Offshore SeisNews ©

••• 15.11.12 Gazprom moves into North Sea.
Gazprom is moving into offshore fields owned by Wintershall in the North Sea including the UK, the Netherlands and Denmark as part of an asset swap deal. Wintershall Noordzee has agreed to acquire equity stakes in Western Siberian fields owned by Gazprom in exchange for equity in North Sea fields.
An agreement has been signed by Gazprom and Wintershall Noordzee to swap assets of equal value and Gazprom is taking over 100% of gas storage businesses which are currently run jointly as part of the deal.
Gazprom is getting 50% of Wintershall Noordzee BV, which operates in the Southern North Sea in the UK, in the Netherlands and in Denmark. Wintershall Noordzee operates 23 installations in the Dutch sector, plus the UK Wingate gas platform, from Den Helder via high-tech radio links.
Wintershall is also giving Gazprom control of three of its jointly operated gas trading and storage companies, WINGAS WIEH based in Berlin, and WIEE.
In exchange, Wintershall is to acquire 25% equity plus one share in two additional blocks, IV and V in the Achimov formation within Gazprom's West Siberian Urengol gas and condensate field, with the option to increase its equity to 50%. Blocks IV and V have reserves of 274 billion cubic metres of gas and 74 million tonnes of condensate - equivalent to 2.4 bn boe - according to a development plan sanctioned by the Russian mining authority.
Plateau production from the two blocks is forecast at 8 bcm a year, once they are brought onstream in 2016.
Explaining the move, Dr Kurt Brok, chairman Wintershall's parent company BASF said: "The asset swap is consistent with our strategy to expand the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas - through organic growth and targeted acquisitions."

••• 14.11.12 Dolphin Group ASA: Third quarter and first nine months 2012 results.
Group pre-tax net profit increased more than fourfold to $16.4 million, from $3.9 million a year earlier, on 42% higher revenue of $61.2 million.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation - a key measure of underlying operational performance - increased to $28.9 million from $9.1 million a year ago.
"High operational efficiency and fleet utilisation, improved contract pricing and strong multi-client sales from new projects have generated better-than-expected third quarter revenues and profit," said chief executive Atle Jacobsen.
Dolphin carried out its first multi-client surveys during the quarter, including the 2000 square-kilometre Gulspurv shoot off Norway targeting hot Barents Sea acreage on offer in the upcoming 22nd licensing round.
The company is now mobilising vessels for major 3D surveys for Statoil off Tanzania and Shell in South Africa as it targets increased seismic demand driven by strong exploration activity both on its Norwegian home turf and in deep-water provinces off East and West Africa, Brazil and in the Gulf of Mexico.
Dolphin has secured employment for its chartered five-vessel fleet into next year, with more work prospects in sight due to strong tendering activity, with a total backlog of $106 million.
It is also set to take delivery of a pair of newbuilds - Sanco Swift and Sanco Sword – in the second quarter of 2013 and first quarter of 2014 respectively, although its existing vessel Polar Explorer is set to be returned to its owner by the end of January under the terms of the charter contract.
The Oslo-listed company has seen its market capitalisation multiply almost threefold to Nkr1.8 billion ($313 million) over the past two years after riding the resurgence in the seismic market, while it has been able to raise Nkr897 million in new equity during the period.
Dolphin has recently bolstered its coffers further by raising Nkr400 million in unsecured bond financing as it capitalised on the hot bonds market.
Source: Upstream

