Offshore SeisNews ©

••• 25.10.06  ElectroMagnetic GeoServices (emgs) has won a contract from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) to carry out electromagnetic surveys in Troms II in Lofoten offshore Norway.
“The objective of the surveys is to add to our knowledge on a complex geological area. The results will form a useful basis for the further mapping of the area. We expect the EMGS project to be completed by 1 December 2006,” a spokesman for the NPD said. The survey will be carreied out between 15 october and 15 november 2006 by emgs vessel Relume.
Electromagnetic surveys are conducted by several receivers being dropped along a line on the ocean floor at approximately one kilometre intervals. A low-frequency electromagnetic source is then towed over the receivers. The receivers record signals from the source several kilometres down into the subsurface. The interpretation of the signals will be used in the further evaluation of the petroleum potential in the area.
Source: ElectroMagnetic GeoServices (emgs)

••• 20.10.06  Emgs orders first custom-built Seabed Logging vessel.
Electromagnetic Geoservices (emgs) announced today that it has signed a contract for its first custom-built vessel to carry out the company’s proprietary Seabed Logging operations for oil and gas exploration companies worldwide.
The vessel - the fifth to join the emgs fleet - has been ordered from the Norwegian Taubatkompaniet/BOA group and will be built at the Fosen Mekaniske Verksteder (FMV) shipyard, north of Trondheim, for delivery in March 2008.
emgs also has the option to build a second vessel at the same yard. In September, the company announced that it was in the process of deploying its fourth vessel, the newly converted Relume, for service initially in the North, Norwegian and Barents Seas.
The new emgs vessel will be designed to meet the most stringent international HSE standards and will also incorporate impressive facilities for the 50 or more crew on board. Features will include high-comfort cabins, a movie theatre, conference facilities, hospital ward, gym, workstations with broadband connection and a helicopter pad.
"Equipped with state-of-the-art survey instrumentation, onboard processing facilities and much improved equipment handling, the vessel will be an efficient and versatile platform for the deployment of our technology in the years ahead", - Erik Skogen, vice president of operations, explained. "We believe our clients will appreciate the continuity and level of expertise that we can offer with our own trained full time staff."
Taubatkompaniet/BOA will manage the construction and retain ownership of the vessel which will be leased to emgs.
Source: Electromagnetic Geoservices (emgs)

••• 19.10.06  Gazprom Has New Information on Stockman Deposit.
"Sources at the monopoly say that new data show the geological risks to be low. The recoverable reserves at the deposit are significantly larger than had been thought... The drilling of confirmation well No. 7 at the deposit, begun in June, had been completed and results were "unexpectedly positive"...
A source close to the All-Russia Natural Gas and Gas Technology Research Institute explained that the reserves at Stockman had grown from 3.4 trillion cubic meters at the beginning of the year to "a minimum of 4 trillion cubic meters"...
Read more - "Kommersant"

••• 19.10.06  SBX New shallow water 2D/3D vessel.
Marine seismic specialist SeaBird Exploration has agreed to buy a newbuild anchor handling and tug supply boat for conversion into a shallow water seismic acquisition vessel.
SeaBird is paying US $12.9 m to acquire the newbuild M/V Tasneem 2 from Sykariat Borcos and which is to renamed Raven Explorer and converted – at an estimated cost of $23.1 m - for shallow-water 2D and 3D acquisition programmes.
SeaBird, which already operates five seismic boats and has two undergoing conversion, says it hopes to have the new seismic ship ready for operation in the second quarter 2007 at a total cost including purchase and conversion of $36 m.
Source: SeaBird

••• 18.10.06  Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA (RXT) has signed an alliance agreement with the Bermudan Oil and Gas E&P company, Enovation Resources Limited.
The Alliance Agreement calls for RXT to provide multi-component seismic acquisition services to Enovation to a total minimum value of US$11m over an initial 27 month period.
The first project under the agreement started October 5, 2006.
Source: RXT

••• 17.10.06  Russia's Sakhalin Energy Project Safe for Now.
Russia is not considering freezing the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project, Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of Russia's ecological monitoring agency said over the weekend.
"The question of freezing the project is not being posed at the moment. Russia will respect and fulfil its international obligations, in particular with respect to foreign companies," he said in comments broadcast on Russia's Channel 1 television station.
"The final evaluation of ecological damage will not be made before the end of the summer 2007," Mitvol said In mid-September Russia's natural resources ministry moved to revoke environmental authorization for the US $20 billion project carried out by Royal Dutch Shell and Japanese firms Mitsui and Co and Mitsubishi Corp, prompting international protest.
Mitvol, was previously quoted during a visit to Sakhalin island in late September as saying "the project must be stopped."
Executives from Sakhalin Energy, in which Shell holds 55 percent and Mitsui and Mitsubishi own the rest, have said that any closure would cause massive financial losses and dent Russia's reputation as an energy supplier.
The Sakhalin 2 project includes the construction of an 800-kilometer gas pipeline that runs the length of the island, a liquefied natural gas plant, two oil platforms and an oil terminal.
Sakhalin-2 is committed to delivering its first shipments of liquefied natural gas to Japan in 2008.
Source: Rigzone

••• 16.10.06  Opening of the Langeled pipeline took place officially today with UK and Norwegian Prime Ministers Jens Stoltenberg and Tony Blair joining with Norsk Hydro head Eivind Reiten in London for the inauguration ceremony which was linked live to the pipeline landing point at Easington in east Yorkshire.
Langeled, at 1,200 km (750 miles long) which cost GBP 1.7 Bn to develop will provide 20% of UK gas needs in future, and has been developed by Norsk Hydro with Centrica, Statoil, Shell and ConocoPhillips.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 15.10.06  Primeline Completes 3D Seismic Survey. Primeline Energy Holdings has completed its 2006 3D seismic survey of Block 25/34 in the East China Sea.
Following the completion of the Phase One survey in July 2006, and commencement of Phase Two survey in August 2006, Geo-COSL, the Contractor appointed by Primeline, has completed the survey of 549 sq km over the prospective area near the Company's existing Lishui 36-1 discovery. The vessel Binhai 512
has been de-mobilized and the data is being transferred to the processing center.
The Phase Two data will be merged with the Phase One data to provide the Company with comprehensive 3D seismic information on the prospects and leads in the area immediately surrounding the gas discovery Lishui 36-1. Initial processing outputs are expected at end of November and will allow the interpretation to start. This 3D survey will provide crucial information for the selection of the next well location(s).
Dr. Ming Wang, the Company's CEO commented on the survey: "The completion of the survey allows us to move on with processing and interpretation in a timely fashion. We have now acquired sufficient 3D seismic data over the Lishui Gas Play to plan an optimal drilling program to commercialize our gas discovery. With the removal of seismic schedule uncertainty, we can now proceed to finalize the arrangements with drilling contractor(s) and CNOOC to secure a rig for the planned drilling program in 2007."
Primeline owns a 75% interest in the Petroleum Contract for Block 25/34 in the East China Sea with China National Offshore Oil Corp. and is also the operator for the Block. The Company made the gas discovery, Lishui 36-1, within the Block through two wells which have flow rates of 9.9 and 12.6 mmcfd of natural gas, respectively. The Block encompasses 7,006 sq km and contains many other potential prospects in addition to the Lishui gas play.
Source: Primeline Energy Holdings

