The new agreement extends ION and PGS' technology partnership in marine command and control to over 20 years.
PGS Group President of Marine Acquisition said, "As towed streamer surveys became more complex in recent years, we recognized the need to develop and commercialize new functionality to more efficiently execute the most technically advanced, multi-vessel marine acquisition programs, including 4D and HD3D surveys. Orca contains the advanced features we need, while the R&D collaboration outlined in the agreement will allow us to tailor Orca to the specific requirements of PGS' fleet and the customers we serve."
Source: PGS

••• 05.12.08  Norwegian oil and gas investments to surge in '09.
Total Norwegian oil and gas investments for 2009 - including pipeline transportation - are now estimated at NOK 145.5 bn, or $20.2 bn according to the latest official numbers.
That's an increase of 12.7 bn crowns compared with the estimate given in the 3rd quarter of this year.
Statistics Norway said the increase is mainly due to higher estimates in fields on stream.
"Probably the estimates in this survey were mainly made before the financial crisis' impact on the oil market had materialised," the statistics agency said.
"There is reason to believe that the oil companies' flexibility regarding investments next year are bound by already-signed contracts with subcontractors," the report added.
Investments for field development and fields on stream are now estimated at 108.4 bn crowns - 12.8 bn up on the previous quarter's estimate.
Investments for exploration activity in 2009 are estimated at 29.1 bn crowns.
Onshore activities and pipeline transportation are estimated at 7.1 bn crowns and 0.9 bn crowns respectively.
Estimates for 2008.
Total investments in oil and gas extraction and pipeline transport for 2008 are now estimated at 127.4 bn crowns, 1.4 bn down from the estimate conducted in Q3, but still an increase of 14.9 bn crowns compared with the corresponding estimate given for 2007.
Statistics Norway said the increase for 2008 was due to higher investments in exploration, field development and fields on stream, while the estimates indicated a decrease in onshore activity and pipeline transportation.
Exploration activities in 2008 are now estimated at 25 bn crowns. Compared with the corresponding estimate given for 2007, the estimate for 2008 is 5.8 bn crowns higher.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 05.12.08  Indonesia eyes more investment for deepwater fields.
Indonesia aims to attract more investment to explore and develop its deepwater oil and gas fields. As part of the move to encourage the uptake of deepwater blocks in Indonesia, the government recently passed a ministerial decree allowing the production sharing contracts (PSCs) for deepwater blocks to be extended to four or five years.
The move will allow operators more time to conduct the necessary activities leading up to exploration drilling in the deepwater blocks, Department of Energy and Mineral Resources' Director Edy Hermantoro said at the sidelines of the OSEA 2008 conference in Singapore.
Under the terms of the standard PSC, operators are given up to three years to fulfill the required work commitments on the offshore blocks.
Hermantoro said the production splits are 75/25 and 55/45 in favour of the government for oil and gas blocks located in more than 1,500 metres (4,921 ft) of water off western Indonesia. The production splits for deepwater oil and gas blocks off eastern Indonesia are 65/25 and 60/40, respectively.
In October Jakarta released 31 offshore blocks for bidding. A majority of the new releases are in deepwater basins.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 05.12.08  PGS says '09 revenue to slip below $2 bn.
Norwegian seismic explorer Petroleum Geo-Services has predicted that its 2009 revenues will fall beneath its sales for this year which are expected to come in at $2 bn.
The Oslo-listed group gave the projection at an investor and analyst presentation, saying that slower market conditions were having a negative impact.
PGS said that EBIT in 2008 would come in at $700m to $740m while capital expenditure would be about $480m to $500m. For 2009, EBITDAS would come in at between $800m to $925m.
Capital expenditure in 2009 would range between $400m to $450m, PGS forecast.
"The company has a strong order book and the primary risks relating to the full year guidance is concentration of unforeseen operational downtime events int he Marine segment," the company said.
It added that there was also the risk of changes in customer spending patterns for multiclient data "as a result of the financial turbulence."
PGS said at the capital markets day that for its customers, there would be capital constraint for some due to the lower oil price.
Looking at its seismic peers, PGS said that increased vessel supply had created "uncertainty" in the supply/deamdn balance for 2010.
In addition, new-build cancelations for the sector were possible, PGS added.
PGS said that it was entering 2009 with a healthy order book and there was another strong North Sea market.
But there was "market uncertainty."
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 03.12.08  CGGVeritas awarded advanced 3D seismic acquisition in Venezuela.
CGGVeritas has been awarded a groundbreaking land 3D seismic survey by PDVSA, for the largest program recorded to-date in Venezuela. The project, valued at $100 million, will commence in early 2009 and is expected to last approximately six months.
With over thirty years of experience in Venezuela and recognized leadership in advanced survey design, acquisition and processing technology, CGGVeritas has the core capabilities to ensure this complex and challenging project is a success and fully meets the needs of its client.
PDVSA’s award of this important project to CGGVeritas is the result of the geophysical company’s long-term relationship and commitment to service quality. It also confirms the growing importance of the role of geophysics in the development of oil and gas resources onshore.
Robert Brunck, Chairman and CEO of CGGVeritas stated, "We are very pleased to be selected to deliver this groundbreaking 3D survey and to have the opportunity to extend our productive long-term relationship with PDVSA. The combination of our leading technology and service excellence continues to provide our clients with the best ability to meet their needs. Within our current visibility, land contract activity in the Americas is now at high levels for 2009 as our clients look more and more to seismic to best address their longer-term reserve replacement requirements."
Source: CGGVeritas

••• 01.12.08  Nordic Explorer completes 3-D sweep for Mitra.
PGS's M/V Nordic Explorer completed a 1,532-square-kilometre (592-sq-mile) 3-D seismic survey over Mitra Energy's Blocks 28 and 29/03 offshore Vietnam. The survey began on Sept. 21 and was completed in early November.
The data acquired will be processed over the next year to mature the drilling prospects in the two blocks. Mitra has committed to drill at least two wells in the two Vietnamese blocks under the production contract signed last October. The two blocks are located in water depths of about 50 metres (164 ft), covering an area of 13,000 square kilometres (5,019 sq miles), about 150 kilometres (93 miles) off Vung Tau, Vietnam.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 28.11.08  New life for Hutton TLP.
The Murmansk Shipping Company is towing the hull of the old UK Hutton TLP (tension leg platform) from Murmansk to the Gulf of Mexico. The topsides of the formerly British platform is to be applied by Gazprom in the Prirazlomnoe project in the Barents Sea, according to a report in the Barents Observer.
The towing operation from Murmansk to Mexico is being conducted by the Murmansk Shipping Company for the Gazprom subsidiary Sevmorneftegaz, the license holder in the Shtokman and Prirazlomnoe projects, the paper added.
After its decommissioning took place in Aberdeen, the Hutton TLP was bought by Sevmorneftegaz in 2002 and sent from the British part of the North Sea to Murmansk.
The topsides of the semisubmersible platform is to be applied in the Prirazlomnoe project, the first offshore Arctic oil field to be put in production. The Barents Observer reported that the hull has now been sold to a project in the Gulf of Mexico. It will be used as component in a new platform, it added, quoting
The towing operation is being conducted in cooperation with the Global Maritime Scotland.
It is the Murmansk Shipping Company’s icebreaker "Vladimir Ignatyuk" which is being applied in the operation. The Hutton TLP was the first ever production Tension Leg Platform (TLP) – a floating production platform permanently moored to the sea floor via tethers or tendons at each of the structures corners.
Hutton TLP was originally installed in 1984 by Conoco, but at the time of decommissioning it had been bought by Kerr-McGee, Oil and Gaz UK informs. Gazprom’s "Prirazlomnaya" platform is currently under construction at the Sevmash yard in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk Oblast.
Production start in the project has been postponed several times, the Barents Observer reported.
It is now believed that production startup will take place no earlier than 2011.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 27.11.08  CGGVeritas given Oslo Bors okay for Wavefield takeover.
CGGVeritas received formal approval from the Oslo Stock Exchange for their tender offer for 100 percent of Wavefield Inseis' shares. The go ahead was given in accordance with Chapter 6 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.
The Offer will be open from Nov. 27, 2008 until Dec. 12, 2008, at 5:30 p.m. Central European Time. Under the offer CGGVeritas will offer eligible Wavefield shareholders one newly issued CGGVeritas share for seven Wavefield shares.
The total value of the takeover is sitting at around US$310 million based on the closing price of CGGVeritas and Wavefield on Nov. 7, 2008. The figure gives Wavefield shareholders a premium of 31 percent.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 26.11.08  BOS vessels get high-tech with IBM computers.
IBM has delivered three new computers to Norwegian seismic survey company Bergen Oilfield Services (BOS) as part of a NOK 4.65 million (US$668,381) agreement signed over the summer.
BOS has acquired and installed three IBM High Performance Computing cluster solutions. Two will be used onboard vessels BOS Arctic and BOS Angler for rapid processing of seismic data. The third will be used at a land-processing center. The systems include three Intel-cluster solutions consisting of 24 nodes with 192 cores and 160 terabytes of storage.
The company has also purchased an IBM bladeserver HC10 with a CP20 converter to run office applications at sea. BOS uses applications that run on Linux.
The Computer Cluster solution will be used process large amounts of seismic data collected by the vessels. The data is used to form the basis of a 3D visualization process to create images of areas under the seabed.
Source: BOS

••• 25.11.08  TGS begins new study off Brazil.
The Geological Products and Services division of TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co. commenced a new multi-client interpretive study offshore Brazil using the company's proprietary Facies Map Browser (FMB) application. The FMB allows explorationists to visualize the distribution of and relationship between various elements of a petroleum system within a depositional basin.
This new study, which is funded by several oil companies, will utilize borehole information and seismic data to map the development of depositional systems offshore Brazil in the form of sequence constrained environmental facies distribution maps. The first phase of the project, the Santos Basin FMB, is scheduled for completion by the end of the first quarter of 2009. Additional phases in the Campos and Espirito Santo Basins will be completed in 2009 and 2010.
TGS said FMB has become established as the default well and interpreted facies database and visualization tool in Northwest Europe, where some 50 exploration companies subscribe to and utilize a series of nine regional FMB areas in their exploration and new ventures activities. Additional FMB studies have been conducted in North America and are planned for other international areas.

••• 24.11.08  PTTEP, Murphy to Conduct 3D Seismic, Drill 1 Well in Australian Block.
PTTEP and Murphy Australia Oil Pty Ltd. had another breakthrough in their joint investment when they won the rights to explore for petroleum in a block in Australia. It comes only one week after the announcement that PTTEP had teamed with another Murphy entity to gain the rights for petroleum exploration in Indonesia.
Anon Sirisaengtaksin, CEO of PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited or PTTEP said that the company received the rights for petroleum exploration in Block WA-423-P after participating in the 2008 Australian bidding round. Only last week PTTEP received the similar rights for Block Semai II in Indonesia.
Block WA-423-P covers an area of about 4,000 square kilometers and is considered as having high petroleum potential. This Block is situated in the Browse Basin, off the northwestern coast of Australia where several giant natural gas fields have been discovered. It is also close to Block AC/P36 where PTTEP had earlier invested in. PTTEP will hold 30% share in the block while Murphy Australia Oil Pty Ltd., the operator, holds 70% share.
During the first 3 years, the consortium will conduct 3D seismic survey and drill at least 1 exploration well.
Australia is a country that international oil companies are interested in. The country has high natural gas potential and PTTEP sees the cooperation with Murphy which already is a partner in Block AC/P36 in Australia as a good opportunity for future business.
Source: Rigzone

••• 21.11.08  Deal terms change for Scan/DSS.
Scan Geophysical and Deep Sea Supply have agreed changes to a June 2006 agreement for Scan's purchase of three vessels under construction at the ABG Shipyard.
Under the terms of the original deal, Scan would pay a final instalment of the purchase price, totalling US $12.405 million, with one third on delivery of each of the three vessels.
By the addendum now entered into, it has been agreed that the payment of $4.135m per vessel (plus interest accrued from the initially agreed payment dates) shall be due and payable on November 30, 2009, April 30, 2010 and June 30, 2010, respectively.
It has also been agreed that a portion of the first payment equal to NOK 20m, may be settled, in part, by issuing 20m new shares in favour of DESSC at a subscription price of NOK 1 per share.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 21.11.08  ExxonMobil to operate Black Sea blocks for TPAO.
An agreement between ExxonMobil and Turkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortakligi (TPAO) to explore in two large deepwater blocks offshore Turkey will see ExxonMobil become the operator during the initial exploration phase and gain a 50 percent interest in both the Samsun Block and the eastern portion of Block 3921.
The Samsun Block covers around 3,282 square miles (8,500 sq km) and the eastern portion of 3921 Block encompasses around 8,108 square miles (21,000 sq km). Water depths over the blocks reach up to 6,500 feet (2,000 m).
Seismic acquisition and evaluation programmes for the two blocks are being operated by TPAO and will be done during 2009. Assignment of the interest to ExxonMobil by TPAO is subject to Turkish government approval.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 21.11.08  EMGS posts loss before Barents boon.
Norway-based survey outfit Electromagnetic Geoservices has posted a net loss for the third quarter of $7.9 million, down $28.8 million year-on-year as it changes its approach to selling survey kit of "pinprick" accuracy.
The result was had on revenues of $33.4 million, down 31 percent of the same span a year ago.
"Although the market for EM is currently in an adoption phase, more and more oil companies are coming to the conclusion that the traditional exploration model needs to be supplemented," management said in a statement.
EMGS has evolved its offering and now says its 3D EM replaces its 2D EM kit for "seamless integration" with other geo-reservoir data in oil company’s stockpiles.
Indeed, the company is credited with producing a clearer view of promising Barents Sea acreage ahead of Norway’s Round 20 of offshore licensing and stands to sell data to companies before and after awards are announced by Norwegian authorities.
The Barents largest was the largest "multi-client 3D EM survey" ever.
Source: Scandoil

••• 20.11.08  Ibama authorizes seismic tests in Espirito Santo.
Brazil's environmental regulator Ibama has authorized WesternGeco to perform seismic tests at four offshore blocks in the Espirito Santo basin, according to BNamericas.
WesternGeco will carry out 2D and 3D seismic studies in blocks BM-ES-37, BM-ES-39, BM-ES-40 and BM-ES-41, Ibama president Roberto Messias said in a statement.
The four blocks cover an area of 2,895 square kilometers (1,117 sq miles).
The company will present the studies to UK independent Perenco, partner of oil and gas company OGX Petroleo e Gas Participaqoes in the blocks.
Ibama, however, has set some conditions, including that Perenco immediately must report any oil leak.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 19.11.08  BGP charters seismic vessel, buys AHTS from Falcon.
Singapore-based BGP GeoExplorer Pte Ltd. awarded two contracts worth US$84.4 million to Falcon Energy Group Ltd. for the charter of a seismic vessel and the purchase of a supply boat.
The first contract is for the long-term charter of a 2-D seismic vessel, to be named BGP Challenger. The charter is for a fixed one-year term starting from next March plus an option for another year extension. BGP expects to deploy the vessel in Southeast Asia or South China Sea.
The second contract is for the purchase of an anchor handling tug supply vessel. Delivery is scheduled for the end of this month.
BGP is a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp. The company provides marine seismic services and is planning to expand its scope of services after undertaking a fleet expansion since 2006.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 18.11.08  WGP's seismic vessel Geolog Dmitriy Nalivkin has completed another successful year in Baffin Bay working for TGS Nopec.
Over 8,800km of 2D seismic data was recorded in waters littered with icebergs but due to the professionalism and hard work put in by the crew all data was acquired safely without any incident both in and out of the water.
The vessel is now heading South to the North Sea to proceed with their next survey.
Source: Westland GeoProjects