••• 14.11.12 Polarcus Limited reported net profit of $21.1 million for the third quarter.
Polarcus Limited reported net profit of $21.1 million for the third quarter 2012, an increase compared to the $5.9 million earned in the same period 2011.
The third quarter 2012 was the first time Polarcus operated its full fleet complement of eight vessels subsequent to the delivery of Polarcus Adira in June, enabling the Company to recognize a net profit of USD 21 million for the quarter.
The third quarter also marked another milestone achievement for Polarcus with three vessels (representing 37.5% of the Company’s fleet) acquiring 3D seismic data in the high Arctic offshore Greenland. This major logistical effort undertaken to support two significant client programs has progressed efficiently and to plan, validating the investments made by Polarcus since inception. These investments have covered the full range of Arctic-ready technologies and processes, from the ICE-1A class vessel construction to the DNV-qualified Arctic operating procedures.
Rolf Ronningen, CEO Polarcus, commenting on the results said: "I’m exceptionally proud of the fantastic achievement of our crews and support personnel in successfully executing the Company’s first true Arctic programs in the heavily ice infested waters of Baffin Bay, offshore Greenland. Both clients have further expressed their own high satisfaction with the professionalism and outstanding performance of the Polarcus crews in the successful delivery of their projects."
Source: Polarcus

••• 13.11.12 EMGS vessel schedule: Update on BOA Galatea.
The vessel BOA Galatea has completed 3D EM data acquisition under the one-year contract in Brazil.
EMGS has now, in agreement with the relevant client, commenced a new 3D EM data acquisition project in Brazil with estimated completion in early January 2013.
EMGS will provide further details on this contract for the BOA Galatea as soon as it has been formally finalised.
Source: EMGS

••• 13.11.12 PGS has signed charter agreements with PF THOR for four new seismic support vessels to assist its seismic operations worldwide.
The vessels will be built at Besiktas in Turkey, owned and operated by PF THOR and chartered by PGS on 10 year time charter contracts, with options for additional extension.
The new vessels will provide support for PGS' fleet of seismic vessels during operation, covering offshore bunkering, crew change assistance, supply of provision and spare parts, as well as support during in-sea maintenance of the seismic equipment. The vessels are purpose designed for seismic support services in order to improve efficiency at sea for the seismic vessels. They offer a wide range of capabilities, including ice class 1A, passenger capacity for transporting a full seismic crew, extra work boat, towing capability and ability to carry and transfer fuel oil at sea. Equipped with modern, efficient propulsion systems the vessels will be performing their tasks with minimal fuel consumption, enabling fuel cost savings up to 60 % from the vessels we use today, and further enhancing PGS' cost efficiency in marine seismic operations. Delivery of the vessels will take place from Q3 2014 and onwards, replacing older, inefficient, capacity as well as adding necessary support for the new Ramform Titan class vessels, of which the first will be delivered in 2013.
Vessel Specification: Loa 64.4 m, Beam 14,50 m, Class DnV +1A, ICE -1A, SPS, CLEAN DESIGN, NAUT-AW, RECYCLABLE 4 x ca. 1000 HP Diesel Engines, total accommodation 60 persons.
Source: PGS

••• 12.11.12 NOVATEK and ROSATOM enter into cooperation agreement.
Russian gas producer Novatek has struck a co-operation deal with the country’s state atomic energy company Rosatom aimed at securing an ice-free export route for fields being developed in the Arctic.
Rosatom will provide icebreaker support to liquefied natural gas carriers navigating the Northern Sea Route that will serve Novatek’s LNG plant on the Yamal Peninsula under the pact, which will include a long-term services contract of at least 15 years.
Novatek, Russia’s largest privately owned gas producer, is expanding and developing fields on the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas, and in the Gulf of Ob, with LNG exports to be transported from the port of Sabetta in Yamal.
Rosatom is building a new generation of nuclear-powered icebreaker vessels that will be used to carve a path for shipping through Arctic waters, and in the White and Baltic seas.
As well as ensuring safe navigation for LNG vessels, the agreement covers interrelated investment projects as well as creation of new technologies and development of competitive products to boost the efficiency of gas exploitation, storage and transport.
"This is a mutually beneficial agreement - for Rosatom it is important to have a stable demand for its services, and for such companies as Novatek it is essential to be confident that its hydrocarbon production is transported in the most effective way," said Rosatom general director Sergei Kirienko.
Source: Upstream