••• 14.10.06  The UK offshore industry has reached a milestone with the spudding of the 10,000th well in the seabed around the British Isles.
The well, 206/08-14Z drilled by BP on behalf of the Clair owners – BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Shell and Amerada Hess kicked off on 7 October and is a sidetrack of the Clair field appraisal well 206/08-14, located to the west of Shetland.
The landmark well was confirmed by CDA Ltd, the oil and gas data management services company and UKOOA subsidiary, which monitors wells drilled on the UKcontinental shelf as part of the comprehensive catalogue of information it provides for the industry.
Malcolm Webb, UKOOA chief executive, said: “The sum of the expertise, endeavour and sheer courage represented in these 10,000 wells is something that everyone in the UK can be proud of but none more so than all the men and women who have worked in our industry over these past 40 years. This 10,000th well is a tremendous tribute to them – and I look forward to the next 10,000.”
Since the first North Seawell was drilled in 1964, 35 billion barrels of oil and gas have been recovered from reservoirs deep below the seabed in the one of the most hostile marine environments to be found in the world.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 13.10.06  All Hostages Freed Two Days After Attack on Nigerian Flow Station.
Armed militants have freed all remaining hostages taken earlier this week after a Nigerian oil station was raided, a spokeswoman for Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa on Thursday.
Around 60 oil workers were taken hostage on Tuesday with most released the next day after negotiations with the state government. The last few were released late Wednesday night.
"All the hostages were freed," Shell spokeswoman Eurwen Thomas said.
According to media reports, no ransom was paid to free the hostages, who work at a Shell subsidiary in Bayelsa state, in the country's oil-rich Niger Delta.
The attack was said to be a result of a disagreement between the local community and the Shell subsidiary, a Nigerian paper reported. The oil giant had signed a deal to provide services to the locals, which they say was not fulfilled but which Shell said it had.
"We work closely with the communities to try to reach reconciliation," Thomas said.
Source: Rigzone

••• 13.10.06  Snohvit pleases local population.
More people want to move into to Norway’s northern town of Hammerfest now that the Snohvit project is nearing completing according to a local population survey carried out by project developer Statoil.
Hammerfest’s oil supply industry has been strengthened with local contractors winning NOK 2.2 million (US $330 m) worth of work from the project since it started in 2002 and northern Norway as a whole has earned NOK 3.1 ($461 million) from the project.
More people want to move into the area and local house prices have rocketed to levels comparable with Norway’s major cities, a project impact study has found.
The study, compiled by Statoil’s Snohivit impact research project, backed by the local authority, Finnmark county council, and Hammerfest local authority, also found more people young people want to stay in the area, helping to stabilise the population and ensure future growth.
Prior to the project’s start, people in the 20-30 age group were noted for wanting to leave the area.
“These results are positive in terms of both business life and population,” said Bjorn Fossan, Statoil’s government relations contact for the Tromso region within the company’s E&P Norway division.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 12.10.06  Shell: - 35 workers released.
35 of the 43 workers who were taken hostage during an attack on a Shell driven pumping station in the Niger delta, were released on Thursday.
Armed villagers from the Oporoma community in the Bayelsea state forced Shell to shut down the Nun River platform. The platform is pumping 12.000 barrels per day of crude.
- So far we have only eight people still left in the custody of the militants, police officer Hafiz Ringim told Reuters. State government officials are still negotiating with the attackers to free the remaining hostages, a Shell spokesperson said. It seems to be a feud over community benefits that caused this attack.
Source: Oilinfo

••• 12.10.06  Wavefield Inseis announced that M/V Geowave Commander, the first of its fleet of large capacity 3D vessels, has commenced its first 3D survey. The survey is being conducted offshore Norway , in the Barents Sea , for Statoil and is the first project for this newly converted vessel.
Towing 8 streamers, each 4050m long, and dual airgun sources, the vessel went into production on the 30 th September after only 4 days of deployment and testing once on site. Since then it has been in steady production with over 1000 line Km shot to date.
“This is a great achievement with the vessel rapidly achieving steady production following delivery,” said Peter Hooper, Wavefield Inseis VP Operations. “This is a direct reflection of the dedication and hard work of our rigging team and offshore crews since the company start-up. We are very proud to be in efficient production for our client Statoil.”
Source: Wavefield Inseis

••• 11.10.06  43 Shell workers Tuesday were attacked by young armed militants.
The violence against oil companies in Nigeria seems to escalate to another level, as 43 Shell workers Tuesday were attacked by young armed militants, and kidnapped at a pumping station in the Niger Delta.
Armed Nigerians attacked a pumping station and 43 Shell workers were taken hostage, a Shell spokesman said to DPA. At first Shell believed as many as 60 persons were kidnapped, but new information later on proved that 17 workers had left the area just before the attack. All the workers are held in a safety area at the pumping station, Shell reports.
No details are given about who the captured workers are, but no one are killed or hurt. Negotiations has commenced between the attackers and people from the government.
Source: Oilinfo