••• 17.11.08  Norwegian research vessel has got itself into trouble off the coast of Greece.
Greece's Foreign Ministry said that on Saturday Athens lodged a protest over the presence of a Norwegian-flagged oil research vessel that was in the southern Aegean Sea, under escort by a Turkish frigate.
The Greek ministry added that the ship had since stopped its activities.
The "Malene Ostervold", operating for a Turkish group, was due to perform a geophysical survey of the region which is in international waters, but is in aan area that also contains part of Greece's continental shelf, the ministry said.
News agencies reported that Greece made protests to Norway and as well as Turkey.
A Greek frigate earlier on Saturday intercepted the two vessels and asked them to leave the area, but they refused, a defence official who requested anonymity told wire service Reuters.
"Greece's ambassador in Oslo communicated with the owner of the vessel to present them Greece's position," the statement said.
"A while ago the Norwegian research vessel sent signal that it was stopping its research activity in the area."
Turkish Foreign Ministry sources said the Norwegian ship had been carrying out exploratory activites within Turkey-controlled waters, reported state-news agency Anatolia.
Turkey and Greece have a territorial dispute over parts of the Aegean and came close to war as recently as 1996 over a disputed islet.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 17.11.08  Norway’s biggest bank looks towards Shtokman.
DnB Nor, the biggest bank in Norway, is ready to provide the Shtokman field partners with credits for the development of the huge Barents Sea field, a bank representative confirmed in an oil and gas conference in Murmansk.
In his conference presentation, bank representative Bjorn Celius said that DnB NOR is ready to do what it can to financially support the quick realization of Shtokman objects and speed up the development process, a press release on the bank website reports.
-Today there is a major demand for more than five-year credits, but the problem is that situation on the world markets has made it very difficult for the Russian banks to provide such credits, the bank representative said.
-Both we and our subsidiary DnB NOR Monchebank have such a possibility, Mr. Celius said, adding that the bank already now finances projects with such credits.
-We are ready to provide bank guarantees to the financially sustainable companies, in order to make these successfully participate in tenders organised by the oil and gas companies, he continued.
The bank representative also said that he hopes the Shtokman partners will be use the DnB NOR bank network for international transactions in the Shtokman project.
DnB NOR is Norways largest financial services group with total combined assets of NOK 1 600 billion. The Group consists of strong brands such as DnB NOR, Vital, Nordlandsbanken, Cresco, Postbanken, DnB NORD and Carlson, as well as foreign subsidiaries like Monchebank. The bank has more than 2,3 million retail customers and more than 198 000 corporate customers.
Source: BarentsObserver

••• 17.11.08  RXT scores survey for BP.
Seismic company Reservoir Exploration Technology (RXT) has received a letter of intent from BP for a five-month survey in the U.K. This is RXT's third major contract for BP.
The survey, scheduled to begin in December, will be acquired with RXT operation RXT4. RXT4 comprises Vestland Marine source and cable-handling vessel Vikland, which was delivered on charter to RXT on Nov. 9, 2008.
The program, along with a delayed 2008 program, gives RXT4 a one-year backlog, at rates consistent with RXT's projections.
Source: RXT

••• 17.11.08  CGGVeritas sets June completion date for U.S. Gulf survey.
CGGVeritas' Garden Banks wide-azimuth seismic survey in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is on schedule for acquisition to be completed early in 2009. This second in a series of multi-client wide-azimuth surveys covers over 670 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) blocks, encompassing over half of the Garden Banks protraction area as well as the northern section of Keathley Canyon. Final deliverables for this survey are on track for June 2010. Pre-commitment funders of the survey will benefit from the derivative products that are delivered throughout the processing stages.
Seismic vessel M/V Viking recently completed the 244-block East Breaks 3D program. The program adds to the 1,140 plus-block Alaminos Canyon survey located to the south to provide a continuous 1,384-block of modern 3D data covering a vast swath of the Western Gulf of Mexico. The survey will generate three high-end products when it is completed. The first product delivered will be a full PSDM Kirchhoff Migration followed by a full PSDM Wave Equation Migration (WEM) and then a full PSDM Reverse Time Migration (RTM). This flexibility of final deliverables is why the industry continues to turn to CGGVeritas for their data and imaging needs.
CGGVeritas has over 10,350 OCS blocks (over 241,000 sq km) of conventional 3D data covering the Gulf of Mexico and this figure is growing. Of this, 4,700 blocks are covered with state-of-the-art PSDM processing. New wide-azimuth data is rapidly adding a new dimension to this total. Over 1,140 OCS blocks have been acquired to date and another 1,000 blocks are in the planning stages.
CGGVeritas completed its first multi-client library wide-azimuth 3D survey in March 2008. The Walker Ridge wide-azimuth survey covers 474 blocks of southern Green Canyon and central Walker Ridge. It was designed to image the highly prolific subsalt Eocene trend that is present throughout the survey area. The highly visible Jack discovery and other discoveries such as Julia, Bigfoot, and Tahiti are located within the survey. Processing will be complete by the end of the year and final products will be delivered well in advance of the upcoming MMS OCS lease sale number 208, which is scheduled for March 2009.
CGGVeritas continues to pursue opportunities in the U.S. Gulf through the alliance formed with Seitel two years ago. The alliance was created to take advantage of Seitel's Gulf of Mexico data and CGGVeritas' outstanding imaging technology. To date, the alliance has delivered over 750 blocks of new Prestack Depth data that are now available to the industry. Another area CGGVeritas is looking at improving through its technology is the vast 2D dataset co-owned with Seitel in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Plans are underway to reprocess select areas of this 46,000-kilometer (28,583-mile) 2D dataset.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 17.11.08  Chevron starts NWS 2-D seismic sweep.
Chevron Australia Pty Ltd. started work on a 2-D seismic survey in North West Shelf permit WA-383-P off Australia earlier this month.
The survey is being conducted by CGGVertias' seismic vessel Pacific Sword over a 21-day period. It is designed to map sub-surface geology to ascertain the potential sub-surface oil and gas deposits of the survey area via the acquisition of 2-D seismic data.
The survey area is lcoated on the continental slope of northwestern Australia, over 140 kilometres (87 miles) north of the North West Cape. Water depths range from 900 metres to 1,400 metres (2,953 ft to 4,593 ft).
Chevron and joint venture partner Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd. were awarded the permit in 2005. The committed work programme includes the acquisition of 1,200 kilometres (746 miles) 2-D seismic and 225 square kilometres (87 sq miles) of 3-D seismic.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 14.11.08  SCAN Geophysical says it's won a contract to provide a major 2D survey offshore Argentina.
SCAN said it was selected by GX Technology, a unit of ION Geophysical, to acquire up to 8,000 kilometers of long offset 2D data.
A part of this will be used to complete GXT's Argentine SPANTM programme.
SCAN's high capacity 2D vessel Geo Searcher will be used.
Data acquisition is scheduled to commence immediately upon arrival in Argentina.
The contract was for an unspecified amount.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 14.11.08  Polarcus and GX Technology sign LOI for seismic data QC and processing services.
Polarcus and ION subsidiary GX Technology (GXT) have signed a Letter of Intent ("LOI") to enter into an agreement under which GXT will provide seismic data quality control (QC) and processing services onboard the Polarcus fleet of advanced marine seismic vessels being built at the Drydocks World Dubai shipyard in the UAE. The LOI furthermore provides for the relationship between Polarcus and GXT to extend to prospective clients of both companies a full-scope offering combining Polarcus' towed marine seismic acquisition with advanced seismic data processing in one of GXT's established geophysical service centers.
"We are looking forward to developing this important relationship with GXT," said Christian Fenwick, Senior Vice President for Business Development and Multi Client at Polarcus. "In addition to addressing our onboard seismic data quality control needs, the agreement with GXT will allow us to offer our clients a full-scope services solution incorporating GXT's advanced imaging services."
The intent of the parties is to finalize an agreement covering the proposed relationship by 31st December 2008 in order to initiate planning activities ahead of first marine operations scheduled to commence in Q3 2009.
Source: Polarcus

••• 14.11.08  Seismic ship Sanco Star christened.
Sanco Star is chartered to RXT for an initial five year period.
Sanco Shipping's new seismic research vessel Sanco Star was christened on November 1st at Vaagland Batbyggeri in Norway.
After sea trials the vessel will leave for Brazil where it is scheduled to work for at least two years.
The vessel is chartered to RXT for a period of five years (+ options).
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 14.11.08  SCAN Geophysical has announced the receipt of a Letter of Award (LOA) from PETROPRODUCCION Empresa Estatal de Exploracion y Produccion de Petroleos del Ecuador.
(PETROPRODUCCION), an affiliate of Petroecuador, to acquire a major 2-D seismic programme offshore Ecuador in support of the government’s plan to develop hydrocarbon prospects in this region.
The ground-breaking survey is covering majority of the Ecuadorian coast, with focus on basins in Esmeraldas, Manabi, Guayas and Santa Elena provinces and comprises approximately 10,000km of two-dimensional marine acquisition.
The LOA is subject to the parties finalizing a mutually agreeable contract.
SCAN’s new multi-purpose seismic vessel, Scan Stigandi will be transiting to Ecuador to acquire the programme with an immediate start-up upon arrival.
"This seismic programme is a milestone in Ecuador’s strong commitment for expansion of available offshore natural resources and SCAN is honored to be a part of this historic event," said Kjell Karlsson, vice president of marketing and sales for SCAN in Oslo.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 11.11.08  CGGVeritas has announced that it intends to make a voluntary exchange tender offer for all of the shares of Wavefield Inseis.
Wavefield is a Norwegian pure-play seismic company which operates a fleet of eight vessels and develops geophysical equipment based on fibre optic technology.
In the third quarter 2008, Wavefield revenue was USD110 million, and operating income was USD37 million.
CGGVeritas will offer eligible Wavefield shareholders one newly issued CGGVeritas share for each seven Wavefield shares.
Aggregate equity value implied by the transaction is approximately USD310 million, an implied 31 per cent premium for the Wavefield shareholders when compared to the closing price of November 7, 2008.
The transaction is immediately accretive to both EPS and cash flow per share.
The net debt coverage ratios remain unchanged post transaction.
The Board of Wavefield has unanimously welcomed the CGGVeritas offer.
The transaction strengthens CGGVeritas’ high-end fleet capability with immediate access to five recently equipped high capacity 3-D vessels. The additional complement of three mid 3-D and 2-D Wavefield vessels increases overall fleet management flexibility.
Wavefield’s Optoplan seabed fiber optic technology for reservoir monitoring expands the product offering of Sercel and accelerates market entry of next generation technologies. Wavefield has a backlog of US$485 million, which represents approximately one year of its revenue.
Robert Brunck, Chairman and CEO of CGGVeritas, said: "I am very enthusiastic about the combination of Wavefield and CGGVeritas which will strengthen the technology position of both our Services and Equipment businesses in the high-end market. Based on its unique ability to lower the risks associated with finding and producing oil and gas, high-end seismic is more and more requested by our clients."
"With an expanded technology portfolio, a stronger industry position and the combined expertise, we will enhance our position as a preferred partner of our clients. The combination of the two companies increases our visibility further into 2009, enhances our ability to generate cash flow and provides value to our shareholders."
Anders Farestveit, Chairman of Wavefield, stated "CGGVeritas is well placed to leverage Wavefield resources and expertise to further develop technology leadership across the full range of geophysical services and equipment. The offer will create an even stronger global leader within the geophysical industry and provide operational and commercial synergies which will benefit both Wavefield and CGGVeritas shareholders. The global leadership position will also generate new and exciting opportunities for the employees, and allow for a further strengthening of the activity level in Norway."
The exchange offer for the entirety of the share capital of Wavefield will commence as soon as regulatory and legal conditions permit, which is currently expected to be on or about November 24, 2008.
Similarly, the offer will expire as soon as regulatory and legal conditions permit, which is currently expected to be on or about December 12, 2008.
All newly issued CGGVeritas shares will be promptly listed on NYSE Euronext Paris and the New York Stock Exchange and will have equal rights in all respects as the existing CGGVeritas shares.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 11.11.08  Polarcus announces new build vessel names.
Over 500 entries were submitted during a competition where Polarcus employees were asked to propose vessels names that reflected the spirit and ethos of the company. An internal advisory committee then made the final selection.
The first two vessels, of Ulstein Design type SX124, will be named the
Polarcus Nadia
Polarcus Naila.
These are derived from Arabic female names and were chosen to signify the successful arrival of the company - in Arabic Nadia means ‘the beginning, first' and Naila ‘acquirer, one who succeeds'. The Polarcus Nadia and Polarcus Naila are high-end 3D seismic vessels capable of towing up to 12 streamers. The Polarcus Naila will furthermore incorporate the company's first lateral streamer steering control system that is expected to deliver significant improvements in operational efficiency. Both vessels are currently under construction in Dubai and will be operational in Q4 2009.
"These are excellent choices to mark the arrival of Polarcus into the global marine seismic market," commented Rolf Ronningen, CEO Polarcus. "The names Polarcus Nadia and Polarcus Naila reflect the company's pioneering spirit and our determination to establish ourselves as a leading industry player."
Arabic female names have also been selected for the following four vessels. The two Ulstein Design type SX133 vessels will be named the
Polarcus Samur, meaning ‘swift, fleet'
Polarcus Selma, meaning ‘secure'.
Both were chosen to highlight the particular capabilities of these multipurpose 6 streamer 3D vessels, such as their high transit speeds and their ICE 1A class notation. Construction on the Polarcus Samur began in September and the steel cutting for the Polarcus Selma commenced early November 2008.
Meanwhile the two Ulstein Design type SX134 vessels, both ICE 1A class, high-end 12 streamer 3D seismic vessels, will be named the Polarcus Asima, meaning ‘protector' Polarcus Alima, meaning ‘wise'.
These were chosen to reflect the company's corporate goal of being the most environmentally responsible towed marine seismic company. Construction of the Polarcus Asima and Polarcus Alima commences with the steel cutting in Q1 2009.
Source: Polarcus

••• 11.11.08  PGS first 3D seismic GeoStreamer® survey in the Gulf of Mexico.
Petroleum Geo-Services announced today that it will acquire a new MultiClient 3D seismic survey in the area of DeSoto Canyon located offshore Alabama and Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. Covering approximately 250 deepwater OCS blocks (5828 square km), the new program named "Discovery" focuses on a relatively underexplored area recently opened for leasing in the Central and Eastern GoM planning areas.
PGS will be acquiring the DeSoto Canyon survey using its new and unique GeoStreamer technology. This will be the industry’s first 3D implementation of GeoStreamer yielding higher fidelity data. The PGS Atlantic Explorer will commence the first phase of data acquisition in December 2008 and acquisition of the entire 250 block project will be completed in approx. 9 months.
BP America Inc. will be an underwriter for the survey and collaborate technically on the project, focusing on extracting the maximum technical benefit that the GeoStreamer delivers. The project has attracted wide interest from oil companies with lease holdings in the area and those wishing to acquire new acreage or those seeking farm-in opportunities.
PGS’ President for the North and South America region, Magne Reiersgard added the following: "The GeoStreamer is the result of several years of research and development in PGS. It combines two different sensors yielding enhanced resolution and better penetration as well as improved efficiency due to deeper tow. The GeoStreamer is particularly well suited to solve the exploration challenges in an area like DeSoto Canyon."
Data will be available for the upcoming March 2010 Lease Sale in the Gulf of Mexico.
Source: PGS