••• 12.11.12 Floatel Superior to be repaired in 1-2 weeks.
Floatel Superior accommodation rig, which was on November 7 evacuated after it had tilted 4 degrees due to a hole in the ballast tank, arrived at Kristiansund on Friday, November 9.
The owner of the unit, Floatel International, informed that a first inspection of the damage was carried out confirming the preliminary assessment that the two tanks had punch penetrations through the hull caused by the loose anchor. Based on the assessed damages it is estimated that Floatel Superior will be repaired and ready for operation within 1-2 weeks, the owner added.
The unit has been used as a "flotel" providing living quarters for offshore workers at Statoil’s Njord field in the Norwegian north sea.
Floatel Superior received an Acknowledgement of Compliance from the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway on 22 December 2010, and started on a contract with Statoil on 1 May 2011. The flotel can accommodate 440 people in single cabins.
Source: OffshoreEnergyToday

••• 12.11.12 Israeli Energy Cos announce new gas discovery.
A group of Israeli energy companies said Sunday that geological testing has revealed a large reserve of natural gas in another prospective offshore field.
Israeli companies Delek Drilling Ltd. Partnership (DEDR.L.TV) and Avner Oil Exploration (AVOGF), which each own a 26.47% stake in the Karish prospective field, said that a geological survey shows that the field likely contains about 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas with a 50% probability for successful harvesting. According to the survey by consulting firm Netherland, Sewell and Associates, the field could contain as much as 3.4 trillion cubic feet, although the probability of that is lower.
The companies said they don't yet have government permission to drill for gas in the field, and haven't yet decided whether or not to drill.
Houston-based Noble Energy Inc. (NBL.NYSE) owns 47.1% of Karish, located near Israel's largest gas field, Leviathan, which contains an estimated 16 trillion feet of natural gas. Noble, Delek Drilling and Avner, all also hold stakes in Leviathan.
A handful of natural gas discoveries in recent years have put Israel on track for decades of energy independence once production begins.
Source: Worldoils

••• 09.11.12 Research finds undersea gas leaks in Haifa Bay.
Geophysics researchers find natural active gas springs leaking on Haifa Bay sea floor, scientists don't yet know if gas is usable.
While drilling companies focus on extracting natural gas buried deep in the Mediterranean’s core, a geophysics research team from the University of Haifa has discovered a series of active gas springs leaking on the Haifa Bay sea floor.
The springs are located at relatively shallow depths, just a few dozen meters below the surface of the seabed, the researchers learned in their study, which was recently published in the journal Continental Shelf Research.
After examining a sea floor map of Israel’s northern coast, the researchers first identified that there might be springs in the area, according to the university.
A joint effort with the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute then ensued, revealing around 700 spots in the floor that might be gas springs. Seismic data also showed that there were pockets of gas located beneath the seabed, university information said. Read more...

••• 09.11.12 GC Rieber secures contracts for two vessels.
Polar Queen: GC Rieber Shipping has entered into a charter party with Boa Marine Services Inc. for the CSV Polar Queen for a firm period until April 2013. The agreement also includes options for 2 years extension after expiry of the firm charter period. Boa Marine Services Inc. is a US subsidiary of the Norwegian owned Boa Group.
Polar Prince: The time-charter with Reef Subsea for the subsea vessel Polar Prince has been extended to December 2014. The vessel will be utilised by Reef Subsea Power & Umbilical in their Offshore Oil and Gas and Renewable projects.
Source: GC Rieber