••• 11.10.06  No comment for now on Shtokman says Total.
French oil major Total was refusing to discuss the implications of the Gazprom announcement to go it alone over the Barents Sea Shtokman development today.
A spokeswoman for the Paris-headquartered oil and gas group told: “We have no comment to make for the moment. Maybe we will have something to say later.”
Total signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Gazprom in June 2005 for development of the Shtokman field in the Barents Sea.
That MoU covered studies for both upstream development and LNG production and marketing.
At that time, Total claimed it was a natural partner for Gazprom in Shtokman, “…With already well advanced technical studies and with an already strong experience in developing giant liquefied natural gas projects, as well as project financing.”
Total said the agreement also affirmed its strategy of investment in Russian oil and gas resources.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 10.10.06  Hydro awaits information from Gazprom on Shtokman.
The reported decision from Gazprom to be the sole developer of the Shtokman gas field has not been communicated to Hydro, and Hydro therefore could not comment on the implications of the reports on Monday.
A TV interview with Gazprom's President and CEO, Alexei Miller, followed by a news release on Gazprom's web pages, sparked inquiries from analysts and journalists Monday afternoon. Miller stated that no foreign companies would have an ownership stake in the project.
"Hydro has a lot to offer in terms of technology, competence and project execution. We have a long-term commitment to developing business opportunities in Russia," commented Hydro’s Chief Communication Officer, Cecilie Ditlev-Simonsen.
"Until we have received information from Gazprom, it is too early to say what the news reports may entail."
Source: Hydro

••• 10.10.06  Statoil Says Gazprom Announcement Unexpected.
Statoil says today's announcement by Gazprom was not expected. The company will now discuss the implications of the announcement with Gazprom. Statoil says it is confident that they are a good partner for Russia in realizing the Barents Sea potential. Statoil is still committed to a long-term presence in Russia and will continue to pursue business opportunities there.
Source: Statoil

••• 09.10.06  Gazprom Rejects Foreign Partners for Shtokman.
Russian natural gas giant OAO Gazprom will reject bids from all five foreign companies hoping to join in developing the massive Shtokman natural gas field, and will instead develop the field on its own, Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller said Monday, Russian newswires reported.
Separately, Miller said gas from Shtokman would go primarily to Europe by pipeline - instead of by tanker in the form of liquefied natural gas to the U.S., as had been originally proposed.
Miller said the gas will be used to feed the Nord Stream pipeline - the new name for the North European Gas Pipeline - which is being built from the Russian town of Vyborg across the Baltic Sea to Germany.
The offshore Shtokman field holds about 3.6 billion cubic meters of gas.
The reserves at Shtokman are enough to supply all U.S. gas needs for more than five years at current rates of consumption, according to a 2006 report from BP PLC (BP).
Total declined to comment immediately. Nobody was immediately available to comment at Norsk Hydro, Statoil, Chevron or ConocoPhillips.
"Gazprom had examined giving 49% of the Shtokman project to foreign companies," Miller said in a press release issued by Gazprom later Monday. "However, the foreign companies could not offer assets that compare to the volume and quality of Shtokman's reserves."
Miller also added, however, that some LNG was planned to be produced at the site.
Instead of giving foreign partners equity in the project, however, Miller said Gazprom would attract "authoritative international companies" to work as subcontractors in helping to develop the field.
"This decision is a further guarantee of the dependability of Russian gas deliveries to Europe for the long term, and it is proof that the European market has the highest importance to the company," Miller said.
Source: Rigzone/Dow Jones Newswires

••• 09.10.06  Gazprom will develop the vast Shtokman natural gas deposit off Russia's arctic shelf without foreign companies, Alexei Miller, the energy giant's CEO, told Russia Today TV Monday.
Read more - RIA Novosti

••• 09.10.06  The seismic company Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA has signed a letter of intent for a contract in the Caspian Sea. Estimated contract value is $30-35 million.
The letter of intent has been signed with Agip KCO for the acquisition of 4C seismic data on their Kashagan field offshore Kazakhstan. The Kashagan field is located in the northern part of the Caspian Sea, close to the city Atyrau. It is the largest oil field discovered over the last thirty years worldwide.
The field is operated by Agip KCO.
The survey will be acquired with RXT’s third crew. The crew will comprise three shallow draft vessels and acquisition is planned to commence as soon as ice conditions permit in Q2, 2007. It is RXT’s intention to keep this crew permanently in the Caspian region.
RXT is a marine geophysical company specialising in multi component seismic sea-floor acquisition.
Multi-component seismic solves several imaging challenges that cannot be resolved with towed streamer seismic, and targets improved oil recovery from existing fields. The technology also gives better data quality for exploration, and is also the solution where towed streamers are impractical due to high density of platforms and/ or shallow waters. The Company has offices in Oslo, London and Houston.
Agip KCO, a company fully owned by Eni, is currently undertaking, as the single Operator, exploration and appraisal operations in the Kazakhstani sector of the Caspian Sea on behalf of seven international companies and under the North Caspian Sea PSA. Consortium companies: Eni 18.52%; KazMunayGas 8.33%; ExxonMobil Kazakhstan Inc. 18.52%; Shell 18.52%; Total 18.52%; ConocoPhillips 9.26%; INPEX 8.33%.
Source: Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA

••• 08.10.06  Following the recent merger of Wavefield Geophysical and InSeis, the resulting company – Wavefield Inseis AS – has already received a letter of intent from Statoil ASA to carry out 3D marine seismic acquisitions during 2007.
This award is in addition to the 2006 season award from Statoil ASA which is due to commence shortly.
Due to commence on 1st May 2007, the surveys will deploy Wavefield Inseis’ Geowave Commander and Geowave Champion vessels for five months each, on a number of 3D acquisitions at locations to be confirmed. The surveys will utilise the most advanced technology available including onboard QC using Geotrace Technologies’ equipment and personnel.
Currently being converted in Norway, the Geowave Champion is expected to be fully operational by January 2007 and will become Wavefield Inseis’ second, large capacity 3D vessel. The first, the Geowave Commander, will commence operations in September this year.
Source: Wavefield Inseis AS

••• 08.10.06  Norway Increases Budget for Seismic Activity.
The Government's 2007 national budget proposal aims to strengthen the activities of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD). The increased funding will primarily be used for collecting seismic data and improved mapping of the Norwegian continental shelf.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's budget will be increased by approx. NOK 70 million, mainly in order to follow up the Storting White Paper on an integrated management plan concerning the marine environment of the Barents Sea and the sea areas off Lofoten (the Integrated Management Plan). According to the Management Plan, the NPD shall conduct geological mapping of the Nordland VII and Troms II areas. This includes collection of seismic data.
"The funding will allow us to plan and start the work with seismic surveys as presupposed by the Storting. To be able to complete the work, funding over a three-year period will be necessary," says Director General of the NPD, Gunnar Berge.
Earlier seismic mapping has indicated that there may be petroleum deposits of interest in these areas.
"Better data than is currently available is needed to improve knowledge of the resource potential in the area.
Geological mapping of unopened areas on the Norwegian shelf is one of the most important tasks of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate," says Berge.
He emphasizes that the aim of the data collection is to provide Norwegian authorities with improved knowledge of the northern areas.
The Government's budget proposal aims to increase the geological knowledge of the continental shelf as well as improving the quality of the data.
"We need more seismic data in areas with little coverage to close gaps in our knowledge of the resource base in the northern areas," says Berge.
Source: Rigzone/Norwegian Petroleum Directorate