••• 11.11.08  Polarcus allowed to defer payments on seismic vessels.
Polarcus is still seeking funding for three of its newbuild seismic ships.
Seismic start-up Polarcus has received commitment for a deferred payment arrangement with Drydocks World Dubai in relation to its newbuild vessels NB 70, NB 71 and NB 72 to be built at the Drydocks World Dubai shipyard in the UAE.
Under the terms of this new arrangement the payment installments due under the original shipbuilding contracts will be deferred from the scheduled milestone payment dates to the contractual delivery dates of the vessels.
The total value of the deferred installments amounts to US$99 million. An interest rate of LIBOR + 3 per cent will apply on each deferred installment from the time and on the terms such installment would have been paid under the shipbuilding contracts to the time of actual payment.
"We are very grateful for the trust and belief that Drydocks World Dubai continues to show in Polarcus, both as a key contract party and as a major shareholder through Drydocks World LLC," said Rolf Ronningen, CEO Polarcus.
"The deferred payment arrangement contributes positively to our short-term financial position and provides us with much greater flexibility in timing to secure the remaining project funding."
Polarcus has shipbuilding contracts in place with Drydocks World Dubai for six advanced seismic vessels focused on the more favorable high-end towed streamer seismic market including both the Arctic and wide azimuth markets.
Polarcus has, since inception, successfully raised about US$540 million in new equity and debt financing including sale leaseback and vendor financing.
The first three vessels, NB 66, NB 67 and NB 69, are currently under construction at the Drydocks World Dubai shipyard in the UAE.
The company's shares have been registered and are trading on the Norwegian OTC under the ticker PLCS.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 10.11.08  ION acquires more seismic data in Beaufort Sea.
Houston-based ION Geophysical Corp. has completed the second and third seasons of acquisition for its basin-scale ArcticSPAN seismic data library in the Canadian Beaufort Sea.
The most recent additions to the library, Beaufort II and III, provide subsurface images of prospective targets in the Arctic region, including the first ever looks into the deep waters of Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin and the western margin of Banks Island.
The Beaufort II data complements the 6,700 kilometers (4,163 miles) of ArcticSPAN data acquired in 2006, which covers the coasts of northern Canada and Alaska, from Cape Lisburne to Point Barrow, and seaward into the Chukchi Sea out to the U.S. territorial border with Russia.
Over 12,000 kilometers (7,456 miles) of ultra-deep basin-scale 2D data, imaged with processing and depth imaging techniques from GX Technology, are now available.
The data acquisition phase of Beaufort III was recently completed, with over 7,175 kilometers (4,458 miles) of new data from the phase expected to be available by the second quarter of 2009.
ION Senior Vice President of Integrated Seismic Solutions Ken Williamson said that ArcticSPAN was prompting public and private organizations to rethink estimates of the region's resource potential. The United States Geological Survey estimates that the Arctic region contains 22 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas resources.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 07.11.08  Rieber steady on polar business.
Rieber Shipping Norway-based offshore fleet owner Rieber Shipping has posted third-quarter profit after tax of 33.4, or down about five million kroner over the same time last year.
Rieber could boast soaring operating income of 153.2 million kroner, up some seven million kroner year-on-year.
The company invested 120 million kroner in the quarter on the oilfield monitoring capability in Hexio AS and bought survey ship Geo Explorer.
In a report, managers showed the company fleet booked solid, with ice-class and icebreaking offshore support ships under contract until 2021. "The long-term (in subsea) remains positive," shareholders were told Thursday.
"There’s great potential in Russia," management added, but it requires local content.
Rieber’s offshore ice class vessel Ernest Shackleton is on charter to the British Antarctic Survey until 2014, while the Polar Pevek ice-class tug will ply the arctic at Sakhalin until 2021.
Source: Scandoil

••• 07.11.08  Fairstar wins job transporting rig from Kirkenes to UK.
Fairstar Heavy Transport has entered into an agreement with LLC Gazflot to transport the drilling rig Energy Exerter from Kirkenes, Norway, to Invergordon, Scotland, in early December, using the semi-submersible heavy lifter Fjord.
The total value of the contract is approximately US$6.4 million. The transit, including loading and unloading, is expected to take 20 days.
Gazflot was represented by Worldwise Marine of The Netherlands. Worldwise Marine was responsible for organising the logistics and engineering work required for the mobilisation and demobilisation of Energy Exerter on behalf of Gazflot.
Fjord is currently en route to the Tombua Landana field in Angola. After discharging the two topside modules onsite, she will sail immediately to Kirkenes, load Energy Exerter, deliver the rig to Invergordon, discharge the rig and proceed immediately to Newcastle where it will load the floating dry dock and various other pieces of heavy equipment under the terms of its previously announced contract with Bharati Shipyards.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 06.11.08  Keppel Singmarine Pte Ltd has completed two icebreakers, built for one of the harshest marine frontiers, the Arctic, for its client, LUKOIL-Kaliningradmorneft (LUKOIL).
Said Mr Charles Foo, Chairman of Keppel Singmarine: "This is the first time that icebreakers meant for the Arctic region are built in the tropics. It also marks Keppel Singmarine’s entry into the flourishing oil and gas market in the Arctic region."
The second vessel was named Varandey by Mrs Lyudmila Velikova, wife of Mr Victor Velikov, Deputy General-Director of LUKOIL at a Russian-themed ceremony at Marina at Keppel Bay today. The first icebreaking vessel, Toboy, was delivered to LUKOIL in August this year.
Varandey will join Toboy in the Barents Sea of Russia where they will help forge passages through the ice for oil tankers plying the Varandey Terminal.
Both Varandey and Toboy are designed to work in the harshest environments, cutting through solid ice over 1.7m thick, and operating in extreme temperatures as low as -45 degrees C.
Said Mr Foo: "Increasing oil and gas exploration and production activities in the Arctic present tremendous opportunities for specialised and robust vessels such as the icebreaking vessels."
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 05.11.08  Wavefield Inseis win major 3D seismic survey for TPAO.
The National Oil Company of Turkey, TPAO, have awarded Wavefield Inseis a major 3D project offshore Turkey in the Black Sea.
This is the third project Wavefield will have performed for TPAO, and this new 3.000 3D adds significantly to our already record high backlog and increases our market share in this highly active region.
"We strongly believe that our previous performances for TPAO have lead to us being awarded this major," stated VP Marketing and Sales Rick Donoghue. "Repeat business from a client such as TPAO highlights our reputation for delivering a high quality service".
Source: Wavefield Inseis

••• 05.11.08  Norwegian municipality Stavanger has signed a cooperation contract with St. Petersburg, Russia, for regional cooperation and business development.
As energy capital of North-western Russia, St. Petersburg is important as a trade, logistics and energy junction. During the visit from St. Petersburg, the delegation will discuss themes connected to university and research cooperation, exchange of experience within energy projects and cultural exchanges.
- Russia is becoming more and more important for Norway and the Stavanger-region, says mayor of Stavanger, Leif Johan Sevland, in a press release.
- The country has large natural resources and has had an enormous economical growth. That is why this deal is so strategically important, as well as a recognition for Stavanger as an energy capital and business junction, Sevland concludes.
Source: Oilinfo

••• 04.11.08  SCAN Geophysical: The sale lease-back for its three newbuilds has been terminated – a mutual understanding has been reached for a new sale lease-back.
SCAN Geophysical ASA announced that the sale and lease-back agreement with Ship Finance International Ltd. (Ship Finance), dated in March 2007, has been terminated.
During the weekend SCAN has been working with an alternative solution, and has reached a mutual understanding with Pacific First Shipping Pte, Singapore (PFS), whereby PFS will acquire the vessels with seismic equipment and lease them back to SCAN on bare boat charters. PFS is affiliated with ABG Group, which is the majority owner of ABG Shipyard in India.
SCAN plans to raise up to NOK 150 million in new capital provided completion of the sale and lease-back transaction with PFS.
The release of the company’s third quarter results will be postponed to Friday 7 November 2008.
Source: SCAN Geophysical

••• 04.11.08  M/V Geowave Endeavour Shatters World Record for 3D Seismic Production.
The Geowave Endeavour acquired 4,911 sail kilometers during the month of October while working offshore Libya for BP. Towing a configuration of 10 x 8,000 meter long streamers at 100 meter separation, this translates to 2,456 square kilometers.
This is believed to be a new production record for any seismic vessel and confirms that Wavefield Inseis operates one of the most efficient seismic fleets in the world.
Martin Billard, Party Chief Geowave Endeavour commented "Geowave Endeavour is a fantastic vessel.
Everybody has worked hard bringing Endeavour fully up to speed since its launch earlier this year. Endeavour's crew really deserves this record".
Source: Wavefield Inseis

••• 03.11.08  StatoilHydro makes Barents Sea find at Caurus.
StatoilHydro confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons in an exploration well in the Caurus prospect in production lisense (PL) 228 in the Barents Sea. Exploration well 7222/11-1 S was drilled to a total depth of 9,268 feet (2,825 m) and was concluded in rocks of early Triassic age. The well is now being temporarily plugged and abandoned.
The size of the discovery has been provisionally estimated at between 70.63 Bcf and 494.39 Bcf of recoverable natural gas. The discovery made in the Middle Triassic was, however, of poor reservoir quality and, together with a complicated structure, it is too early to estimate the size of the discovery. An evaluation and analyses will be carried out to determine the size. The well was not formation-tested, but sampling and collection of data have been carried out.
The Caurus well was drilled by Transocean semisubmersible Polar Pioneer in a water depth of 1,168 feet (356 m) in PL228, 50 miles (80 km) northeast of the Snohvit field and 99 miles (160 km) north-northwest of Hammerfest, Norway. Polar Pioneer will now start drilling appraisal well 7125/4-2 in the StatoilHydro-operated PL 393.
Well 7222/11-1 is the second exploration well in the license. The first exploration well, 7222/6-1, was drilled in January and February 2008 and confirmed hydrocarbons in the Obesum structure in the far northern part of the license. Another exploration well in the license has been scheduled, which will be a delineation of the Obesum discovery and is scheduled for start-up in December.
StatoilHydro operates PL 228 with 100 percent interest. The license was awarded in the Barents Sea project in 1997, when Saga Petroleum ASA was the operator.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 31.10.08  JDR to Supply Umbilical, Cable Systems for Polarcus' New Seismic Fleet.
JDR has been awarded the contract by the Polarcus Group based in Dubai U.A.E. for the supply of Airgun umbilical systems and Lead-in cable systems for their entire fleet of six new build, ultra-modern 3D seismic vessels.
The scope awarded to JDR includes the supply of 35 kilometers of Airgun umbilicals and 65 kilometers of Lead-in cable systems. The cable systems will be supplied from JDR's new quayside facility located at Krimpen near the port of Rotterdam. The new facility, built in 2008, provides state-of-the-art manufacturing, coupled with industry leading research and design.
"JDR's partnership with Polarcus further demonstrates our firm commitment to providing the most highly engineered 'fit for purpose' cable systems offered in the industry today," stated Han van Veen, managing director of JDR Marine Cables B.V.," Polarcus is building the world’s most pioneering and modern 3D seismic fleet and we are pleased JDR was chosen to provide the umbilical and cable expertise for the entire fleet. JDR's extensive track record and commitment to pushing the boundaries of research and design is a very good fit for this project."
The six vessel fleet will be completed over the next two years, with the first 12 streamer vessel operational in Q3 2009 and all six vessels operational within 2010.
Source: JDR

••• 30.10.08  TGS-Nopec buoyant despite 143% loss.
Norway-based survey outfit TGS-Nopec has incurred an $11.5 million net third-quarter loss, and the company still blamed a botched merger with rival Wavefield Inseis for the weaker numbers, down 143 percent year-on-year. With arbitration rulings looming, TGS said it was "highly impacted by the unrealized, non-tax deductible loss on" Wavefield shares held, plus merger expenses.
"Without these non-operational items, net income was $51.9 million, an increase of 93 percent compared to Q3 2007", the company said.
The market responded well to the company’s explanations, and on Thursday the stock was up in early trading by nearly eight percent.
Meanwhile, the company is expecting less on at least two fronts: less, or some $550 million, is now sought in damages from Wavefield, and "turmoil in the financial markets is likely to have an impact on future growth". "Based on recent offers from suppliers, rates for contracting seismic vessels have clearly peaked and availability seems to be improving", a statement warned.
But TGS cheered investors by saying revenues were “well ahead” thus far at $70 million more than this time last year.
"In all previous years, Q4 has been TGS’s highest revenue quarter".
Source: Scandoil

••• 29.10.08  Seismic surveyor Wavefield Inseis posted Q3 pretax profit of $35.496 million, up strongly in a surge that rode the oil and gas industry's continuing hunt for new fields.
But there were darker clouds ahead as the Norwegian group also cut its 2008 revenue expectations.
Oslo-listed Wavefield said that targetted revenues for this year $380- $400 million. That's down from the previous target of $410-$430 million.
One reason given was the multi clients library investments appeared to be tapering off. The group said that the total for that segment was now expected bring in $25 million for 2008 compared with the previously-expected $35-$45 million.
"Q4 is going to be softer than previously guided primarily due to two months delay on Geowave Voyager and lower multi client late sales than anticipated," Wavefield said in a statement.
But the results for now were nonethess strong. The Q3 pretax number compared with the $24.321 million posted for the same period last year and was against the projections of analysts for around $33 million.
Wavefield's profits were after revenues of $109.7 million for the quarter, a 56% surge on the $70.2 million for last year.
Operating profit came in at $37.2 million, up from $22.3 million previously.
Wavefield CEO Atle Jacobsen said there had been significant contract awards and there was a continuously growing order backlog.
"We have delivered our best ever quarter on both earnings and margins," he said.
"Our backlog is at a record high and provides us with a very solid foundation going forward."
Jacobsen said that moving forward his group would take advantage of a strong position and focus on delivering earnings and further growth.
The third quarter was marked by the successful production start-up of the new flag ship Geowave Endeavour.
Also, Wavefield's equipment manufacturing arm Optoplan was awarded the delivery of a permanent seismic system that will be installed on the Ekofisk field.
Source: Wavefield Inseis

••• 29.10.08  ION Aligns with GGT to Provide Seismic Services to North Africa.
ION Geophysical Corporation and Guide Geoscience Technologies (GGT), a Cairo-based seismic data processing company, announced the formation of an alliance to provide advanced imaging and reservoir-related services to oil & gas companies operating in North Africa.
By blending the technological strengths of ION's GX Technology (GXT) Imaging Solutions group and the regional expertise of Guide, the companies will deliver state-of-the-art geoscience technology solutions that enhance the quality and utility of seismic data, thereby allowing clients to optimize their exploration and development drilling programs, advance their hydrocarbon production, and find additional reserves in mature fields.
Egypt boasts one of the oldest oil & gas industries in the world, yet still offers many new opportunities for companies operating within the region. Egypt is a significant oil producer including the mature fields in the Gulf of Suez. More recently, major international oil companies have found new gas discoveries in the Nile Delta and the Western Mediterranean. Across the border in Libya, numerous international oil and gas companies have been awarded large tracts of undeveloped but highly prospective acreage over the last several years.
Given heightened exploration interest in North Africa, the Guide-ION imaging center in Cairo is ideally suited to deliver a broad range of advanced seismic processing services for 2D, 3D, land, marine, and transition zone data.
The full scope of services also includes data conditioning, velocity model building, seismic imaging, and geophysical reservoir analysis and interpretation. The center has been equipped with the latest Linux-based server hardware and advanced data processing technology provided by ION. The Cairo seismic processing facility is staffed by Guide geophysicists supported by GX Technology experts in state-of-the-art data processing equipment, algorithms and workflows.
Source: ION Geophysical