••• 09.11.12 "Everything was calm and orderly. We didn’t feel any heeling, so the platform felt quite normal," says Hilde Moen, who was evacuated from Floatel Superior on Wednesday, 7 November.
At 03.40, a leak was reported in a ballast tank on the accommodation platform, which developed a 3-4 degree heel. The platform was stabilised in the course of about an hour using ballast management.
Moen does gas treatment research in Statoil’s Technology, projects and drilling unit. She was on the Floatel Superior to perform a job in connection with the planned shutdown on Njord A.
"I never felt the situation was dramatic. We were first told to pack a bag, but this was countermanded by a message indicating that we should put on our survival suits and gather at the exterior muster station shortly after 10.00. It was good to see that the emergency response organisation worked as intended. We were given food and drink on board Njord A. I was on the last helicopter to shore, where we were also very well looked after. We came onshore without anything at all, but they distributed shoes, jackets and cash. They took care of accommodations and air travel for those who needed it," says Moen.
Six helicopters were available in the area, and three of them were used to evacuate 336 people to Njord A nearby. They were transported on to Kristiansund during the course of the day.
"There was no imminent danger after we had stabilised the rig, but the visual inspection revealed a scope of damage that indicated evacuation. We then carried out a safe, secure and efficient evacuation. The margins are small in these types of situations, which is why we always want to evacuate non-essential personnel. While several people have described the incident and the evacuation as undramatic, we cannot rule out that others may have had a different perception," says Bente Aleksandersen, emergency response manager and vice president Operations south on the Norwegian shelf in DPN Norway.
Why weren’t people on board Floatel Superior mustered earlier?"
"We note that questions have been raised about some of the decisions made while the incident unfolded. We will leave it up to the investigation to answer this," says Aleksandersen.
Statoil has initiated an investigation, in part to map the details of the work that was done to safeguard personnel and to handle the situation.
A total of 38 people remained on board to bring the rig to land. It is now headed for Kristiansund under its own steam, and is expected to arrive at Bremnesfjord during the course of the day.
There, further preparations will be carried out before it continues on to Vestbase in Kristiansund, where it is expected to arrive on Saturday.
Floatel Superior was approved, that is to say, it received a so-called "Acknowledgement of Compliance" from the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway on 22 December 2010, and started on a contract with Statoil on 1 May 2011.
"Prior to this, we carried out a number of activities to prepare for operations, including implementing several inspections of the platform and a thorough review of the documentation," says Aleksandersen.
Statoil will ensure that the shipping company, Floatel International, completes the repair work safely and efficiently.
Source: OffshoreEnergyToday

••• 08.11.12 EMGS vessel schedule.
EMGS's vessel BOA Galatea is currently in the final stages of completing data acquisition under its current one-year contract in Brazil. The company expects that the project will be completed within the next 1 - 2 weeks.
EMGS anticipates that the salt mapping proof of concept survey the vessel BOA Thalassa is conducting in the Gulf of Mexico in collaboration with WesternGeco will be completed in the first week of December 2012.
The vessel Atlantic Guardian is currently acquiring 3D EM data under a fully pre-funded multi-client project in the Norwegian Sea. Project completion is expected in the second half of November.
The vessel EM Leader will for the remainder of the fourth quarter 2012 acquire 3D EM data under a USD 20 million contract in Brunei.
As previously communicated, EMGS's order book has declined over the last few quarters as a consequence of the completion of large multi-year contracts. The company expects that near-term operational activity will be based on short contracts and limited backlog visibility; however, EMGS expects to maintain healthy utilization levels going forward. On-going discussions with existing and new clients indicate that the company's backlog visibility will improve considerably from the second quarter of 2013.
Source: EMGS

••• 08.11.12 Australian research ship Aurora Australis finally freed from ice.
After being stuck in ice for two weeks Australian research and supply ship Aurora Australis has begun moving.
The ship has been doing ice research work near Casey Station.
Helicopters have been deployed to help the ship find a break in the ice and move into open waters.
Robb Clifton, from the Australian Antarctic Division, says the ship has moved about 30 nautical miles in the past 24 hours.
"It's now in a series of open water leads through the ice," he said.
"Still has a fair way to go to get out of the ice completely, however it is making progress to the north and north-west throughout the day."
Source: Maritime-connector