••• 07.10.06  Falkland Oil and Gas to use Wavefield Inseis for new 2D seismic survey.
Falkland Oil and Gas Limited (FOGL) has signed a contract with Wavefield Inseis AS (Wavefield) to undertake a 10,000 km 2D seismic survey, with onboard data processing, over the company’s licences in the South and East Falkland Basins.
Representing the second aspect of its revised forward exploration programme, FOGL’s strategy will be to acquire CSEM data over many of the larger prospects and leads that have already been identified. Based on the results from the CSEM survey, Wavefield will acquire infill 2D seismic data over the most prospective targets in order to determine the best sites for exploration wells.
Depending on the results of the survey, and the weather conditions, FOGL will also have the option to acquire additional 2D seismic over the 10,000 km project area.
Due to commence in Q4 2006, with results announced early in 2007, the survey will deploy Wavefield’s Bergen Surveyor vessel. Upgraded in April 2006, the Bergen Surveyor is equipped with some of the latest seismic equipment available including solid Teledyne SDS-55 streamer and dual Bolt Annular Port Gun source arrays.
Source: Wavefield Inseis AS

••• 07.10.06  Geo Mariner Contract.
Islamabad/ British Virgin Islands/Dubai: SeaBird Exploration Limited has been awarded a Shallow water 3D Marine Seismic Survey in the Indus Delta from Oil & Gas Development Corporation Limited, Pakistan. The contract has an estimated duration of 70-90 days and an estimated value of USD 15.45 million. The survey will be carried out by M/V Geo Mariner upon completion of her current contract. Estimated start of the survey is early November 2006.
Source: SeaBird

••• 05.10.06  Fugro Geoteam has selected Norway’s Odim ASA to supply automated 3D seismic cable handling equipment under a NOK 45 million (US $6.9 m) deal declared today.
Odim signed the equipment deal during the US meeting of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists meeting taking place this week in New Orleans and is scheduled to deliver the cable-handling system during next year.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 05.10.06  Petroleum Geo-Services ASA announced today that it has signed a 50/50 % Joint Venture agreement with the Russian Company GeoHazar. PGS has cooperated with GeoHazar in the shallow waters of the Caspian Sea since 1997.
The Joint Venture agreement between PGS and Russian company GeoHazar was signed 04 October at the KIOGE conference in Almaty, Kasakhstan.
The new Russian registered Joint Venture Company will operate under the name PGS Khazar and target the marine seismic markets in the Caspian Sea, Azov Sea and Black Sea. PGS Khazar operates a total of 9 small purpose built vessels for Caspian operations, including accommodation and seismic vessels. The company has a strong backlog in 2006 and 2007, and is currently looking into expanding its capacity further. With the establishment of PGS Khazar, PGS offers a full range of acquisition, processing and reservoir services in the region through its offices in Almaty, Kazakhstan and Gelendsjik and Moscow in Russia.
Sverre Strandenes, president for EAME in Marine Geophysical in PGS, commented:
"This is an important strategic step in further building our foothold in the Caspian region. This region has recently seen increased interest from both national and international oil companies. Through this Russian joint venture PGS is well positioned for an upturn in this area."
Source: PGS

••• 05.10.06  Scan and PT Fairfield Ink JV for Seismic Work Offshore Indonesia.
Scan Geophysical ASA and PT Fairfield Indonesia, a subsidiary of Fairfield Industries, Inc., have signed a Consortium Agreement that will allow the two companies to conduct joint 2D and 3D marine seismic operations in Indonesia on a combination of proprietary projects and multi-client surveys.
Given the lack of seismic vessels available in this region, the companies expect a large volume of back logged work for both SCAN's 2D vessel, the Geo Searcher, and the company's 3D vessel, the SCAN Resolution.
Depending upon current survey planning and market timing, SCAN could have a vessel working on the first of the joint projects late this year.
SCAN Geophysical ASA was established in 2002 as a Norwegian seismic data acquisition company specializing in both marine streamer seismic and ocean bottom seismic. The company is currently operating one 2D and one 3D streamer vessel, and will launch three new state-of-the-art 3D vessels and one 2002-built 2D vessel during 2007.
The administration is located in Oslo, with representatives in Moscow, Houston, Singapore and Caracas. PT Fairfield Indonesia was established in February 2005 and provides service to the S.E. Asia oil and gas community. The company currently operates the largest capacity seismic data processing facility in Indonesia.
Source: Scan Geophysical ASA

••• 04.10.06  CGG Geo Challenger due to complete major 4D survey with Sercel Sentinel solid streamers.
CGG announced today that its new flagship vessel, the Geo Challenger, is set to successfully complete a 4D seismic survey for a major North Sea client offshore Norway, her first major acquisition project since her launch in June.
The Geo Challenger is shooting the repeat survey with twelve 5,100-m Sercel Sentinel solid streamers with a 50 m separation whereas an eight 3,600-meter streamer configuration had been deployed for the base survey. The new solid streamers have demonstrated good stability in rough waters, allowing better control over the vessel’s complex configuration due to the close streamer spacing, and offered the advantage of reduced tow-related noise, enabling the vessel to continue operating in marginal weather conditions.
“The Geo Challenger has more than met our expectations, achieving excellent productivity and very high repeatability on her first major deployment. As the first seismic vessel in the world to operate with this new solid streamer technology, she has successfully demonstrated her advanced acquisition capabilities on a particularly challenging survey with complex parameters,” said Christophe Pettenati-Auziere, President of Geophysical Services.
The Geo Challenger is scheduled to sail to India in October where she will join other CGG vessels contracted to conduct a deepwater seismic program for ONGC off the Eastern coast.
Source: CGG

••• 03.10.06  The conversion of the "Geo Atlantic" into a multi streamer state-of-the-art seismic vessel, has been further delayed.
After completing the major part of the conversion at Drammen Skipsreparasjon in Fredrikstad, the final part of the conversion is now taking place at Gotaverket in Gothenburg, and is expected to be completed mid-October. Total investment relating to the conversion is estimated to be about NOK 200 million.
Further, Arrow Seismic has a dispute with the former conversion yard relating to the performance of the conversion.
"Geo Atlantic" will after the conversion is completed be employed on the previously announced charter agreement with Fugro Geoteam AS for a fixed period of 7 years with 2 x 2 years options for further use.
Source: Arrow Seismic