••• 28.10.08  Gazprom Inks Deal with PVN for 4 Blocks Offshore Vietnam.
Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Tran Ngoc Canh, President of Petrovietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) signed in the presence of Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian Federation President and Nguyen Minh Triet, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a 30-year Oil and Gas Contract for Blocks 129, 130, 131, 132 of the Vietnam continental shelf.
The Contract stipulates exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons in these blocks offshore Vietnam. The Contract will be implemented on the PSA terms. Vietgazprom, the Joint Operating Company of Gazprom and Petrovietnam will act as the project operator.
At the stage of geological exploration the project financing will be effectuated by Gazprom.
The parties have also signed the Primary Provisions for setting up a joint venture, Gazpromviet, to secure the companies' cooperation in Russia and third countries. The company's shareholding structure is as follows: Gazprom (51%) and PVN Petrovietnam (49%). In this project Gazprom will be represented through Gazpromzarubezhneftegaz.
The Nagumanovskoye field located in the Orenburg Oblast has been defined as the major object of the companies' cooperation in Russia.
Source: OAO Gazprom

••• 27.10.08  PGS' third quarter 2008 results - best quarter ever.
Petroleum Geo-Services ASA announced its best quarter ever with an increase in revenues and earnings before interest and tax of 15% and 12% respectively from previous records.
The order book increased in the quarter to $1,193 million.
Jon Erik Reinhardsen, President and Chief Executive Officer of PGS, commented: "We delivered the strongest quarterly operating profit ever. Our order book of approximately $1.2 billion, combined with our sound profitability and competitive operations, provide a strong platform going forward. In addition, we have robust financing in place with very attractive terms and mainly fixed interest rates."
Source: PGS

••• 27.10.08  EMGS trims vessel fleet.
Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA (EMGS) has in the last few months reduced its vessel fleet from five to three vessels. The organization will now be scaled and costs realigned accordingly.
The updated vessel plan entails EMGS operating three vessels through the winter months, when market activity traditionally is lower. This includes the first high capacity, purpose-built vessel BOA Thalassa, which will be delivered in December. The fleet is expected to be increased once the second purpose-built vessel is delivered and operational in the second quarter 2009.
Source: EMGS

••• 27.10.08  Shtokman: US $15 to $20 Bn cost.
New figures for the cost of Russia’s Shtokman suggest that the development will require between US $15 and $20 Bn by 2014 when the first LNG exports from the field are scheduled.
According to Russian news agency Interfax, Viktor Zubkov, Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister suggested combined investments in the field could reach to between $15 and $20 Bn. Zubkov was speaking during a session of a Russian-Norwegian economic, industrial and scientific co-operation commission on Wednesday this week.
He spoke of "further strengthening of relations between Gazprom and StatoilHydro, and in the first place this concerns the Shtokman gas condensate field development," according to the Interfax report.
Earlier this week at a meeting in Switzerland leaders of the three companies developing the Barents Sea Shtokman field, Gazprom, StatoilHydro and Total, endorsed an $800 m budget for feasibility studies for the first phase development of the field for this year alone.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 24.10.08  ODIM scores US$5 million contract from BGP.
ODIM has been awarded contracts worth NOK 35 million (US$5 million) by Chinese geophysical service contractor BGP CNPC. The contracts are for two equipment packages for the automated handling of 2-D seismic and cranes for a vessel with a 12-streamer configuration.
ODIM, which recently moved into a new Shanghai office, has received almost NOK 350 million (US$50 million) in contracts from customers in China this year. The company is aiming to further expand its client base in the country.
"The growing flow of contracts from China reflects systematic efforts over time," comments Idar Hatloy, senior vice president for sales and marketing at ODIM.
"We've long worked purposefully towards Chinese shipping companies, and have been concerned to put in place people with the right expertise and experience as well as relevant networks. Our group has now also acquired a local presence. These are all key requirements for market success in China."
Source: ODIM

••• 24.10.08  Offshore Jamaica seismic plans on hold.
State-run Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and Norwegian marine geophysical firm Wavefield Inseis have yet to finalize a seismic survey deal, PCJ Special Projects Director Raymond Wright told BNamericas.
The survey is for eight offshore blocks: 2, 3, 4, 15, 16, 18, 19 and 20, which range from 2,944 square kilometers to 8,874 square kilometers (1,136 sq miles to 3,426 sq miles). Results would be used to decide whether a formal or informal round is launched.
"The plan is still to use their services. However, the timeline for the initiation of the seismic survey has not yet been finalized," Wright said.
"PCJ is making plans for a new effort to expand the exploration program offshore southern Jamaica. These plans will be announced at an appropriate time," he added.
According to the government, attractive factors include low entry costs, well locations in shallow to moderate water depths and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. markets.
The official added that a number of companies had bought digitally reconstructed seismic data for the Morant and Formigas offshore areas.
Meanwhile, the umbrella agreement relating to the Joint Regime Area (JRA) with Colombia has not yet been signed, Wright said. JRA was established under a maritime delimitation treaty which the countries signed in 1993.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 24.10.08  WesternGeco Announces New Contract with GAZPROM Libya B.V.
Q-Land integrated acquisition and data processing system selected for seismic survey onshore Libya.
WesternGeco announced that it has been awarded a major land contract by GAZPROM Libya B.V. The contract is for the acquisition and processing of 3,400 km2 of 3D seismic data over the Ghadames Basin.
GAZPROM has selected the WesternGeco Q-Land* high-channel-count, integrated point-receiver acquisition and processing system to acquire the data. Q-Land enables the WesternGeco single sensor technology resulting in effective noise attenuation and improved data quality. GAZPROM has also elected to use Maximum Displacement Sweep (MD Sweep*), a complementary methodology that enables a seismic vibrator to produce more energetic low frequencies than a traditional sweep design approach, to both increase seismic bandwidth and image deeper targets. GAZPROM will utilize the WesternGeco Desert Explorer family of land seismic vibrators.
The survey will commence in November, 2008. The data will be processed in the new WesternGeco processing center in Tripoli.
Source: WesternGeco

••• 23.10.08  One more seismic vessel for Nordic Maritime.
Singapore-based Nordic Maritime expects to take delivery of a newly converted 2-D seisimic vessel towards the end of this year. The vessel is being converted from a fishing trawler named Pavlovsk at Cochin Shipyard in India.
Nordic Maritime was awarded a contract worth US$30 million by PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corp. (PVEP) to provide complete project management and supervision for the conversion work. The vessel will be sold to PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corp. (PVEP) upon delivery from the shipyard.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 23.10.08  EMGS awarded contract in the Gulf of Mexico.
Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA (EMGS) has been awarded a contract with the independent prospect generation company FOCUS Exploration to license multi-client EM data for exploration purposes in the Gulf of Mexico. The contract is worth more than USD 4.6 million, with the potential for additional work and revenues for EMGS.
Terje Eidesmo, EMGS chief executive, commented, "We are excited about the market growth potential in the Gulf of Mexico as this is one of the most substantial exploration areas in the world. This contract opens up great opportunities for EMGS because our technology can be used in vast areas of this region."
The work program has already been acquired using dense, wide-azimuth Clearplay Test and Clearplay Evaluate 3D grids to identify small reservoirs. Dave Ridyard, EMGS Americas President, added, "This program has shown the potential for dense grids to detect relatively small reservoirs even with the challenge of nearby salt bodies."
Mike Scherrer and Don Crider, co-founders of Focus Exploration both agree, "EMGS technology gave us a clear competitive edge at the recent Western Outer Continental Shelf lease sale, and will continue to do so in the future.
The key to our business model is minimizing risk, whether it involves the larger reserve, higher cost deepwater prospects or the small to mid-size shelf prospects with more favorable proximity to infrastructure. This relationship with EMGS will certainly help with our risk reduction."
Source: EMGS

••• 22.10.08  Nordic Venturer conducts 2-D survey off Vietnam.
TGS NOPEC is conducting a multi-client seismic survey using Nordic Venturer offshore Vung Tau, Vietnam.
The 2-D survey, which started in September, is expected to be complete by the end of this year.
Nordic Venturer was converted from an Icelandic factory trawler at a shipyard in Europe. The vessel is on a two-year charter to TGS NOPEC, plus options for two one-year extensions.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 21.10.08  Massive Shtokman Gas Field Development Set at $800MM.
Shtokman Development AG, the operator of the giant Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea, has approved an $800 million budget for 2008 and 2009, the controlling shareholder OAO Gazprom said Monday.
Gazprom holds 51% of the Shtokman Development, while France's Total SA and Norway's StatoilHydro have 25% and 24% stakes respectively.
At a Shtokman Development board meeting Monday, the heads of Gazprom, Total and StatoilHydro discussed the development of the first stage of the project and agreed to move ahead with the phase as planned, Gazprom said.
Shtokman Development AG will design, build and run the first of three phases of the massive Arctic project, located 580 kilometers northeast of Murmansk and containing estimated reserves of 3.8 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 37 million metric tons of gas condensate.
A final investment decision on the Shtokman project will be taken at the end of 2009 or 2010, Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie said last month.
Pipeline gas from the project is expected to start arriving in Europe in 2013, while liquified natural gas - which may be exported to the U.S. - will come on line in 2014, Gazprom estimates. However, oil research bodies expect startup at a much later date.
Source: Rigzone/Dow Jones Newswires

••• 21.10.08  Tethys Oil reported successful 3D Seismic Acquisition in Oman.
The 3D seismic acquisition program over the Jebel Aswad structure on block 15 onshore Oman has been successfully completed and processing has started. The survey was conducted by Chinese contractor BGP Oil and Gas Services. A total of 285 km2 of 3D seismic data has been collected covering the entire hydrocarbon bearing Jebel Aswad structure. The data is of very high quality and should when processed and interpreted offer very valuable information for the development of Jebel Aswad. Processing will be done by specialist firm Hardin International of Dallas, Texas, and is expected to be completed during December.
"The successful 3D acquisition in our core area in Oman is of much greater importance. The high quality 3D seismic data will be an excellent addition to the existing 2D coverage and will play an important part in the planning and design of the continued work program on Block 15," commented Tethys' Managing Director Magnus Nordin.
Source: Tethys Oil

••• 20.10.08  Cuba estimates offshore oil reserves of 20 billion barrels.
Cuban oil officials have said that the country may have over 20 million barrels of recoverable oil in its offshore fields in the Gulf of Mexico, more than twice the estimates of the U.S. Geological Survey. Rafael Tenreyro Perez, exploration manager for Cuban oil company Cupet, said that the country hopes to drill its first production wells in mid-2009.
Tenreyro Perez said that the Cuban estimate was higher than U.S. Geological Survey because Cuba has better information about its offshore geology.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that Cuba could have nine billion barrels of oil and 21 Tcf of natural gas. Tenreyro Perez said that Cupet did not have an estimate for the country's natural gas reserves.
Tenreyro Perez stated that Cuba's oil estimates are mainly based on comparisons with how much oil is produced from similar geological structures offshore Mexico and the U.S., such as Mexico's Cantarell oil field.
A consortium of international companies, led by Spain's Repsol YPF, is expected to drill the first production well. Drilling was scheduled for this year but postponed because of difficulties securing a rig. Brazilian state oil company Petrobras is also in talks with Cupet to drill offshore Cuba.
Canadian company Sherritt has canceled its oil-production contract for Cuban waters of the Gulf of Mexico, saying that it was not worth continuing with exploration in the area. Sherritt had contracts to develop four blocks off the northwest coast of Cuba. Repsol YPF, StatoilHydro, ONGS, Petronas, PDVSA and PetroVietnam continue to operate in the area.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 16.10.08  CGX begins offshore Guyana seismic program.
CGX Energy Inc. has commenced its previously announced 3-D seismic program offshore Guyana, South America. CGX will gather 5,769 square feet (536 sq km) of 3-D on its 100 percent held Corentyne petroleum prospecting license (PPL) as part of the program.
The program was delayed due to a delay in the seismic vessel arriving due to weather in the Caribbean Sea region.
The company also is participating with YPF Guyana Ltd., a subsidiary of Repsol YPF, in a 17,760 square mile (1,650 sq km) 3-D program on the adjoining Georgetown PPL, in which CGX holds a 25 percent interest.
Both seismic programs will be conducted jointly, and are being undertaken by Fugro-GeoTeam using seismic vessel R/V GeoPacific.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 16.10.08  New understanding of Arctic ice.
The break-up of a 35,000 square kilometre ice floe northeast of Greenland this summer could give new information about Arctic ecosystems, researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute say. Norway is now establishing a new Centre on Ice and Climate in a bid to enhance knowledge about Arctic ice.
The break-up the huge ice floe was observed during a research expedition to the Northwest Passage this September. The case could give new information about how the Arctic ecosystem reacts on rapid changes in the ice layers, the Polar Institute reports in a press release.
The increasing interest in Arctic ice studies is now materialising in new Norwegian research.
In its 2009 budget, the Norwegian government allocates 22 million NOK for the establishment of a new Centre on Ice and Climate, to become a branch unit of the Polar Institute in Tromso, northern Norway.
"The centre is to improve knowledge about problems connected with melting ice, and contribute to enhanced understanding of the importance of reducing climate gas emissions", the Polar Institute informs.
With the new centre, the northern city of Tromso strengthens its position as the leading Norwegian site for Arctic and climate studies.
Source: BarentsObserver

••• 16.10.08  Stratos, Fugro test marine satellite system.
Communications company Stratos Global Corp. has begun field testing of the Iridium OpenPort marine satellite system with marine services company Fugro Chance onboard C&E Boat Rental mini supply vessel M/V Betty Cheramie in the Gulf of Mexico.
During the initial phase of the testing, Fugro is using Iridium OpenPort to provide damage assessments of oil and gas platforms affected by Hurricane Ike. Throughout the damage-assessment project, Fugro will use the satellite system to power voice and data connectivity for daily status reports, quality control and remote monitoring with shore-side experts.
"As we mobilized onto the M/V Betty Cheramie to manage this urgent damage-assessment project, we had minimal space to deploy communications equipment. OpenPort's portability allowed for rapid deployment," said Fugro Chance Manager of Marine Development Larry Prewitt.
Fugro Chance CIO Jerry Greig added, "During this communications testing phase, we hope to confirm that OpenPort will be ideally suited to support reliable, cost-effective collaboration between our field-based employees and our shore-side office staff. We selected Stratos for this field trial because its wide range of value-added services can help us get the most from the OpenPort platform, with the least amount of effort."
Iridium OpenPort has Ethernet and three voice lines that can be used simultaneously. The antenna array can be installed on decks without requiring a stabilization platform.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 16.10.08  TNK-BP says it has begun crude oil deliveries from the Verkhnechonskoye field located in Russia's East Siberia.
TNK-BP said deliveries were to the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean Pipeline. The first batch of production was delivered to the Transneft metering unit today.
"This marks the beginning of commercial production at Verkhnechonskoye," the company announced.
In 2008 production at the field is expected to reach 2,500 tons per day. Throughout 2009, the project will produce in total in excess of 1 million tons.
According to TNK-BP, investment in the project has now reached $1 billion, with further investment of $500 million planned for 2009.
TNK-BP CEO Tim Summers said the first shipment of crude into the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean Pipeline (ESPO) was a milestone for the industry.
"We are establishing a major new production center in East Siberia. The beginning of regular commercial shipments... marks the emergence of East Siberia as a new and important oil and gas province in Russia," he added.
The field is located in the Irkutsk Region, 1100 km north-east of the city of Irkutsk. Discovered in 1978, the area of the field is 1,500 square kilometres.
As of the end of 2007, total troved reserves of Verkhnechonskoye were 409 million barrels of oil equivalent.
TNK-BP controls 68% of thefield and Rosneft owns the remaining interest.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 15.10.08  Wavefield Inseis and Optoplan Awarded Contract for Permanent Seismic System.
Wavefield Inseis ASA has been awarded a contract to supply an ocean bottom seismic sensor system for reservoir monitoring at the ConocoPhillips' operated Ekofisk field in the North Sea.
The contract will be executed through the Trondheim based company Optoplan AS – a fully owned subsidiary of Wavefield Inseis. Marine installation is planned for 2010 with the installation contract to be awarded at a later date.
Source: Wavefield Inseis