••• 08.11.12 Geospace Technologies announces receipt of Letter of Award from Statoil for seabed seismic system.
Geospace Technologies Corp has received and signed a Letter of Award from Statoil awarding Geospace Engineering Resources International the contract to provide 660 kms of seabed seismic reservoir monitoring systems for the Snorre and Grane fields on the Norwegian continental shelf. The company estimates the final contract value to be approx. $160 million.
Source: Geospace Technologies

••• 08.11.12 Update: Floatel Superior stable again and will be towed to land, Statoil says.
After the PSA Norway today informed of Floatel Superior stability incident which occurred this morning in the Norwegian Sea, Statoil has provided a more detailed insight into the matter.
The oil company announced on its website that, after a hole was discovered in the rig’s ballast tank, causing the rig to tilt 3-4 degrees, the crew of 374 have mustered at the lifeboat stations and evacuation by helicopter is taking place.
"The rig’s stability is now re-established" Statoil said and added that Floatel Superior would be towed to land in due course.
Statoil has set up a personnel reception centre in Kristiansund. Six helicopters and an emergency response vessel have been deployed in order to assist the rig. In addition, an anchor handling vessel will be dispatched to inspect the damage.
Owned by the Swedish company Floatel, the Floatel Superior is a dynamically-positioned (DP-3) semi-submersible facility with a living quarters module aft and an open work deck forward. The flotel can accommodate 440 people in single cabins when operating on the Norwegian shelf.
The PSA Norway in July 2012 granted consent to Statoil to use the flotel at Njord Field in the Norwegian Sea.
Source: Upstream

••• 08.11.12 Dolphin Geophysical AS signs agreement with Anadarko South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Dolphin Geophysical AS has signed an agreement with Anadarko South Africa (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, for the acquisition of approximately 6250 kms, 2D survey offshore South Africa, where Anadarko is partnered with PetroSA. The survey will be acquired by Artemis Atlantic commencing in December 2012.
VP Marketing & Sales Phil Suter, commented "This is our second contract for work in South Africa and marks another award from a major oil company, demonstrating Dolphin’s strengthening presence in the seismic market."
Source: Dolphin Geophysical

••• 07.11.12 Security staff remain on crippled rig.
Only security staff are now left on board the Norwegian floatel Floatel Superior after a ruptured ballast tank was discovered causing a list on board the unit from which all non essential personnel were evacuated earlier today.
Three helicopters were used to shuttle 326 personnel off the damaged rig and relocated to the Njord A production platform which is stationed next to the floatel, operator Statoil reported.
Only 48 people remain on board the Superior, which is being prepared to be moved out of the safety zone around Njord A.
Statoil disclosed that damage to a ballast tank was discovered in the early hours of this morning. A hole was found in the tank and water seeped in, causing the rig a three to four degree list. Floatel Superior was disconnected from Njord A at the time and six helicopters and an emergency vessel were mobilised to help with the emergency.
Statoil's emergency response procedure was initiated and personnel have since been returned onshore to Kristiansund. Also an anchor handling vessel is being sent to inspect the damage to the unit and it will be towed to shore later.

••• 07.11.12 CGGVeritas has conducted first BroadSeis Surveys Offshore China.
CGGVeritas has successfully conducted the first 3D BroadSeisTM marine surveys to be recorded offshore China. The deepwater surveys of two areas offshore Shenzhen in the east of the South China Sea were awarded to CGGVeritas by Chinese seismic services company, COSL (China Oilfield Services Limited), on behalf of its parent company, the Chinese national oil company, CNOOC. Data processing is already underway in the CGGVeritas Singapore center and is expected to be delivered by the end of 2012.
The BroadSeis surveys were contracted to CGGVeritas under a framework agreement for technical collaboration between CGGVeritas and COSL with respect to BroadSeis, the CGGVeritas proprietary marine broadband solution. CNOOC specifically identified BroadSeis for the project in order to overcome the challenge of complex imaging of both shallow and deep targets in the area.
The Viking II vessel, operating with eight x 8,100 m Sercel Sentinel streamers equipped with Sercel Nautilus® streamer control devices, acquired the approximately 1,000 sq km full-fold data over the two survey areas which included the heavily congested HuiZhou production area. The surveys were acquired a full ten days ahead of schedule by minimizing the impact of seasonal weather patterns through highly accurate typhoon prediction and managing uptime through efficient operations. COSL and CNOOC congratulated the crew on the successful completion of a high-quality dataset despite significant operational challenges and without compromising safety.
Source: CGGVeritas