••• 01.10.06  CGG buys Scottish seismic specialist.
Sercel, one of CGG’s subsidiaries, has bought out a wireless seismic data transmission company formed 10 years ago in Scotland.
Vibtech, which sells its patented wireless data seismic recording called Unite has been bought out for an undisclosed sum by Sercel.
Vibtech, formed in 1996, will continue as a separate legal entity selling the Unite system for either stand-alone or real time data recording, while accessing Sercel’s seismic data acquisition expertise.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 28.09.06  Petroleum Geo-Services ASA announced today that it has decided to exercise the option with Aker Yards, Langsten to build an additional new third generation Ramform vessel, "Ramform 8".
This new and improved Ramform class seismic vessel is a sister vessel of the previously announced "Ramform 7", which is currently being built at the same yard. "Ramform 8" has an agreed cost from the yard including installation, but excluding the cost of seismic equipment, of NOK 578 million (approximately $88.0 million). The vessel is scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2009.
The third generation Ramform is designed with the objective to further extend the PGS lead in 3D seismic acquisition productivity and efficiency. The design builds on the proven industry leading capabilities of the current Ramform fleet, while introducing several improvements. Compared to the existing Ramform vessels, the vessel is approximately 16 meters longer, giving higher fuel capacity and transit speed. A substantial power upgrade will significantly increase speed while surveying. The vessel will be capable of towing up to 22 streamers. A range of technology improvements will be implemented to maintain or improve efficiency of handling, deployment, retrieval and maintenance of the in sea equipment.
PGS President and CEO, Svein Rennemo commented the following:
"The strategic rationale for this investment is to further enhance PGS' productivity leadership in towed streamer acquisition, in general, and in advanced towed streamer acquisition, in particular. We expect demand for marine seismic services to be very strong over the next years. Although significant additional capacity will come into the industry we believe that demand fundamentals longer term will support advanced high productivity capacity like the new generation Ramforms."
Source: PGS

••• 25.09.06  Eidesvik Offshore has entered into a long-term contract with Veritas DGC Inc’s Viking Maritime subsidiary for the charter of another large seismic vessel, the MPSV Viking Poseidon.
The new charter agreement has an initial fixed term of 8 years commencing in the summer of 2007, with two five-year options to renew.
The vessel is currently in use in the North Sea as a platform supply vessel and will be converted to service as a large 3-D seismic vessel prior to delivery to Viking Maritime in the summer of 2007.
The PSV Stril Odin will replace Viking Poseidon in Eidesvik Offshore’s current contract with Statoil.
"This new contract is again a confirmation of Eidesvik Offshore's ability to achieve long- term business", saids CEO Jan Fredrik Meling in Eidesvik Offshore.
"Our strategy is to provide tailormade solutions to enhance sustainable long-lasting business relations with our customers. With this contract, Eidesvik Offshore will have five large modern seismic vessels on long-term time charters with Veritas.”
A contract for upgrade of the vessel is expected to be entered into shortly.
Viking Poseidon is expected to be delivered to Viking Maritime ready for operation in the summer of 2007.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 10.09.06  Following the recent merger of Wavefield Geophysical and InSeis, the resulting company - Wavefield Inseis AS - has already received a letter of intent from Statoil ASA to carry out 3D marine seismic acquisitions during 2007. This award is in addition to the 2006 season award from Statoil ASA which is due to commence shortly.
Due to commence on 1st May 2007, the surveys will deploy Wavefield Inseis' Geowave Commander and Geowave Champion vessels for five months each, on a number of 3D acquisitions at locations to be confirmed. The surveys will utilise the most advanced technology available including onboard QC using Geotrace Technologies' equipment and personnel.
Currently being converted in Norway, the Geowave Champion is expected to be fully operational by January 2007 and will become Wavefield Inseis' second, large capacity 3D vessel. The first, the Geowave Commander, will commence operations in September this year.
"We are delighted that Statoil has selected Wavefield Inseis for such a significant acquisition programme," commented Rick Donoghue, Wavefield Inseis' vice president sales and marketing. "This is an endorsement of our management team's reputation and we look forward to further strengthening this relationship."
Source: Wavefield Inseis AS

••• 08.09.06  Falkland Oil and Gas Limited (FOGL) has signed a contract with Wavefield Inseis AS (Wavefield) to undertake a 10,000 km 2D seismic survey, with onboard data processing, over the company's licences in the South and East Falkland Basins.
Representing the second aspect of its revised forward exploration programme, FOGL's strategy will be to acquire CSEM data over many of the larger prospects and leads that have already been identified. Based on the results from the CSEM survey, Wavefield will acquire infill 2D seismic data over the most prospective targets in order to determine the best sites for exploration wells.
Depending on the results of the survey, and the weather conditions, FOGL will also have the option to acquire additional 2D seismic over the 10,000 km project area.
Due to commence in Q4 2006, with results announced early in 2007, the survey will deploy Wavefield's Bergen Surveyor vessel. Upgraded in April 2006, the Bergen Surveyor is equipped with some of the latest seismic equipment available including solid Teledyne SDS-55 streamer and dual Bolt Annular Port Gun source arrays.
Source: Wavefield Inseis AS

••• 05.09.06  CGG and VERITAS DGC INC. enter into a definitive merger agreement: creating a leading global geophysical services and equipment company.
The combination of CGG and Veritas will create a strong global pure play seismic company, offering a broad range of seismic services, and geophysical equipment, through Sercel, to the industry across all markets.
The combined seismic services will operate the world’s leading seismic fleet with 20 vessels, including 14 high capacity 3D vessels, and land crews operating with equivalent capacity in both the Western and Eastern hemispheres. The multi-client services will benefit from two complementary, recent vintage, well positioned seismic data libraries. In data processing and imaging, CGG’s and Veritas’ respective positions will combine to create the industry reference.
With a combined workforce of approximately 7,000 staff operating worldwide, including Sercel, the future group will provide, through continued innovation, the industry benchmark for seismic technology and services to a broad base of customers including independent, international and national oil companies.
Source: CGG