••• 15.10.08  Dockwise Shipping has cemented a USD 84m deal with the Vyborg Shipyard to transport two topside structures from Korea to the Shtokman field in the Barents Sea.
Once there, Dockwise will be responsible for installing the units on semisubmersible hulls, using the float-over technique.
The Vyborg Shipyard was commissioned by Gazflot (the operating arm of Gazprom) to construct two platforms designed for operation in the arctic conditions of the giant new Shtokman field, 600km offshore Murmansk.
The first topside structure is scheduled to be loaded end April 2010 for installation between July and August 2010 and the second at end October 2010 for installation around February 2011.
The structures will be transported from Geoje Island, Korea, to the assembly locations in the Murmansk harbour area. Each topside is estimated to weigh around 22,000 tons.
Andre Goedee, CEO of Dockwise said: "The Vyborg/Shtockman contract is a milestone in Dockwise`s history. It demonstrates our primacy in handling extreme challenges: scale, distance, and climactic conditions are the significant features of this assignment".
"Furthermore, our installation role shows how Dockwise is developing its presence in the upstream production cycle. We are excited by the prospect of the Russian arctic market and are actively exploring ways to build upon today’s announcement to develop long term relationships with Russian clients."
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 14.10.08  Norwegian workers that worked at Ekofisk in the 1970's and 1980's are now launching a massive lawsuit against ConocoPhillips due to health problems.
The workers have encountered several health problems such as memory loss, cancer, lung problems, depressions and skin problems, according to Norwegian broadcaster TV2. The former offshore workers claim that they where exposed to great health risks and dangerous working conditions at Ekofisk.
Most of the workers claim that few procedures and guidelines were enforced at Ekofisk, that there was a lack of protective equipment and that unwanted episodes weren't talked about.
- More and more people are coming forward with the same problems as me. They have problems with memory loss, with their skin and so on, says former Ekofisk worker Jarle Sangholt to TV 2.
American lawyers are now working on a mass lawsuit against ConocoPhillips. The company haven't commented on the lawsuit yet.
Source: Oil Information AS

••• 10.10.08  Norwegian Petroleum Directorate to Acquire 3D Seismic for Nordland VII, Troms II in Summer 2009.
The Government has proposed an allocation of NOK 200 million for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's geological mapping activities in Nordland VII and Troms II in 2009. The conclusion of the three-year mapping program will provide new information about the resources in the area, and improve the decision basis for the updated comprehensive management plan in 2010.
When it presented the White Paper on the comprehensive management plan for Lofoten and the Barents Sea in 2006, the Government indicated that it wanted to augment knowledge within three areas: the seabird program Seapop, mapping of the seabed through the Mareano program and geological mapping under the direction of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
The NPD's mapping of Nordland VII and Troms II started in 2007 with acquisition of 2D seismic data, and continued in 2008 with acquisition of 2D and 3D seismic data in Nordland VII and Troms II.
Assuming that the Government's proposed budget is adopted by the Storting, the NPD plans limited acquisition of 3D seismic data in the summer of 2009. It has been suggested that the acquisition period be limited to six weeks.
The NOK 200 million allocation is also meant to cover expenses for associated research on the effect of seismic data acquisition on fish. This research will take place in connection with the acquisition activity in the summer of 2009.
"If the Storting follows up on the resolution to acquire seismic data, we will certainly do our best to follow up such a decision. The NPD wants to make sure that acquisition activity causes the least possible conflict with fishery activities, and we will plan our activity accordingly," said Director General Bente Nyland.
She wants to have the best possible cooperation between the NPD, the fishery authorities and the fishery organizations, well in advance of next summer's acquisition activity.
Source: NPD

••• 09.10.08  Fugro acquires oil and gas data storage activities in Canada.
Fugro has acquired the privately owned data management company Allied Seismic Ltd., established in 1984, in Calgary Alberta. The company employs 22 staff and has an annual turnover of approximately EUR 2.8 million and provides transcription and related services for petrotechnical and scientific data mainly to the seismic acquisition industry.
Allied Seismic Ltd will be integrated into Fugro Data Solutions in which Fugro's activities in data management are concentrated and this purchase marks the further expansion in Canada with services to be provided worldwide.
Source: OilGasnews

••• 08.10.08  NWest Modifies 3D Seismic Program for Western Newfoundland.
NWest Energy Inc. is modifying its proposed 3D seismic data acquisition program for Western Newfoundland in order to better meet exploration deadlines and expand the size of the 3D seismic area.
The data acquisition program will be conducted using Exploration 3D Seismic (E3D) technology and the Geophysical Service Inc (GSI) vessel GSI Pacific commencing in mid-October. Using E3D technology, NWest will expand the size of the 3D seismic area from the original 900 square kilometers to approximately 1,428 square kilometers. The E3D program will increase the number of prospects surveyed from four to six of the property's top 11 prospects.
NWest President and Chief Executive Officer Francois Gauthier said, "We are very pleased to be expanding the 3D seismic area and excited about conducting the first modern data acquisition program in the Western Newfoundland offshore. We are confident the changes to the program will improve our ability to best identify exploration drilling targets."
Source: NWest Energy Inc.

••• 08.10.08  TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company has commenced the acquisition of approximately 9,000 square kilometers of multi-client 3D seismic data located offshore Liberia.
Additional planned phases could increase the size of the program significantly by the end of 2009. This substantial program covers a number of blocks recently awarded by the National Oil Company of Liberia ("NOCAL") and has achieved a high level of pre-funding. The first phase of acquisition commenced in September. A second vessel will be added in November for the second phase and will continue through most of 2009.
TGS first acquired regional multi-client 2D data in Liberia in 2001. Since that time Liberia has held a number of successful bid rounds. Companies now operating or sharing in offshore contracts in Liberia now include Anadarko Liberia Company, Woodside Petroleum, Repsol, Oranto, Broadway Consolidated and European Hydrocarbons.
"It has been exciting to participate in the growth of Liberia's offshore oil and gas exploration industry. TGS' ongoing multi-client data investments in Liberia reflect our confidence in Liberia's offshore potential as well as our commitment to further our relationship with NOCAL," said David Hicks, VP AMEAP.
The Liberia data will processed in TGS centers in London and in Houston. The first data deliveries are expected to be in Q2 of 2009.

••• 08.10.08  ION Wins 2C, 4C Seismic Work Offshore Nigeria.
ION Geophysical Corporation announced that its GX Technology (GXT) Imaging Solutions group has been awarded a multi-year seismic data processing contract by Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) Unlimited, operator of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/MPN Joint Venture. The contract, the largest data processing award in ION's history, specifies that GXT and its longstanding Nigerian partner - Bulwark Services Ltd. - will provide advanced imaging services for a series of 2C and 4C seabed seismic surveys that will be acquired over the next several years over producing fields offshore Nigeria.
Nick Bernitsas, Senior Vice President of ION's GXT Imaging Solutions group, commented, "We are pleased to have been awarded this significant contract by one of our most important clients. Over the next several years, we will be applying our latest proprietary processing technologies, integrating insights from our experience with full-wave (4C) seismic data and from our experience in West Africa. This is the latest in a series of successful ION projects offshore West Africa. Our BasinSPAN programs along the West African Margin have given us insights into the region's petroleum systems, while our reprocessing projects for West African operators have given us experience in how to apply some of the latest data processing techniques in this important hydrocarbon province. We hope to leverage these experiences and insights on this upcoming series of surveys."
The data is being acquired by the multi-component OBC (ocean-bottom cable) specialist Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA (RXT) under a separate contract using ION's VectorSeis® Ocean (VSO) acquisition platform. VSO is a redeployable seabed seismic system that records broadband, high fidelity seismic data which can be processed into subsurface images of the highest quality and utility. ION's GXT Imaging Solutions group and Bulwark Services will apply state-of-the-art processing techniques, including converted wave imaging, to the acquired 2C and 4C data.
Lucky Awobasivwe, Managing Director of Bulwark Services Ltd, added, "This award marks major milestones in both our collaboration with GXT and for the West African E&P industry. Our GXT partnership exposes us to the latest imaging techniques and provides local geoscientists with access to the tools and expertise they require to take on the most challenging geophysical projects in West Africa. I would like to thank ION for their ongoing commitment to Bulwark and to the African oil & gas industry, as well as our client for this project award. I look forward to exceeding their expectations on the imaging projects we will be undertaking."
Source: ION Geophysical Corp.

••• 08.10.08  PGS Grows 3D Seismic Position in North Sea.
PGS has acquired over 5,000 sq. km of MultiClient data in the North Sea this year, mainly in Norway. These surveys are the latest in a highly prefunded 4-year MultiClient campaign offshore Northwest Europe, making PGS the market leader in speculative 3D seismic acquisition in the region.
Acquisition techniques include long streamer, HD3D and MultiAzimuth. PGS employs a full range of technology to increase image fidelity at prospect level, with survey design and processing tailored for each area. PGS is also engaged in reprocessing a large part of its Central North Sea MegaSurvey, applying new processing algorithms, such as beam depth migration.
Kristen Berli, Business Development Manager for Scandinavia, commented, "We see considerable interest from oil companies in PGS’ MultiClient survey concepts in the North Sea. Even in the current strong contract market, our MultiClient model is robust enough to secure PGS vessel capacity. We work closely with our clients to optimize survey design and to ensure cost effective acquisition."
Source: PGS

••• 07.10.08  PGS says Q3 fleet utilisation falls to 81 pct.
Petroleum Geo-Services reported that its seismic 3D vessel fleet used approximately 81% of its total time in the third quarter.
This compares to utilisation of 84% to acquire marine contract and multi-client seismic in Q2 and 89% in the third quarter of 2007.
The Olso-listed group said in a statement that high steaming in the third quarter was affected by a lot of capacity moving out of the North Sea. The vessel statistics in Q3 included Ramform Sovereign. The vessel was not included in the statistics for 2007.
PGS added that vessel statistics further excluded Ramform Victory from mid October 2007.
Ramform Victory was delivered to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on January 31, 2008 and the revenues under the service agreement, which is reported as contract revenues, took full effect from the date of delivery.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 06.10.08  PGS Nordic Explorer begins survey on Mitra's blocks.
PGS seismic vessel M/V Nordic Explorer is acquiring 1,500 square kilometres (579 sq miles) of 3-D seismic over Mitra Energy's Blocks 28 and 29/03 offshore Vietnam. The data acquired will be used to mature drilling leads in the offshore blocks. Mitra has committed to drill at least two wells in the two Vietnamese blocks under the production contract signed last October.
The survey was initiated four months after CGGVeritas seismic vessel Pacific Sword completed the 3,052-kilometre (1,896-miles) 2-D seismic sweep in May.
The two blocks are located in water depths of about 50 metres (164 ft), covering an area of 13,000 square kilometres (5,019 sq miles), about 150 kilometres (93 miles) off Vung Tau, Vietnam.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 06.10.08  SeaBird seismic fleet utilisation in Q3.
SeaBird Exploration has reported a decline in third quarter fleet utilisation, but indicated that this would not hurt revenue.
"We expect to recognize consolidated revenues for the third quarter around the level of Q2 2008, where reported revenues were $55.6 million," the company said in a statement.
SeaBird said that in Q3 it had nine vessels in operation with an average vessel utilization of around 84% which was down from 87 % for the second quarter of 2008.
Four of the vessels (Aquila Explorer, Harrier Explorer, Northern Explorer and Hawk Explorer) were on time charter contracts for the whole quarter and had an average vessel utilisation and chargeable time of 94%, SeaBird said.
Kondor Explorer ended a long contract with CGGVeritas at the end of August and consequently the vessel utilisation was around 59%. The group said it was working with alternative employment options for the Kondor Explorer.
Osprey Explorer continued to acquire data at the East-Coast of India for the whole quarter even though this was monsoon season in the region, with utilisation of 91%. Acquisition rates were above expectations during the monsoon, the company said.
Source: SeaBird

••• 06.10.08  Geowave Champion completes Rose survey.
Wavefield Inseis ASA seismic vessel M/V Geowave Champion completed the 579-square-mile (1,500-sq-km) Rose 3-D survey over Carnarvon Basin permits WA-388-P and WA-389-P off Western Australia. The seismic sweep was operated by Oilex Ltd. as the operator of the WA-388-P permit.
About 174 square miles (450 sq km) of the new 3-D data were acquired within Cue Energy Resources' WA-389-P permit. Cue Energy expects to use the data to mature multiple Tcf leads in a prospective section of permit 56 miles (90 km) north of the North Rankin Trend gas/condensate province, to identify drilling opportunities in 2009/2010.
Cue owns 100 per cent of WA-389-P. Oilex owns 14 per cent of WA-388-P, while the partners are Sasol (30 per cent), Hindustan Petroleum Corp. (14 per cent), Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. (14 per cent), Bharat PetroResources (14 per cent) and Videocon Industries (14 per cent).
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 06.10.08  Wavefield bags three-year seismic deal with ONGC.
Wavefield Inseis was awarded a three-year contract by ONGC for 3-D seismic services. Commencing during the fourth quarter this year, the contract is for a program of 3-D surveys offshore India to be acquired each season through to 2011. The first season's program will be acquired by seismic vessel Geowave Commander, which will be mobilized from Europe. The total contract value is in excess of US$170 million.
Earlier in the year Wavefield acquired a 2-D project offshore India, but Wavefield CEO Atle Jacobsen stated, "This is not only our first 3-D in India, this three-year contract is also our largest to date and our first with ONGC."
Source: Wavefield Inseis

••• 03.10.08  CGGVeritas Duke completes Korean seismic sweep.
CGGVeritas vessel Duke completed its 2-D seismic survey for Australia's Woodside Petroleum and Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC) in South Korea's offshore Ulleung Basin.
The vessel acquired 5,107 kilometres (3,166 miles) of line seismic during the scheduled survey through early July of this year. The survey took place at water depths between 1,000 metres and 2,000 metres (3,281 ft to 6,562 ft), covering Block 8, which is east of Yeongdeok, North Gyeongsang Province, and the northern portions of Block 6-1, about 30 kilometres (19 miles) east of the industrial city of P'ohang.
Data acquired from the survey will be processed later this year to identify any drilling prospects by June 2009. Woodside and KNOC were granted a two- to four-year concession to explore the 13,000-square-kilometre (5,019-square-mile) offshore blocks last year.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 02.10.08  SCAN Geophysical ASA (SCAN) announced that the company’s first newbuild M/V SCAN Empress was successfully launched 18 days ahead of plan.
The vessel is now alongside the outfitting jetty where on-loading and erection of the seismic hangar will continue.
However the vessel will be moved back to the dry dock for a few more weeks. This extra operation could cause a few weeks delay and hence delayed start up of operation from mid of March to mid of April 2009.
Source: SCAN Geophysical