••• 07.11.12 Gas shows at Sterling’s Ioana prospect Offshore Romania.
Sterling Resources Ltd. announces the results of the exploration well on the Ioana prospect in Block 15 Midia in the Romanian Black Sea.
The well was drilled to a total depth of 1,950 metres measured depth ("MD"), 1,513 metres true vertical depth subsea ("TVDSS"). Gas shows from drilling mud gas measurements were experienced from a depth of 500 MD down to total depth of 1,950 metres MD.
The primary objective identified by 2D seismic was encountered as prognosed with gas shows from drilling mud gas measurements over a 70 metre interval between 1,186-1,422 metres TVDSS. Analysis of the open-hole logs across this interval indicate that the formation comprises of thin-bedded sands within lower permeability siltstone and gas saturations similar to the siltstones present within the gas leg of the Doina and Ana fields.
Shallower sands of 55 metres thickness between 831-910 metres TVDSS with gas shows from drilling mud gas measurements were identified prior to setting intermediate casing. Only gamma ray and resistivity data from Logging-While-Drilling ("LWD") tools are available across this shallow zone, but cased-hole logs have been run to further evaluate these intervals and log interpretation of the shallower sandstone should be completed over the next few weeks.
The Ioana-1 well is situated on the western edge of a very large areal structure of some 150 square kilometres. The well location was selected at the deepest water depth location possible in which the only available jack-up drilling unit, the Grup Servicii Petroliere SA rig GSP Jupiter, could safely operate. The Ioana-1 location was defined by 2D seismic data, which has proved successful for the Ana and Doina discovery and appraisal wells, but the complexity of the formations encountered in the Ioana-1 well now suggest that 3D seismic might be needed for reservoir thickness predictions and further drilling on this structure.
The drilling of the Ioana-1 well is now complete and abandonment operations are being conducted. Following these operations the rig will be moved to the second exploration well location, Eugenia-1, some 70 kilometres to the north. This well will be the first to be drilled in the oil prone Pelican Block and is estimated to take approximately 30 days to complete.
Midia Resources SRL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sterling Resources Ltd. (65 percent working interest), is the operator of the Midia and Pelican Blocks in offshore Romania, with partners Petro Ventures Europe BV (20 percent) and Gas Plus International BV (15 percent).
Source: OffshoreEnergyToday

••• 06.11.12 SpiceRack: CGGVeritas and Saudi Aramco enter into major R&D collaboration to develop new solution for Seabed Seismic Acquisition.
Five months after CGGVeritas and Saudi Aramco signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for collaborative research and the development of geophysical acquisition, processing, analysis and interpretation technologies, the two companies have entered into a collaboration to conduct a major joint R&D project, known as SpiceRackTM, intended to herald a new innovative solution for seabed seismic acquisition.
Under the terms of the SpiceRack project, CGGVeritas and Saudi Aramco will work in close partnership to develop, manufacture and commercialize an innovative robotized solution for seabed seismic acquisition. Based on the deployment of self-propelled recording nodes, this innovative solution is expected to lead to a step-change in the efficient delivery of reservoir quality seismic data.
Both companies will draw on their extensive seismic acquisition experience and allocate resources to the SpiceRack project. CGGVeritas will strengthen already close ties with the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. CGGVeritas will also establish a Center of Excellence for Automation in Geophysical Acquisition within the new technology center to be jointly opened in the Dhahran Techno Valley with ARGAS, its Saudi joint venture with TAQA.
Source: CGGVeritas