••• 05.09.06  Gazprom will select partner companies to develop the giant Shtokman gas deposit off Russia's Arctic coast only for reasons of optimum cost-benefit, a Russian presidential aide said Tuesday.
A shortlist of companies competing for the project unveiled last September includes Norway's Statoil and Norsk Hydro, France's Total, and U.S. giants Chevron and ConocoPhillips. Gazprom will select two or three partners from the shortlist to form a consortium for the project.
Igor Shuvalov said the Russian energy giant needs a partner that will help it "develop the field as successfully and beneficially as possible, with the lowest expenses, and which will supply products to the world market most effectively."
"This is a business project, and Gazprom is responsible for it. Therefore, I would not like to reveal any information on the issue," he said.
The deposit holds an estimated 3.2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, and 31 million metric tons of gas condensate in the Barents Sea, off Russia's Arctic coast. Some $12-14 billion will be invested in the project's first phase, and production will start in 2011.
Source: RIA Novosti

••• 04.09.06  ODIM signs deal to enhance manufacturing capacity.
ODIM AS in Norway has signed an agreement with Sea United in Singapore to lease construction capacity for the next couple of years. The agreement secures important capacity in what is currently a high growth market.
ODIM has co-operated with Sea United for 15 years, and know the company well. The agreement will secure delivery of existing and new contracts.
"Currently, the biggest challenge for the entire offshore industry is securing sufficient capacity to follow growth opportunities," said the company.
Source: ODIM

••• 01.09.06  Arrow Seismic ASA, a 54 % owned subsidiary of GC Rieber Shipping ASA, has entered into a non binding Letter of Intent with WesternGeco for a state-of-the-art multistreamer seismic newbuilding 533 to be delivered November 2008.
The Letter of Intent describes an agreement between parties to enter into a firm 5 year charter for the vessel including insea seismic equipment.
The total value of the charter hire from the charter is abt. EUR 95 million.
The Letter of Intent with seismic major WesternGeco once again confirms Arrow`s position as a leading supplier of multistreamer seismic vessels to the marine seismic industry with cost efficient design and focus on safe and cost efficient operations.
Source: Arrow Seismic ASA

••• 01.09.06  Emgs deploys fourth vessel to meet rising demand for seabed logging.
Emgs is adding the offshore support vessel Relume to its seabed-logging survey fleet. The vessel is going into service initially in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea, and increases the company’s ability to perform multiple surveys across the world.
Source: emgs

••• 30.08.06  GGS reports that it has now secured pre-funding of more than USD 4.5 million for a new Multi Client survey planned to start during 2007 in the American region. The survey of approximately 20,000 km is planned to be collected using the M/V GGS Atlantic.
Morten Andersen, Chairman of the Board of GGS, states: "I am pleased to see this increase of the multi client back log in one of our strategic regions. This development also shows the benefit of the decision to rig the GGS Atlantic which is scheduled to commence its work on the West of Florida program later this year."
Source: GGS

••• 28.08.06  A contract worth NOK 148 million to supply complete automated handling systems for 3D seismic for three new buildings has been awarded to ODIM AS.
The three 8-streamer vessels are being constructed for SCAN Geophysical at the ABG yard in India, with ODIM due to deliver the equipment during 2007.
"We`re proud to have been chosen to supply automated handling equipment to SCAN Geophysical. SCAN Geophysical is an exiting growth company we hope to do plenty of business with going forward", comments managing director in ODIM, Jogeir Romestrand.
So far in 2006 ODIM has received seismic orders for a total of NOK 700 million, which clearly indicates a strong market.
"Earlier we have indicated that we still are early in the cycle and that we expect strong seismic market in both 2007 and 2008", Romestrand adds.
Source: ODIM AS

••• 17.08.06  SCAN Geophysical ASA has commenced its first 3D production.
SCAN has successfully, and according to plan, commenced its first 3D seismic production with the vessel M/V Scan Resolution.
The previous announced 600 square kilometre contract offshore Tunisia in the El Louza block, is carried out in a 4 streamer configuration.
Source: SCAN Geophysical ASA

••• 10.08.06  GGS reports that its daughter company CSPL in Singapore has been commissioned by Korea National Oil Company (KNOC) to carry out a 2D seismic survey offshore South Korea.
The 2D seismic vessel Odin Explorer has already collected approximately 700 km of a planned total of approximately 5,000 km.
The value of the contract is about 5.5 million USD and the work is expected to be completed during September.
The newly docked and refitted vessel Odin Explorer is provided by Singapore based investors. GGS expects a limited margin for this project, however the award shows that GGS and CSPL are fully accepted as contractors.
Therefore, in order to capitalize on its competence in the seismic contract market, GGS is negotiating the possibility of taking an enlarged contractual role in the contracting of Odin Explorer during the second half of 2006.
GGS additionally informs that it considers participating in a re-tender for the DEOCOM Sri Lanka project, as it became impossible to carry out the survey under the terms of the original contract due to circumstances outside of GGS`s control.
Morten Andersen, Chairman of the Board of GGS states: "I am pleased to see our business expanding in the Far East. The award of the Korean project to CSPL is a recognition of our quality as a seismic service provider. A strengthened operational organisation is being built inside the GGS group for the vessel as part of this project. This is important in preparation for the planned launch of GGS Atlantic being rigged in co-operation with Songa as owners in Texas later this year as well as possible additional seismic vessel capacity being added."

••• 09.08.06  Expansion of Fugro's seismic fleet.
Fugro has exercised its earlier agreed option to enter into a charter agreement with E Forland Shipowners (Norway) for the Seisquest, an 8-streamer 3D seismic survey vessel.
The charter will be for four years (with options for extension) and will commence in May 2007 after the expiration of the vessel's current commitment. This charter virtually completes Fugro's earlier announced plan to increase and modernise its marine seismic capacity.
Source: Fugro