••• 02.10.08  Revus makes sigfnicant oil discovery in North Sea.
Revus Energy has confirmed making a significant oil discovery offshore Norway in the Jordbaer prospect operated by BG - and it says there could be much more to come. Revus said the discovery was made in PL 373 S. The Norwegian exploration company said its internal preliminary estimates indicated recoverable reserves of between 57 and 100 million barrels of oil equivalent.
This range does not include potential volumes held in an undrilled segment of Jordbaer Central.
Revus said it was an extension of the oil discovery in well 34/3-1A.
The latest development followed the successful completion of a side track on the Jordbaer Central discovery announced in August.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 01.10.08  Seabird, Wavefield woo Chariot.
After its offshore Namibia seismic tendering round, Chariot Oil & Gas chose Seabird Geophysical and Wavefield Inseis as their external seismic data providers.
Seabird will begin its 2-D survey in October. Weather dependent, the survey should take around a month and a half to acquire the full 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) of data over blocks 2312A/B and 2412A/B.
Wavefield will begin its two 3-D surveys in November. Wavefield expects it will take about seven weeks to complete a 1,500-square-kilometer (932-sq-mile) programme in blocks 1811A and B, and around fourteen weeks to complete a 3,000-square-kilometer (1,860-sq-mile) programme in blocks 2714A and B.
Chariot holds licences covering 10 blocks in Namibia, eight of which are offshore and two are onshore. All of the blocks are in the exploration phase.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 30.09.08  Ship-based workers in North Sea face tax bills.
Thousands of North Sea workers could be in line for large tax bills, according to a recent report from BBC Scotland, following a ruling by Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officials that some vessels involved in offshore work should no longer be classed as ships.
As a result, workers on dive vessels and other vessels may no longer qualify for seafaring income tax concessions.
"Unions have criticised the move, but the HMRC said it had a duty to ensure the law is applied correctly. It is understood the tax liability has been back-dated to April 2007," said the BBC report.
Vessels working in construction and construction support, well service and dive support will all be affected, but pipelaying barges will continue to be considered a ship if they are involved solely in laying pipes. Other vessels will be considered on an individual basis.
Jake Molloy, of the OILC/RMT union, told BBC Scotland the new HMRC guidance on the law could "cripple" the dive support and ROV industries.
He added: "It could be a damning blow for the ROV and dive support industry, in that they were able to attract people of a seafaring background to work in the industry because of this provision."
"Many of them now will see that attractiveness gone, and almost certainly we will see a move of many thousands of workers potentially moving back to other industries because they don't have to be away from home all this time to cover their tax."
Peter McEwen, deputy general secretary of the maritime union Nautilus UK, said the decision was "outrageous" and called for an urgent meeting with treasury officials.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 29.09.08  SCAN completes challenging seismic shoot for PDVSA.
SCAN Geophysical ASA reports the recent successful completion of a 2,500 Km2 towed streamer seismic acquisition 3D program for PDVSA in the Mariscal Sucre area where conditions are known to be challenging for marine operations.
The M/V SCAN Resolution, towing four streamers and dual sources, despite complex conditions with currents and salinity, performed admirably and completed the job the largest 3D program ever acquired in this region of Venezuelan waters at the beginning of this month.
"We are extremely pleased with the performance of our crew," said Patrick Pitaud, General Manager for SCAN's activity in Venezuela. "This area is known for its treacherous currents, widely varying salinity due to fresh water intrusion from the Orinoco River system, as well as interference from seasonable weather. Nevertheless, we encountered no major problems during the acquisition phase which the excellent crew onboard the vessel could not manage," he added.
"SCAN is rapidly building a reputation as the contractor of choice for challenging data acquisition in those regions of the world where local conditions dictate tailor-made configurations to cope with the particular challenges," said Kjell Karlsson, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for SCAN in Oslo.
"The completion of the Mariscal Sucre 3D project, with its underlying geographical difficulties, is a significant step in PDVSA's development of its offshore resources," said PDVSA management. "The first processing steps are very promising, and show very good data quality, which will allow PDVSA to further refine their development in this area. PDVSA commends SCAN Geophysical on a difficult job well done."
Subsequent to class docking procedures, the M/V SCAN Resolution will commence another contract for PDVSA, the previously announced 3,500 Km2 3D acquisition program in the Dragon Norte region, the largest job ever for SCAN.
Source: SCAN Geophysical

••• 26.09.08  Caspian Services Group performs seismic services for CMOC.
Caspian Services Group has signed a contract with Caspi Meruerty Operating Co. (CMOC) to provide 3D seismic data acquisition services in the Caspian Sea to CMOC, a joint venture company owned by JSC Offshore Oil Co. KazMunayTeniz, Shell EP Offshore Ventures and Oman Pearls Co.
The seismic acquisition program is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2009. Part of the work will be subcontracted to Veritas Caspian LLP, a joint venture between CGGVeritas and Kazmorgeophysica, a subsidiary of Caspian Services.
CMOC is the operator of the 895-square kilometer (345.5-square mile) Pearls contract area in the Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea.
Laird Garrard, CEO of Caspian Services Inc., noted, "Being awarded this contract is further recognition of our ability and expertise in providing technical data collection services in addition to the a wide range of offshore oil field services we provide to field operators working in the Caspian Sea."
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 26.09.08  Updated damage statistics show 52 platforms lost to Ike.
The U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) has updated its damage statistics from Hurricane Ike. MMS now estimates that 52 oil and gas production platforms, three jackups and one platform drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico were destroyed by Hurricane Ike.
Of the 52 destroyed platforms, 47 produced less than 1,000 b/d of oil and five produced between 1,000 to 5,000 b/d. The three destroyed jackups were ENSCO 74, Rowan Anchorage and Pride Wyoming. The drilling derrick on BP's Mad Dog platform was also toppled.
Around 29 platforms have extensive damage from the storm, which will take three to six months to repair. Examples of damage considered extensive could include underwater structural damage or major damage to pipelines.
A further 33 platforms received moderate damage, which could take between one to three months to repair and restore production. Damage considered moderate by MMS includes major topside damage to critical process equipment such as compressors, or damaged risers or flex joints. MMS confirmed that one jackup had extensive damage from the storm. Diamond Offshore jackup Ocean Tower lost its derrick and drilling package during the storm.
MMS received reports of six gas transmission pipeline systems with damage. Analysis of the impact of this damage is underway.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 25.09.08  Wartsila Corp.'s recently established Wartsila Ship Design unit has received major orders from customers in China, India and Germany.
The orders call for Wartsila to design a deepwater engineering survey vessel, a multi-purpose support vessel, a diving support vessel and an emergency towing vessel.
The Ship Design unit was set up following Wartsila's acquisition of Vik-Sandvik and Schiffko. Recent acquisition Conan Wu & Associates will also be a part of the unit.
The deepwater engineering survey vessel design is for China Oilfield Services, and is a 4300-dwt vessel capable of operating in deep waters for geotechnical and geophysical surveys.
Chinese-state owned Shanghai Salvage Co. ordered the multi-purpose support vessel design for operations including salvage, offshore engineering services, diving and remotely operated vehicle operation, fire-fighting, anchor handling, ship supply, environmental protection and route clearing. The 4500-dwt diving support vessel design was ordered by India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) and will provide a stable platform for saturation and air-diving operations. The vessel will also be outfitted with fire-fighting and oil recovery equipment for field support operations.
German company ARGE Kustenschutz ordered the emergency towing vessel design for North Sea operations. The vessel is designed for maneuverability and maintenance of position in harsh weather conditions.
Wartsila also completed designs for a new anchor handling vessel, platform supply vessel and bulk carrier which reduce fuel consumption by 25 percent.
Source: Wartsila

••• 24.09.08  Norwegians at loggerheads over North Sea seismics.
Norwegian government authorities have been involved in a tussle over whether some North Sea seismic exploration programmes should be allowed. In the last six months, on 16 occasions, the Directorate of Fisheries tried to disuade seismic surveys from being conducted in the North Sea due to the potential negative impact on fishing.
But in all cases the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate decided to ignore the advice and gave its approval, newspaper Bergens Tidene reported. "It is difficult for us to give professional advice that is not followed," said Ole Damm Kvilhaug, adviser at the Directorate of Fisheries, to Bergens Tidende.
The Fisheries Directorate since March 1 received about 70 notifications from offshore companies that want to carry out seismic surveys in the ocean south of latitude 62.
The directorate said No in 16 of the cases, often because there was was likely to be intensive fishing in the area in that period.
Fishing reportedly has precedence before seismic surveys, because seismics can scare away the fish.
The fishing authority said the NPD almost exclusively uses economic arguments for the benefit of the oil industry when they did not follow their advice.
NPD Director General Bente Nyland said the Directorate of Fisheries are listened to and that most of the messages are taken into consideration. "But in the big picture there are many facts that are considered," she said.
"The general rule is that if fishing is in progress, the seismic boats pull away," she added.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 23.09.08  The development of the massive Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea could suffer from the world financial crisis says the senior executive in charge.
The Chief of the Shtokman Devlopment Company - the enterprise which is to develop the 3,7 trillion cubic meter field - expressed his concerns to journalists in a briefing, reported the Barents Observer.
Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has 51 percent in Shtokman Development Company, with the remainder held by French group Total with a 25 percent stake and StatoilHydro, on 24 percent.
The company's head, Yuri Komarov, expressed concerns about the possible consequences of the world financial crisis, the Barents Observer reported.
He said there is "an additional element of worry is the situation on the world financial markets," Komarov was quoted as saying.
Currently the project is in a marketing phase he said, confirming that drilling on the field will start in 2011.
Komarov would did not elaborate further on what possible negative impact on Shtokman could materialise as a result of the global financial crisis. However expanding on the operational side of the gas field, he said that two, perhaps even three, drilling rigs will operate on the field.
By year 2013, a total of 16 wells will be drilled.
Up to 20 LNG vessels, each with the capacity of 150,000 -220,000 cubic meters, will be required, six of them in the first development phase. The vessels will have to be built abroad, Komarov added.
The leader of the Shtokman company also said that all project tenders will be held in the course of the second half of 2009.
He said he was confident that the project will be successfully implemented. But at the same time, he admitted that the project was unique and unprecedented.
"It could be listed in the Guiness Book of Records," he said.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 23.09.08  Wartsila Nabs New Ship Design Company in Singapore.
Wartsila has agreed to acquire a leading naval architecture and ship design company Conan Wu & Associates Pte Ltd (CWA), headquartered in Singapore. The deal also includes partnership agreements regarding CWA's business in Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.
The price of the deal is EUR 23 million, to be paid in cash, and an additional amount to be paid based on the performance of the business in years 2008-2010.
In 2007, the turnover generated by CWA's businesses was EUR 10.7 millions and the profitability was on a very good level. CWA has 66 employees in Singapore.
"This deal is a clear demonstration of Wartsila’s commitment to becoming the leading provider of ship design services in the areas, which we specialize in, including offshore and special vessels as well as selected merchant vessels. CWA has a strong market position and the company’s outstanding know-how is a welcome addition to Wartsila's offering. By incorporating CWA into our existing ship design business, we expect to further strengthen the competitiveness of CWA's offering to its customers, and thus CWA's business prospects," said Jaakko Eskola, Group Vice President, Wartsila Ship Power.
The acquisition of CWA is a further major step in Wartsila's strategy of strengthening its position as a total solutions provider, and of being the most valued partner for its customers. Expansion within ship design is an important move for Wartsila, as it brings the company closer to its maritime industry customers. Wartsila intends to offer the best and most efficient total solutions, regardless of equipment used.
The total marine solutions provided by Wartsila are uniquely competitive in their ability to integrate and optimize the various operating processes of the entire vessel. This new and innovative way of combining ship design know-how with equipment solutions and services will lead to significant customer benefits, e.g. in terms of improved efficiency and reduced emissions.
"The acquisition of CWA expands the geographical scope of Wartsila's ship design services. It also excellently complements and broadens Wartsila's ship design competence to cover a larger range of vessel types, including smaller, less complicated and more standardized vessels," said Arne Birkeland, Vice President, Wartsila Ship Design.
"Being a part of Wartsila will allow CWA to realize its huge potential, both in Asia as well as in other markets. This deal is a great opportunity to further develop our know-how and our business on a global scale," said Dato Conan Wu, Chairman, CWA Pte Ltd.
CWA will be integrated into Wartsila Ship Design within the Company's Ship Power business. All personnel in Singapore including the former owners Dato Conan Wu and Mok Kim Terng as well as the rest of the management of CWA will continue in Wartsila's service.
Source: Wartsila

••• 22.09.08  Nordic Geo-Services has landed its first seismic exploration contract with TGS-NOPEC Geophysical.
The contract is for two years with an option for another two years, to gather data for TGS.
No financial details were released by Nordic, which is subsidiary of Nordic Maritime.
Under the contract TGS will use Nordic's vessel BGP Altlas as part of its overall programme to gather seismic data for its clients.
A spokesman for Nordic said the TGS contract would "open new doors."
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 19.09.08  Wavefield sells Geowave Voyager for $144 mln.
Seismic explorer Wavefield is selling its newbuild Geowave Voyager for $144 million under a sale and leaseback deal.
As part of the complex deal Wavefield is to get a $25 million cash infusion today.
Wavefield Inseis said it had sealed a sale and leaseback deal with Norwegian Oilfield Services AS (NOS) for Voyager, currently being outfitted in Singapore.
NOS is a new ship-owning company focusing on providing vessels and vessel-related services to the oilfield service industry.
Geowave Voyager will be time chartered for a seven year firm period, from date of delivery from the yard. The time charter also includes an option for a 10 year extension.
Under the key features of the sale and leaseback deal, associated external loan facilities and the Wavefield Inseis project loan to Waveship has been fully repaid by NOS.
Wavefield Inseis will also get 33.33 percent ownership in NOS.
Wavefield CEO Atle Jacobsen said the deal was an important milestone for the group. It has now completed the financing of our complete building programme of seismic vessels.
"For a long time, we have worked on this financing structure and we are very pleased that we are able to complete this sale and leaseback arrangement for Geowave Voyager at favourable terms under very difficult financial market conditions," he said.
"The owners of NOS have a common understanding that the company shall within a two year period be a listed company, and it is our intention to reduce our ownership as part of an IPO process," he added.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 19.09.08  Polarcus buys additional seismic gear for its vessels.
Polarcus Ltd. approved two new seismic equipment investments. The first was for the purchase of two six-streamer seismic packages for the Polarcus SX133s, while the second was for a lateral steering control for Polarcus SX124 vessel NB67. Total value of the purchases is US$29 million.
The streamer packages destined for the SX133s come in at a capital expenditure of US$13 million per vessel. The two multipurpose SX133 seismic vessels were previously being equipped only for 2-D/source operations with the intent of offering the vessels mainly in the developing wide-azimuth market. After an updated market and risk analysis, Polarcus decided to equip the vessels with a full 3-D seismic package from launch.
Polarcus believes that this will allow greater flexibility to further market the vessels for six-streamer operations in the 3-D market, which is currently yielding higher returns. The purchase of a lateral steering control system for NB67 adds US$3 million to the capital expenditure; however the cost is expected to be absorbed within the previously guided capital expenditure for the vessel of US$148 million.
Polarcus said it believes "that the development of steerable streamer systems has now reached a level of reliability that warrants an investment into one full system. Market feedback on the benefits of lateral steering control systems highlight the significant improvements attainable in operational efficiency due to the reduction of line repetitions (infill), the ability to safely deploy the streamers closer together for high resolution surveys, and the ability to improve positioning repeatability for 4-D seismic surveys."
Polarcus is launching an initial fleet of six seismic vessels designed by Norway-based Ulstein Design AS, incorporating the ULSTEIN X-BOW hull. Drydocks World - Dubai LLC is building the vessels in Dubai, with the first vessels expected to become operational in 2009.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 19.09.08  Geowave Endeavour Successfully Completes First Survey.
The latest addition to the Wavefield Inseis fleet, the Geowave Endeavour, has successfully completed her first survey and is currently in transit to her next project.
Her first survey, for BG Norge, was acquired offshore Norway with a 10 streamer spread and after a very efficient mobilisation the vessel performed extremely well and completed the survey on schedule.
Her next survey is offshore Libya for BP which is a milestone 12 month project that will also involve the largest and most powerful onboard processing system ever mobilized.
Source: Wavefield Inseis