••• 06.11.12 Spanish ferries switch to LNG to reduce fuel costs.
Spanish ferry operator Balearia is to convert some of its vessels to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of diesel as a way to reduce its fuel-related operating costs, according to local press reports.
"This investment in technology will contribute very positively to the company because the costs of maintaining the ship and the price differential with diesel are much lower," said Fleet manager Guillermo Alomar.
Balearia said the move was also in response to the shipping company's environmental commitment, saying natural gas usage would reduce its CO2 emissions by 25% and eliminate or reduce other emissions harmful to health.
The company plans to modify four of its nine high-speed vessels over a five year period, including Avemar Dos, the Jaume II, and Jaume III.
On Tuesday the Council of the European Union said it is backing the adoption of new marine fuel standards that will mean by 2020 there will be a 0.50% limit on the sulfur content of marine fuels used in EU waters by all vessels, passenger ships or otherwise.
Source: Maritime-connector

••• 05.11.12 Norwegian Kongsberg unveils advanced operations monitoring solution for Wide and Multi Azimuth Seismic Surveys.
Typical scenario in a seismic survey shows "no go zone" in red and work areas are defined in blue for the work and chase boats. The areas are defined in real-time with SIMOPS and all vessels in the operation receive this information at the same time.
Kongsberg is introducing a new concept designed to enhance safety and efficiency for multi vessel seismic surveys at SEG Las Vegas 2012 (Booth #2106). By utilizing the SIMOPS technology developed for complex Marine Operations involving offshore oil and gas platforms and vessels, SIMOPS for SeismicTM is a great tool and aid in planning, monitoring and managing complex seismic operations such as wide or multi azimuth surveys. The integral, highly reliable wireless broadband network enables exchange of live HD video and provides critical information between the different vessels.
SIMOPS gives a clear and consistent operational overview on-board the vessels involved and also integrates with AIS (Automatic Identification System) to include third party vessels in the operational overview. SIMOPS exchanges data between the participating vessels in a seismic operation (seismic vessels, gun boat, workboat, chase boat). As an example – a stabilized camera on a work boat can provide live pictures on-board the mother vessel by utilizing the SIMOPS integral wireless "highway".
Further, the optimised user interface and display areas have overlays that in addition to navigation charts, objects and vessels can display updated ice charts and specialised information such as seabed maps relevant to the survey area.
The data is managed through a SIMOPS interface on-board the master vessel and any other participating SIMOPS enabled vessel will instantly share the same information. SIMOPS also has provision for the information to be monitored at other locations for instance at shore.
"The Kongsberg SIMOPS concept has been adapted to provide real-time monitoring of all assets during multi-vessel seismic survey operations," comments Gard Ueland, President, Kongsberg Seatex. "The system enables significant efficiency improvements by ensuring that all vessels have a live, full picture of the entire operation. With additional features such as a highly reliable radio link, remote video and updated ice charts we think the users will appreciate SIMOPS as a valuable tool when managing increasingly more complex seismic survey operations."
Source: Kongsberg

••• 05.11.12 Baker Hughes Incorporated and CGGVeritas announced a collaborative relationship to improve shale reservoir exploration.
Using reservoir models that integrate log-derived, near-wellbore geomechanical and petrophysical properties from Baker Hughes with calibrated seismic data from CGGVeritas, operators can optimize well placement and completion design earlier in the asset lifecycle for more efficient well construction and more productive wells.
Baker Hughes brings a broad portfolio of oilfield expertise and services to the collaborative relationship, most notably its reservoir and production engineering team and its Center of Reservoir Excellence (CORE) team focused on unconventional resources. The company’s proprietary geomechanical models and JewelSuite™ reservoir modeling software use data from Baker Hughes logging and subsurface imaging tools to deliver decision support capabilities.
CGGVeritas brings to the relationship a global market-leading position in seismic data acquisition and geosciences, including differentiating technologies for shale reservoirs characterization. These technologies include Hampson-Russell software products and, with the acquisition of Fugro’s Geoscience division, will soon include Jason technologies for high-end reservoir characterization and Robertson expertise in exploration and geology. This complete portfolio enables optimization of project design, a compression of project timelines and offers a comprehensive product for final interpretation of key reservoir attributes.
While the long-range goal of the collaboration is to help operators optimize full-field development projects, the initial phase focuses on integrating near-wellbore log data with reservoir characteristics away from the well.
Source: CGGVeritas