••• 01.08.06  SCAN Geophysical ASA has completed a purchase transaction of 3 newbuilds.
In June 2006 SCAN Geophysical ASA on certain conditions secured a purchase of 3 newbuilds from Deep Sea Supply ASA. The transaction was planned completed in July 2006. All conditions are now successfully lifted according to plan and the transaction is effective.
By the completed transaction SCAN has secured building of three new purpose-built 3D seismic vessels with early delivery, and thereby secured further capacity in a very strong seismic market. The new vessels, yard nos 238, 239 and 240, are three similar sister vessels with state of the art design. They will be built at the ABG Shipyard in India, with deliveries in Q2 - Q4 2007.
The vessels will most likely be rigged with 8 x 6 km streamers, which means that the vessels can take on medium to large 3D seismic surveys. Total capex per vessel is approximately USD 70 million, including the seismic equipment for 8 x 6 km configurations. SCAN will enter into a sale-leaseback arrangement with a shipowner for the vessels, but will own the seismic equipment.
Also a stern trawler "STIGANDI" has been purchased by SCAN, but will later be chartered on a long term Time Charter. She will be converted to a seismic vessel, with capacity to tow up to 12 km 24 bits solid streamer (Input/Output) or 3 x 4,6 km streamers to be able to work in both the high end 2D and small size 3D segments.
SCAN Geophysical ASA was established in 2002 as a Norwegian seismic data acquisition company specialized in both marine streamer seismic and ocean bottom cable seismic. The company is currently operating one 2D and one 3D streamer vessel, and will launch three new state-of-the-art 3D vessels during 2007. The administration is located in the Oslo area, with representatives in Moscow, Singapore and Houston.
Source: SCAN Geophysical ASA

••• 15.07.06  Gardline Shipping announced the successful purchase of the RRS Charles Darwin.
The vessel is Gardline’s third acquisition over the past 18 months following earlier additions to the company’s fleet of RV Triton and MV Confidante.
The RRS Charles Darwin, to be renamed by Gardline as the “RV Ocean Researcher”, was delivered in June following a preparatory period in dry-dock.
A full high specification analogue geophysical and digital seismic package has been installed, with the vessel initially scheduled to commence a summer cruise on behalf of Gardline clients’ Floyd and Associates Ltd and thereafter moves to a program for Shell Exploration and Production in Europe. The scope of work will initially involve hazard site survey operations and will be managed by Gardline’s geophysical specialist survey company, Gardline Geosurvey.
At 69 metres in length and with a beam of 14 metres, Gardline considers the vessel to possess an excellent track record as she has carried out extensive marine research during 180 research cruises whilst operated by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The Ship’s diesel-electric propulsion system has a reduced acoustic signature and she has extensive accommodation for a total of 39 persons, in addition to 260m2 of scientific deck space.
Capable of 40 days at sea she has previously proven to be a flexible, stable and safe platform having successfully worked in a variety of environments and will adapt easily to Gardline’s integrated geophysical, geotechnical and environmental surveys.
Source: Gardline Shipping

••• 13.07.06  GC Reiber Shipping to acquire TMI.
GC Rieber Shipping Ltd, a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of GC Rieber Shipping in Norway, has agreed an asset purchase agreement with TMI that will see Rieber acquire the business and assets of TMI as a going concern.
The purchase include a ship management organisation of 13 persons with premises in Kent outside London (UK) as well as two ship management contracts with CGG for the seismic research vessels CGG Amadeus and CGG Symphony.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 12.07.06  WesternGeco to Acquire WAZ Streamer Survey in Gulf.
WesternGeco said that Shell Exploration will underwrite a major portion of the first exploration multiclient wide-azimuth (WAZ) towed-streamer survey in the Gulf of Mexico. The project covers a minimum of 200 Outer Continental Shelf blocks in the central Gulf of Mexico, about 125 miles off the coast of Louisiana in water depths of 4,400 feet.
To enhance the subsalt image, WesternGeco will employ Q-Marine(a) technology, with proprietary processing workflows and wave extrapolation migration (WEM).
Seismic data acquisition will begin in the middle of this month and conclude as early as December utilizing a unique design co-developed by WesternGeco and Shell. A final WEM product will be available for interpretation in advance of the March 2008 lease sale.
Source: Rigzone

••• 11.07.06  A London-listed company has been given permission to extend its exploration rights on an oil field situated on an island in the Barents Sea.
Urals Energy has been approved by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources to extend the licence for its operated Peschanoozerskoye field on Kolguyev Island without any depth limitation.
The permit allows Urals Energy, through its Russian operating subsidiary ZAO Articneft, to drill and test a Permian horizon estimated to contain 6 million tons – 48 m bbl of oil - lying below a Lower Triassic horizon.
Urals plans to re-enter a 1986 wellbore, well no. 29, which originally tested at 180 b/d of oil, and run a vertical seismic survey to confirm the structure, then drill a sidetrack.
“Based on the results of this re-entry, it is expected several new exploratory well locations will be identified and further drilling will commence in 2007,” the company indicated in a statement issued today.
Peschanoozerskoye lies on Kolguyez Island approximately 100 km (63 miles) offshore from the Russian mainland and 400 km (250 miles) west of the Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 09.07.06  Arrow Seismic to Purchase Seismic Vessel from Laurentian.
Arrow Seismic Invest IV Ltd., a 54 % owned subsidiary of Arrow Seismic ASA, has agreed on Head Terms of an Memorandum of Agreement with Laurentian Holding and TechMarine International Plc. Subject final agreement, Arrow will purchase the seismic research vessel "Laurentian" from LH and Laurentian's charter party with seismic major CGG from TMI.
The charter party yields an annual operational cash flow of about US $5.5 million and expires in August 2008 whereafter CGG has an option to extend the charter party for either two or three years.
"Laurentian" is a multistreamer seismic vessel built in 1983, converted to seismic in 1998 and upgraded to six streamer capacity in 2005. Included in the purchase price are compressors and winches. The effective date of the purchase is July 1, 2006 and total purchase price under the Memorandum of Agreement is US $17.9 million.
The purchase of "Laurentian" confirms Arrow's position as a leading supplier of multistreamer seismic vessels to the marine seismic industry and emphasizes Arrow's strategy to offer flexible solutions to our customers as the market develops.
Source: Rigzone/Arrow Seismic

••• 08.07.06  Methanol Australia Awards 2D Seismic Contract to CGG.
Methanol Australia Limited has awarded a contract to Multiwave Offshore Services, a unit of Compagnie Generale de Geophysique (CGG) to acquire approximately 600 line kilometers of 2D seismic during September 2006 utilizing the M/V Polar Duke.
The acquisition program is designed to add a number of infill lines to the extensive 2D grid already covering the Company's exploration permit, NT/P68. These infill lines are specifically targeting the Blackwood lead, which is a large structure within the Plover Formation in the north of the permit. The Plover Formation has already been shown to be an optimum hydrocarbon reservoir in the Bonaparte basin, with a number of large gas fields previously discovered, including Greater Sunrise, Abadi, Evans Shoal and Caldita. The new seismic will improve the structural mapping of Blackwood and is expected to elevate it to Prospect and drill ready status.
The Company remains highly optimistic about the potential of its 100% owned exploration permit ad believes NT/P68 may offer the scope for confirmation of a commercial gas accumulation at Epenarra and discovery of other significant accumulations that may collectively support the future gas demands of its GTL projects.
Source: Rigzone/Methanol Australia Limited