••• 18.09.08  Chopper safety study to help half accident potential.
Eight oil companies joined forces to conduct a study of helicopter safety on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) at a cost of NOK 6 million (US$1 million) over the next three years. The aim of the project, which will be carried out by the Sintef research foundation in Trondheim, Norway, is to help ensure that the NCS remains in the forefront for helicopter safety. The Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF) will coordinate the study.
About to kick off, this latest project is the third major Norwegian study of offshore helicopter safety. The first covered 1966 to 1990, the second focused on 1990 to 1998/1999, and the present work will deal with 2000 to 2010.
While the initial study, HSS-I, found that the accident risk corresponded to 4.1 fatalities per million person-hours flown, the second identified a reduction to 2.3 per million. A commission of inquiry by the Ministry of Transport and Communications said in 2002 that the overall probability of dying in a helicopter accident should be at least halved compared with 1990-2000 over the coming 10-year period.
"We're well on our way to achieving that goal," said Sverre Austrheim from ConocoPhillips, who chairs the management committee for the Helicopter Safety Study III (HSS-III). "The introduction of new helicopters, in particular, has meant a lot in terms of enhancing safety. At the same time, a single accident would represent a setback to our work, so we can't relax our efforts to improve safety here."
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 16.09.08  The NPD's acquisition of seismic data completed.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's 2008 acquisition of seismic data outside Lofoten, Vesteralen and Troms has now been completed. The 2D seismic acquisition, which got underway on 25 May, was completed at midnight on 14 September, while the 3D seismic acquisition was carried out during the period from 3-31 July.
Three vessels have participated in this summer's acquisition of data. The BOS Atlantic acquired 2D seismic, the Atlantic Explorer started acquisition of 3D seismic, while the BOS Arctic completed the work.
Source: NPD

••• 16.09.08  Scorpion jackup goes to Gazprom.
Norwegian-listed group Scorpion Offshore has got its fourth jackup drilling rig from Keppel AmFELS.
Russian oil monopoly Gazprom has chartered the new rig, Offshore Vigilant, for its maiden operations offshore Venezuela beginning next month.
According to a report in PennEnergy, the vessel is one of five LeTourneau Super 116 jackups commissioned by Scorpion in 2005.
The five rigs, which are identical, each incorporate a 21 metre cantilever.
Each rig is capable of working in 350 ft (107 m) of water as outfitted, or in water of depths up to 400 ft (122 m) through the installation of additional leg sections.
The rig's drilling depth is about 30,000 ft (9,144 m), the report adds.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 15.09.08  Kirkenes is being used as base for drilling activities at the Shtokman gas-field.
The Dutch company Fugro says that it is much easier for them to use Kirkenes than Murmansk as base for their operations.
The drilling vessel "Bavenit" left Kirkenes port with course for the Russian Shtokman gas-field. The Dutch company Fugro has signed a contract with Shtokman Development Company to do test drillings around the Shtokman field. Fugro has chosen Kirkenes as their base for the activity, despite the many requests from Gazprom to use Russian ports as base for large operations on the gas field, according to "Barents Observer".
- The distance to the Shtokman field is the same from Kirkenes and Murmansk, but everything is more simple and efficient from Kirkenes than from Murmansk, says technical manager Michael A. Hagens in Fugro Marine Services to the local newspaper Finnmarken.
For Fugro is was easy to chose the port of Kirkenes. It is easier to transport people in and out Kirkenes with the direct flight to the Norwegian capital Oslo. The pilot services in Kirkenes are more efficient, and the supply of needed goods for the operation is better. Not to mention that customs declaration of equipment is far easier in Norway than in Russia.
The operation in Kirkenes will last for three months, and it will give a good income for many of the companies in town. In total the local community could earn up to half a million Euro on this operation.
- It's up to us now. If we do a good job, the rumor will spread internationally and we will get more assignments in Kirkenes, says Ulf Hagen in Kirkenes Transit, who organized the base operations for Fugro.
Source: Oilinfo

••• 15.09.08  Shell's Bonga beats out first Nigerian 4D seismic.
Shell subsidiary SNEPCo has carried out the first 4D seismic acquisition in Nigeria's deepwater oil and gas operations.
Achieved at its operated Bonga field 120 kilometers (74 miles) southwest of the Niger Delta, the process, also known as Time Lapse, took 76 days to complete and will maximise recovery at the field.
Images of the subsurface were captured with state-of-the art equipment operating from one marine seismic acquisition vessel and three support vessels.
The first 3D seismic survey in the Bonga field was conducted in 2000. The results determined the siting and drilling of wells before start-up of production in November of 2005.
Now, 4D survey results will show how reservoir conditions and fluid content have changed.
The Bonga survey utilised a total of four vessels with 100 personnel on-board and recorded 133,000 man-hours without a Lost Time Injury. Around 40 percent of the staff were Nigerian.
Bonga has recorded many industry firsts, with the world's largest floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel there and being at the forefront with using iconel clad steel catenary risers on an FPSO.
Bonga's initial 16 subsea oil production and water injection wells are connected to the 2 million barrel capacity FPSO by production flowlines, risers and control umbilicals.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 12.09.08  YPF Guyana awards 3-D seismic contract to Fugro-Geoteam.
YPF Guyana, a subsidiary of RepsolYPF, has awarded a 1,650 square kilometer (637 square mile) 3-D marine seismic contract to Fugro-Geoteam on the Georgetown Petroleum Prospecting License (PPL) offshore Guyana.
YPF Guyana is the operator of the venture. CGX Resources holds a 25 percent interest in the Georgetown PPL.
Fugro seismic vessel Geo Pacific will begin activities in late September. The seismic activities will be conducted jointly with CGX Resources' previously announced 536 square kilometer (207 square mile) 3-D program on the adjoining Corentyne PPL.
CGX President and CEO Kerry Sully said, "The combined program will result in a 33 percent saving per square kilometer to CGX through economies of shared mobilization and longer sailing lines on the previously announced Corentyne program. CGX's share of the combined program is estimated to be US$15.8 million which will be funded by CGX from existing working capital."
CGX has put the farm-out process for Corentyne, in which it holds a 100 percent interest, on hold until the 3-D seismic data has been received.
Source: CGX

••• 10.09.08  Nationalities of Dubai crash victims disclosed.
A Scottish oil worker is thought to be among the victims of a helicopter crash in Dubai which claimed seven lives. Adam Duff, 62, from Aberdeen, is believed to have been a passenger on board the helicopter which crashed into the Maersk jackup Resilient last week.
It is understood family members have travelled to the region to carry out identification.
The other victims were an American, a Filipino, a Venezuelan, a Pakistani and two Indian nationals.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 10.09.08  Nautical Nabs 3D Seismic, OBC Surveys for Mariner Discoveries.
Nautical Petroleum has announced that a 3D seismic survey and ocean bottom cable (OBC) survey have been acquired over the Mariner and East Mariner discoveries and the surrounding blocks.
These seismic surveys are designed to better define the distribution of the shallow Heimdal Sandstone. This reservoir has been penetrated by 16 wells and has flowed up to 1840 bopd on drill stem test. StatoilHydro, the new Operator of Mariner and East Mariner, has successfully utilized these methods to map and characterize the Heimdal Reservoir in the Grane Field, Norway (which currently produces ca 200,000 bopd of heavy oil).
The acquisitions represent the first major operational activity over the Mariner area since the Extended Well test in 1997 (which produced 663,000 barrels of oil at an average of 10,000 bopd from the Maureen Sandstone reservoir) and represents a significant step forward towards the planned submission of the field development plan in mid 2010.
PGS acquired 115 square kilometers of full coverage 3D seismic with the survey extending over blocks 9/11a (Mariner) and 9/11b + 9/12c (Mariner East), and partly into block 9/11c (Nautical Operated). The survey was completed on June 29, 2008.
An OBC survey was completed by Western Geco on August 12, 2008. A 12x6 km cable layout was deployed on the sea bed and 630 kms sail lines acquired.
The data is currently being processed and results are expected toward the end of the year.
Nautical CEO Steve Jenkins said, "Mariner continues to be a corner stone asset of Nautical and has participated closely in all the technical and operating committees of the joint venture. We are delighted that, under the leadership of the new Operator, StatoilHydro, the seismic surveys have been acquired. We believe that this will make a significant step towards the formulation of the field development plan and the achievement of commercial production."
Source: Nautical Petroleum plc

••• 09.09.08  TGS Charters 3D Vessel Capacity.
TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA announced today that it has signed a mutually binding letter of intent to enter into a contract with Bergen Oilfield Services AS (BOS) for the recently converted M/V BOS Arctic 3D seismic vessel. The contract begins in November 2008 and lasts for a minimum period of 12 months with an option for TGS to contract one of BOS's 3D vessels for another 12 month period under the same commercial terms. The BOS Arctic has already successfully completed two projects since her launch in June 2008.
With this agreement TGS will have three 3D vessels under charter for all or part of 2009. TGS currently expects the BGP Pioneer 3D vessel to be off charter for approximately the first nine months in 2009, before returning for another nine months of charter time beginning in the autumn of 2009.
Robert Hobbs, TGS Chief Operating Officer, commented, "We look forward to using the BOS Arctic to grow our 3D seismic library over the next two years and are excited to be working with the experienced team in Bergen Oilfield Services."

••• 08.09.08  A seismic survey of the subsurface has been initiated at the Troll field in the North Sea to determine whether the site is suitable for storage of large volumes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from carbon capture facilities at the industrial plants at Mongstad and Karsto.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) and Gassnova SF have ordered 3D-seismics to survey whether the Johansen formation at Troll is suitable for permanent storage of CO2. StatoilHydro is responsible for the seismic data acquisition, and is using the vessel M/V Ramform Challenger, owned by PGS, for this activity.
Gassnova, the state-owned enterprise for handling CO2, is responsible for implementing the Government's carbon capture and storage (CCS) project for CO2 from Mongstad and Karsto.
Another objective of the survey is to determine where the CO2 injection wells should be located.
The NPD has studied three potential storage sites for CO2 – the Johansen formation and two potential storage sites connected to the Utsira formation in the Sleipner area.
The Johansen formation is located south of the Troll area in the North Sea at a depth of approximately 2500 metres, below the Troll oil and gas reservoirs.
The plan calls for the acquisition activity to get underway sometime in September.
Processing and interpretation of the 3D-seismic data will probably be completed early in 2009.
Source: NPD

••• 05.09.08  Fugro acquires Phoenix Data Solutions in the United Kingdom.
Fugro has acquired the specialist privately owned data management company Phoenix Data Solutions. The company employs 6 staff and has an annual turnover of approximately EUR 1.4 million and provides services specialising in the digital reconstruction of seismic images.
Phoenix is based in Oxfordshire and will relocate its activities to Fugro's offices in Wallingford as part of the overall growth of Data Solutions in the United Kingdom. The operations will be integrated into Fugro Data Solutions in which Fugro's activities in data management are concentrated and this purchase marks the further expansion in the South East of England.
Fugro Data Solutions provides services in data management, collection and interpretation of data, license round organisation and application development. Fugro Data Solutions has offices in Calgary, Houston, Singapore, Aberdeen, Llandudno (Wales), London and Mumbai and belongs to the Fugro Geoscience division.
Source: Fugro

••• 05.09.08  Petrofac provides Dubai Petroleum incident update.
Petrofac, the international oil & gas facilities service provider, as Service Operator on the Dubai Petroleum offshore assets for Dubai Petroleum Establishment confirms that at approximately 20.20 hours (UAE) on Wednesday 3 September there was an incident involving a helicopter in the Rashid field approximately 70 kilometres offshore Dubai.
An Aerogulf Bell 212 helicopter carrying two crew members and five passengers was engaged in a routine infield flight. During take-off the helicopter crashed onto the deck of the Resilient, the Maersk jack-up drilling rig. The aircraft then broke up and fell into the sea.
Immediately following the incident, a fire broke out on the main deck of the drilling rig which was quickly contained and extinguished. Emergency response vessels and aircraft were mobilised and incident management control measures were immediately initiated in co-operation with the Dubai Police and Coastguard.
By 01:30 hours on Thursday 4 September, it was confirmed that there were no survivors, and that there were no additional casualties on either the drilling rig or the platform.
All operations on the Rashid field have been suspended and the platform and drilling rig have been secured.
The relatives of the deceased, who are contractor personnel and are confirmed as non UAE Nationals, are currently being informed. No Petrofac personnel are among the deceased.
An accident investigation has been initiated with Dubai Police and the General Civil Aviation Authority.
Source: Scandoil

••• 02.09.08  Acquisition of Vik-Sandvik’s ship design companies in Norway closed.
Wartsila received all relevant regulatory approvals in Norway for the acquisition of the ship design group Vik-Sandvik, effectively closing the acquisition for Vik-Sandvik's Norwegian companies Vik-Sandvik AS, Vik-Sandvik Marine Services AS and Skipkonsulent AS, which form the substance of the acquisition. Vik-Sandvik will be integrated into Wartsila Ship Design within Ship Power.
Wartsila announced in the beginning of July that it had acquired Vik-Sandvik, which is an independent group providing design and engineering services to ship owners and the ship building industry worldwide. The acquisition is a major step in Wartsila's strategy to strengthen its position as a total solutions provider and to be the most valued partner for its customers. Wartsila's goal is to become the leading provider of ship design services in various segments.
Source: Wartsila

••• 01.09.08  EMGS awarded contracts worth USD 20 million.
Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA (EMGS) has been awarded a contract with a new customer to perform its Clearplay Evaluate service to appraise a hydrocarbon prospect. The contract, which will be formally executed during the next days, is worth approximately USD 10 million. The electromagnetic (EM) survey will commence in September.
EMGS has also been awarded several smaller contracts worth in total USD 10 million by customers in Norway. A majority of these stem from a satisfying initiation of the Late Sales phase of the Barents Sea multi-client 3D EM project.
Terje Eidesmo, EMGS chief executive officer, commented: "We are pleased that so many companies are seeing the value of our multi-client services at this early stage in the Late Sales process. It is also great news that yet another large independent oil company will be using our game-changing technology to improve its hydrocarbon exploration performance and efficiency. This provides further evidence that EMGS is the undisputed EM market leader."
The Clearplay Evaluate data will be acquired using densely sampled, wide-azimuth 3D EM grids. The service, which integrates 3D seismic and other information, will improve the estimation of hydrocarbon volume and distribution.
"EM data from our Clearplay Evaluate service can reduce the number of appraisal wells drilled, thereby producing substantial cost savings for operators. The service significantly improves the speed and accuracy of prospect appraisal and enables the operator to establish, with greater certainty, whether the prospect contains commercially viable reserves," continued Eidesmo.
Source: EMGS

••• 28.08.08  PGS reports substantial multiclient 2D investments in 2008.
In 2008 PGS is significantly ramping up its investments in MultiClient 2D (MC2D). Targeting less mature basins worldwide, PGS has acquired 2D in offshore basins in areas as diverse as the Andaman Sea, Indonesia, and Kenya.
In addition, PGS has acquired several MC2D campaigns using its GeoStreamer® in areas that include offshore the North West Shelf Australia, Trinidad and the Gulf of Mexico. A large GeoStreamer programme will also shortly be conducted offshore Cyprus. In total, 60,000 line km of MC2D are planned for 2008.
Tom Ziegler, VP Global MultiClient commented "There has been an upsurge of interest from oil companies in 2D, who require regional datasets to best ascertain the hydrocarbon potential of basins in their search for new reserves. PGS are responding to this need on a global basis and are using GeoStreamer to gain a significant uplift in data quality and a better imaging of the basin geology".
Guillaume Cambois, Senior Advisor, added "The GeoStreamer datasets acquired are currently being processed.
Results to date have been very encouraging, with the data showing increased bandwith and resolution, deeper penetration and a much improved estimation of earth attenuation".
Source: PGS