••• 02.11.12 Magellan inks Offshore Australia seismic deal.
Magellan Petroleum Corporation announced that it has executed a contract with Seabird Exploration FZ-LLC for the seismic recording vessel Voyager Explorer to undertake a 75 square mile 3-D and an 84 square mile 2-D seismic survey within Magellan’s NT/P82 Exploration Permit, offshore Australia.
The seismic survey is expected to commence during the second week of December 2012 and to take approximately two weeks to complete. Magellan plans to process and analyze the seismic data over the following three months to assess the presence and recoverability of hydrocarbons in NT/P82.
NT/P82 is an exploration license located in the Bonaparte Basin, 160 miles northwest of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, in which Magellan owns a 100% interest. The water depths over the license are relatively shallow, ranging from 55 to 400 feet. Under the terms of the license and pending the results of the seismic survey, Magellan is required to drill a well by May 2015. The Company expects to incur a total of approximately $4.5 million on shooting, processing, and analyzing the seismic survey data.
"This is an important milestone in Magellan’s strategy to prove up the value of its assets. Acquiring 3-D seismic for this block will give us a much better understanding of the nature and size of the potential hydrocarbon resources and will allow us to seek value from this asset. Magellan expects to provide further information related to the results of this seismic survey and its plans for the future development of this license by the end of April 2013," commented Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Magellan.
Source: Magellan

••• 02.11.12 WGP Survey completes Barents Sea P-Cable High Resolution 3D survey for Spring Energy Norway AS.
Six high resolution 3D data sets were acquired over shallow target anomalies in the Barents Sea this summer, totalling 134 km2. The high resolution and quality of the data far surpassed that of industry 3D data acquired in the same area.
WGP chartered and converted the survey vessel Atlantic Wind for this project, with the mobilisation and demobilisation being affected in Stavanger and Tromso.
Per-Gustav Granholm, Director Exploration of Spring Energy commented: "Spring Energy has acquired several high resolution datasets in the Barents Sea, using the P-Cable technology, targeting shallow prospectivity. The program was carried out to address resolution in the shallow prospects and presence of possible single or double flatspots. The new data gives a valuable contribution to the prospect evaluation in the area".
Mark Burnett, CEO of WGP Exploration Ltd commented: "The success of the survey was as a result of the effort and professionalism of offshore personnel and onshore support teams, coupled with the dedication of the partners involved. The data from which not only has been able to prove the concept for the equipment, but hopefully act as a catalyst to new opportunities".
Frode N. Eriksen, Manager Fjorgyn commented: "This survey again shows that the P-Cable system can be used in an efficient and intelligent way. The onboard processing combined with fast deployment and recovery enabled the client to adjust their program for best target coverage during the survey. This is a prime example of the importance of direct contact between the contractor and end user".
Partners included: Geometrics Inc. (manufacturers of the P-Cable technology), DECO Geophysical (developers of the seismic data processing software) and Atlantic Marine & Aviation Ltd (owners of the Atlantic Wind).
Source: WGP

••• 01.11.12 Bourbon workers released from captivity (Nigeria).
France-based owner of offshore support vessels, Bourbon, has confirmed that the 7 crew members, kidnapped from the Bourbon Liberty 249 vessel in Nigeria, on October 15, 2012 were released today.
The company informed that 7 crew members, 6 Russians and 1 Estonian, all appear to be in good health.
"For reasons of confidentiality and in order to preserve the privacy of the families, no information will be given about the demands, the context, the released crewmembers and their families," Bourbon said in a press release, adding that it would not make any further comments on the matter.
Source: OffshoreEnergyToday

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