••• 28.08.08  United centre in the UK for CGGVeritas.
CGGVeritas has opened its UK Center of Excellence. The new center combines the London and Crawley offices. Based in Crawley, near Gatwick airport, the new center is staffed by over 200 processing geophysicists who, together with the CGGVeritas EAME (Europe, Africa and the Middle East) compute hub in Redhill, form the processing and imaging capability for CGGVeritas.
In the UK centre staff deliver imaging technology and service clients. New and upgraded facilities include a visualization center, visual meeting rooms and the latest in IT infrastructure.
The new center is also the EAME headquarters for other key CGGVeritas business lines including Marine Acquisition, Data Library, Data Services and Reservoir Services.
R. Ian. Thornton, senior vice president for EAME Processing and Reservoir Services, says, "The new UK Center is both a strong commitment to providing the best facilities to our employees and an underlining of our determination to continuously deliver unsurpassed images of the subsurface to our clients."
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 28.08.08  Completion of Exmouth West 2D Non-Exclusive Seismic Survey & Exmouth West Reprocessing.
Searcher Seismic Pty Ltd with partners Fugro and Gardline would like to announce the completion of the Exmouth West Non-Exclusive 2D Seismic Survey. 4260km of 2D seismic data has been acquired over the frontier blocks W08-21 and W08-22 which were released by the Australian Government in the 2008 Offshore Petroleum Acreage Release.
The Exmouth West 2D Non-Exclusive Seismic Survey data is scheduled to be fully processed and ready for delivery by early November.
Searcher and Fugro also wish to announce the completion of the Exmouth West 2D Reprocessing Project. This reprocessing consists of 4268km of 1978, 1979 and 1994 vintage 2D seismic data. A full suite of gathers, offset stacks and AVO products are now available for delivery.
Searcher Seismic Managing Director Odd Larsen comments, "This newly acquired seismic data combined with the reprocessing will provide industry leading seismic coverage to evaluate the potential of gazettal blocks W08-21 and W08-22 in the highly prolific Carnarvon basin."
Source: Searcher Seismic

••• 28.08.08  SCAN Geophysical: Important milestone for first newbuild M/V SCAN Empress.
With reference to the first half year report for 2008 published on 12 August, SCAN Geophysical ASA announces that the company’s first newbuild M/V SCAN Empress has reached an important milestone, as the vessel today has been lowered into ABG Shipyard’s ship lift. The ship lift is the dry dock in the yard where all larger vessels are being launched.
Source: SCAN Geophysical

••• 28.08.08  Searcher, Fugro and Gardline complete 2-D sweep.
Searcher Seismic, Fugro and Gardline Geosurvey recently completed a 2-D seismic sweep over Western Australia frontier blocks W08-21 and W08-22.
Gardline's seismic vessel Ocean Endeavour acquired a total of 4,260 kilometres (2,641 miles) of 2-D data over the two blocks. The data of the Exmouth West 2-D non-exclusive seismic survey are scheduled to fully processed and ready for delivery by early November.
Meanwhile, Searcher and Fugro also completed the Exmouth West 2-D Reprocessing project. About 4,268 kilometres (2,646 miles) of 1978, 1979 and 1994 vintage 2-D seismic data have been reprocessed and a full suite of gathers, offset stacks and AVO products are now available for delivery.
Searcher Managing Director Odd Larsen said, "This newly acquired seismic data combined with the reprocessing will provide industry leading seismic coverage to evaluate the potential of gazettal blocks W08-21 and W08-22 in the highly prolific Carnarvon basin."
Blocks W08-21 and W08-22 are two of the 35 acreages offered by the Australian government in the 2008 Offshore Petroleum Acreage Release. Bidding for the two blocks will be open until April 9, 2009.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 25.08.08  SCAN Geophysical awarded large seismic 3D contract from PDVSA.
SCAN Geophysical ASA (SCAN) announced that it has been awarded the company’s largest ever seismic contract, an approximately US $70 million program from Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) for 3,300 Km2 of 3D seismic work offshore Venezuela.
Preceded by earlier announced awards by PDVSA for seismic services offshore Venezuela, this contract calls for additional marine 3D seismic to be acquired in the Dragon Norte region.
This award will backlog SCAN’s proposed vessel, the M/V SCAN Resolution, into 3rd quarter of 2009.
"We are pleased that PDVSA has shown confidence in SCAN Geophysical by awarding us this contract, the largest to date for our company," said Stephane Touche, Senior Vice President and COO of SCAN. "Keeping our 3D vessel working in this region for a major company is consistent with our overall strategy to maintain vessel presence in the Americas and to work directly for operating entities" he> Source: SCAN Geophysical

••• 23.08.08  Fugro completes site survey for MEO's Zeus wildcat.
Fugro's survey vessel Southern Supporter has completed the geographic survey of MEO's well site in Carnarvon Basin permit, WA-361-P, offshore Western Australia.
The survey was designed to confirm the absence of anomalous features on the sea floor, identify the seabed terrain and provide sufficient shallow geological data to enable the safe and efficient anchorage of semisubmersible Songa Venus.
Songa Venus is due to arrive at the well location and to start drilling on Zeus 1 on or around Oct. 31. The exploration well is targeting the multi-Tcf Zeus play.
The drilling campaign was also granted environmental clearance from Australia's Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts.
Southern Supporter has since returned to port after completing the site survey.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 21.08.08  Australia’s Largest Non-Exclusive Seismic 3D Reprocessing Project.
Searcher Seismic Pty Ltd is pleased to announce the largest non exclusive seismic 3D reprocessing project ever undertaken in Australia.
The project is carried out in conjunction with Fugro whom is also processing the 3D data with state of the art processing techniques in their Perth centre. A full suite of gathers and offset stacks suitable for AVO analysis will also be produced.
The project will cover a significant portion of the prolific Barrow sub basin on the NW Shelf of Australia with 6 surveys being reprocessed, integrated, phase matched and combined into one seamless 8, 3D Data Cube.
Searcher Seismic Managing Director Odd Larsen comments, "This is a unique opportunity to combine and vastly improve the historical 3D data sets from the Barrow region to the industry’s benefit. We look forward to the challenges of such a large project in developing the Barrow 3D Ultracube."
The Barrow 3D UltraCube is expected to be fully complete by early 2010, with the first areas within the Cube being completed and ready for delivery in March 2009.
Source: Searcher Seismic

••• 21.08.08  Weather brings woe to Rieber profits.
Bad winter weather and poor exchange rates have cut GC Rieber's profits in the North Sea.
Reiber made a net profit of NOK 45 million (US$8.3 million) in the second quarter, down from NOK 178.9 million (US$33.2 million) in the same period of last year.
In May, the company invested in four new specialised offshore vessels and acquired a 40 percent shareholding in the Singapore based company Bluestone Offshore, adding to the acquisition of subsea specialist Scan Mudring in March.
GC Rieber CEO Sven Rong said, "We have during the second quarter continued our positioning for new initiatives within the offshore market and we have established an organisation in Asia.
"The operation in Asia is strategically important for us, partly because Asia is an attractive market, but also because the operation in the long term enables us to become more cost effective."
Operating income was NOK 151.0 million (US$28 million), down from NOK 160.3 million (US$29.7 million) last year and EBITDA was NOK 59.9 million (US$11.1 million), also down, having been NOK 73.2 million (US$13.6 million) a year earlier.
In July, Rieber took a 60 percent shareholding in the new company Hexio, which focus on permanent monitoring of oil and gas fields. The other owners in Hexio are Statoil Hydro Venture AS, 20 percent, and Reservoir Innovation AS, 20 percent.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 20.08.08  PGS awarded large 3d seismic survey onshore Mexico.
PGS Mexicana, S.A. de C.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleum Geo-Services ASA has been awarded a contract by Pemex for an onshore seismic survey in the states of Veracruz and Puebla, Mexico.
The survey will be carried out from 2008 to 2012. The area to be surveyed is more than two thousand square kilometers, or more than 20 times the size of Manhattan. The total contract value amounts to approximately USD 165 million.
The contract, starting in September 2008, includes both data acquisition and processing and covers an area of 2,080 square kilometers. PGS has been successfully providing onshore seismic services in Mexico since the year 2000.
"Pemex shows great confidence in PGS by trusting us with this survey in a strategically important area. This contract is a confirmation of our strong commitment to Mexico." comments Jon Erik Reinhardsen, CEO of PGS.
Source: PGS

••• 18.08.08  Subject to final contract negotiations, the seismic company Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA (RXT) and local partner Delta Plus Ltd (DP) will be awarded a significant contract by Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (TEPN) for 4C OBC data acquisition over the Nkarika field offshore Nigeria.
Expected survey duration is six months at rates consistent with RXT`s annualised projection.
The work will be performed by the RXT crew `RXT2` currently operating in Nigeria. The project will involve RXT/DP acquiring multi-component (4C) ocean bottom seismic over Nkarika, a field offshore Nigeria.
Award of this work by TEPN will increase RXT/DP`s anticipated backlog for RXT2 to mid 2011 in the region.
DP is a subsidiary of Terra Global Ltd., RXT`s partner in West Africa.
Source: RXT

••• 18.08.08  3D seismic survey starts at WA-351-P permit.
Tap Oil Limited (Tap) provides the following information for the Aragon Multiclient 3D Seismic Survey in WA-351-P.
The Aragon 3D survey is located in permit WA-351-P within the Exmouth Plateau, approximately 120km north-northwest of North West Cape and 170km west of Barrow Island. The survey area of approximately 3,500 km2 will provide 3D coverage of most of WA-351-P. Water depth ranges from approximately 1,000 m to 1,200 m.
The seismic survey commenced on 13 August 2008 and is being acquired by WesternGeco, a seismic acquisition and processing contractor. A combination of two vessels, the "Western Trident" and the "Geco Searcher" will be used for the survey, which is expected to finish early November 2008.
This survey will provide 3D seismic coverage over most of this highly prospective permit, which is located on trend with the giant Io/Jansz gas field and more recent discoveries (Glencoe-1 and Briseis-1) made in the adjacent permit, WA-390-P, immediately to the north.
Current mapping on 2D seismic data has identified numerous leads with direct indications of hydrocarbons on the seismic data, giving the permit LNG-scale resource potential. The final 3D data should be available by mid 2009.
These data are expected to mature a number of attractive prospects suitable for drilling in 2009-10.
Source: Tap

••• 08.08.08  Fugro sees net result rise.
Fugro's net result for the first six months of this year is up 27.2 percent on the first half of last year. The company has taken US$168.4 million so far this year. Revenue in the period increased by 20.2 percent to US$1.5 billion.
The company said market conditions remain positive for all divisions, with a very high backlog. The number of employees has increased to 13,131 from 11,472 at the end of 2007.
A spokesman said, "Barring unforeseen circumstances and assuming reasonably stable exchange rates, Fugro expects a revenue of more than EUR 2,100 million (US$3.2 billion) and a net result of approximately EUR 270 million (US$416.2 million) for the whole of 2008."
In the second half of the year five more vessels will be added to the Fugro fleet, one of which, Geo Caribbean, will be owned by Fugro.
There is significant interest in exploration for new fields. This is clear from the high demand for our seismic services. The good sales of our multi-client data during the first half of 2008 is also evidence of the sustained interest.
The spokesman said, "In addition to the search for new opportunities we also see a very healthy demand for our offshore construction support activities. Deep water fields remain a priority. Fugro is responding by further adapting its equipment and technologies for deeper water."
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 07.08.08  PGS faces backlash for Nigeria work.
Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) could face legal proceedings from a workers' union amid claims that staff who do not want to work in dangerous Nigeria could lose out.
Trade Union Parat says PGS employees have been told they can refuse the work but may have to accept permanent relocation to a different vessel and the loss of plus days in a new rotation schedule if they do.
A spokesman said, "Parat strongly disagrees with this policy and our view is that employees in principle should not be economically or otherwise punished for following PGS policy.
"We informed PGS that if individual members are permanently relocated and lose plus days as a result of this, Parat may start legal proceedings on behalf of those members on an individual case to case basis."
The start-up for these jobs is likely to be late autumn this year or spring of next year.
PGS President of Marine Acquisition Vidar Hovland recently gave Parat a detailed account of plans and policies regarding operations in this region. He said Bergen Risk Solution will evaluate the situation in Nigeria and will publish a report in advance of the job start-up.
A spokesman for the Norway-based Seismic Union said, "Even though PGS probably does more than others to mitigate risk, we also realize that much is beyond PGS control and we had therefore hoped that they would not take on more work in this region before the security situation has improved."
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 06.08.08  Troms II survey complete.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's acquisition of 3-D seismic data in the Troms II area has been completed on time.
Despite the delay of the original seismic ship M/V BOS Arctic, and a fire in the engine room of the replacement PGS vessel Atlantic Explorer, seismic data was acquired as planned by the end of July.
The acquisition of seismic data didn't start until July 3, while the planned start-up date was June 24.
Source: NPD

••• 06.08.08  Geowave Endeavour on time for BG Norge.
Wavefield Inseis' new high capacity 3-D vessel M/V Geowave Endeavour was delivered from Fosen Yard for a seven-year time-charter with Volstad Maritime in July. The vessel mobilised for its first large 3-D contract with oil and gas major BG Norge on July 28 and the vessel was fully operational and in steady production yesterday with 10 solid streamers six kilometers (3.7 miles) in length.
Endeavour is one of the world's largest and most powerful 3-D vessels with 16 streamer vessel capacity. Its North Sea season for BG Norge will be completed in September and it will then continue on one of the world's largest 3-D seismic contracts for BP in Libya, estimated to be completed by the end of 2009.
Source: Wavefield Inseis

••• 05.08.08  Geotrace involved in largest onboard data processing project worldwide.
Geotrace, a leading reservoir services company that provides subsurface imaging solutions to the oil and gas industry worldwide, will be providing one of the world’s largest onboard seismic data processing projects to BP Exploration Libya Ltd as part of a seismic acquisition contract awarded to Wavefield Inseis by BP Exploration Libya Limited.
Geotrace, through its long term agreement with Wavefield Inseis, will outfit the Geowave Endeavour with a large computer center for onboard processing. This will allow the seismic data to be managed quickly and cost effectively.
The project will cover 17,000 square kilometers of 3D seismic data processing in Libya's offshore Sirt basin.
Geotrace will complete the processing using proprietary software installed on one of the largest Linux clusters afloat, aboard Wavefield’s new flagship, the Geowave Endeavour. Geotrace’s onboard processing will include surface related multiple elimination (SRME), pre-stack time migration (PSTM) and dense velocity analysis.
"This type of onboard data processing project is ideal for Geotrace," said Bill Schrom CEO of Geotrace. "It will enable us to utilize some of our advanced imaging techniques while processing in an onboard environment."
Source: Scandoil

••• 05.08.08  Russia could upset Norway with Arctic mapping.
Russia's Arctic efforts will step up next year by making the Arctic the primary focus of a US$111 million geological mapping program. However, the move could be controversial as one of the key regions will be the Spitsbergen archipelago, to which Norway claims sovereign rights.
Russian agency Sub-soil Resources (Rosnedra) revealed the 160 percent increase on geological exploration spending, noting that 34 sectors will be mapped in total. Along with the Arctic, Russia will look at the Barents, Kara and Pechora Seas, with the Pineginskie structures in the Barents Sea and the Ushakov-Novozemelskie structures, which run from the northern parts of the Barents Sea to the Kara Sea, other key targets.
Rosnedra also said the studying of the Murmanskaya and Trubyachinskaya structures in the Barents Sea will continue in 2009.
Source: EnergyCurrent

••• 05.08.08  StatoilHydro awarded contracts for towed multi-streamer surveys for 2009 totalling US$233.8 million.
The contracts, covering surveys on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, the Faroes and Ireland, have been awarded to PGS Geophysical, CGGVeritas and Wavefield Inseis.
The award to PGS also includes the use of new technology for 3-D surveys, which makes the seismic operations less dependent on benign weather and improves the production of seismic data. StatoilHydro will also use an alternative streamer steering technology facilitating the shooting of seismic to be compared with earlier seismic surveys, thereby provide more reliable results for four-dimentional studies.
Four vessels from PGS, two from CGGVeritas and one from Wavefield Inseis will be in operation for StatoilHydro during 2009, performing seismic exploration in two, three and four dimentions, with an emphasis on 3-D exploration.
Source: StatoilHydro

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