••• 08.07.06  CGG Awarded Seismic Contract for Work Offshore Senegal.
First Australian Resources reports that a contract for the acquisition of 2,000 square kilometers of 3D seismic data offshroe Senegal has been awarded to GCC. Details of the award were confirmed by Hunt Oil Company during a recent operating committee meeting held in Dakar at which FAR also gave presentations to the national oil company, Petrosen, and the Ministry of Energy and Mines for the Republic of Senegal.
FAR will partner with Senegal Hunt Oil Company (SHOC) in evaluating this opportunity, by contributing toward a proposed 2000 sq km 3D seismic acquisition program commencing early forth quarter 2006.
The proposed 3D survey is designed to validate several potentially significant prospects and a number of leads identified by Hunt based on existing 2D seismic data in addition to identifying additional prospects.
The northwest African margin is relatively under-explored, but hosts numerous recent, sizeable, and intriguing discoveries including the Woodside-operated Chinguetti and Tiof discoveries in adjacent Mauritania.
Participants in the Senegal project are Senegal Hunt Oil Company as operator with 60%; First Australian Resources with 30%; Petrosen (State Oil Company) 10%.
Commenting on this announcement, executive Chairman Michael Evans said that: "FAR is pleased to see the 3D seismic contract has been awarded to CGG and we look forward to firming up some substantial drilling targets. It is also reassuring to see the magnitude of interest being shown by the oil sector along the West African coastline where FAR has gained an early foothold on very favorable terms."
Source: Rigzone/First Australian Resources

••• 07.07.06  Sanco Holding orders MM80 seismic ship. The vessel will be built at Vaagland Batbyggeri AS in Norway.
Norwegian naval architects Multi Maritime have announced that Sanco Holding AS has ordered a seismic vessel based on Multi Maritime's new MM80 seismic design.
The vessel will be built at Vaagland Batbyggeri AS and will be 80m long with a breadth of 16m. Multi Maritime said the ship will be equipped "with the most advanced ocean bottom seismic equipment available," and the vessel will operate worldwide.
The designer said that, in the design process, special attention has been paid to transit speed, fuel economy, seakeeping, noise and vibration and hydro-acoustic levels.
The vessel will be chartered by Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA, which specialises in multi component sea-floor acquisition.
Sanco Shipping currently operates three seismic support vessels. This is the fourth vessel of Multi Maritime design being built at Vaagland Batbyggeri AS. Currently, the yard is completing an 80m reefer/container vessel of MM80 Reefer design.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 06.07.06  Irish based Providence Resources has finalised a deal to begin acquiring 2D seismic data over the potentially huge Dunquin gas and condensate prospect off southwest Ireland.
Fugro Data Surveys has been contracted to acquire 1,500 km (940 miles) of 2D long offset data– specifically to improve subsurface imaging - over the Porcupine basin prospect – and marking the largest prospect-specific programme ever carried out offshore Ireland.
The prospect is 200 km (125 miles) off the west coast of Ireland in water depths up to 1,600 m (5,250 ft) with the reservoir at 4,878 m (16,000 ft) total vertical depth subsea.
“The award of this contract is a major milestone for Providence and its partners. This is the largest prospect specific 2-D seismic survey ever carried out offshore Ireland,” said Tony O’Reilly, chief executive of Providence today. “Utilising the very latest technology, the results of this seismic programme will allow the partners to better define the future work programme on the Dunquin prospect.”
Dunquin is operated by Providence with 16% and Exxon holding 80% - after a farm-in deal to acquire field equity in February this year which was seen as a major vote of confidence in the prospect at the time and which sent Providence shares soaring. Sosina Exploration holds the remaining 4% equity on the Frontier Exploration Licence 03/04 which covers the area.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 06.07.06  RXT Charters New Seismic Vessel.
Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA (RXT) has entered into a long term charter for a vessel which is to be newly constructed. Delivery is estimated to April 2008. The vessel will be chartered from Sanco Holding AS in Norway. The time charter is for a period of 5 years with options of up to 5 more years. The vessel will have both shooting and cable laying capability, says CFO Odd Erik Rudshaug.
The vessel will be rigged with state of the art seismic equipment to operate as a combined shooting and cable handling vessel for 4C seafloor acquisition.
This will be our second "single-vessel" solution for 4C seafloor acquisition. While competitors base their crews on either two or three vessel configurations, RXT provides significant improvement in cost/efficiency by using a single vessel, says CEO Michael Scott.
RXT acquires 4C ocean bottom seismic data, and is planning an IPO in 2006. The Company's new and modern technology enables acquisition of such data at significantly lower cost than competitors. RXT currently operates one crew in the Gulf of Mexico, and one crew in the North Sea.
Source: Reservoir Exploration Technology

••• 05.07.06  Seabird pulls out of proposed GGS deal.
Seismic survey specialists Seabird Exploration have announced that it will not be going ahead with its intended acquisition of Global Geo Services (GSS) ASA.
Said Seabird in a statement: "Reference is given to previous stock exchange notices regarding SeaBird Exploration Limited's intention to submit a voluntary offer to purchase all the outstanding shares of Global Geo Services."
"Reference is also given to notice of 26 June 2006 where it was informed that SeaBird, after its initial review of the annual accounts, was of the opinion that it would need further information, in particular regarding the financing of GGS, and furthermore performing detailed due diligence investigations of GGS in relation to the contemplated offer."
"SeaBird therefore sent a formal request to GGS on 25 June 2006 to be allowed to perform a detailed due diligence review during the contemplated offer period. Today, SeaBird has been informed by the Board of GGS that they have rejected that request. As a result, SeaBird will not be in a position to launch a voluntary offer as previously indicated."
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 03.07.06  Polar King conversion approaches completion.
Rieber Shipping in Norway says the conversion of its vessel Polar King to a seismic vessel is nearly complete. Polar King arrived at yard in Norway to be converted back to a seismic ship and to be rigged as a seismic ship - a role for which she was built - in February.
The main aspects of the conversion include: removal of cable laying equipment; modification of spaces and steel structures, machinery, and electrical systems; installation of a new slipway and hangar arrangement; installation of seismic equipment (including 10 streamer winches, 10 towing points and two lead-in winches); revised accommodation; modifications to the ship’s fuel systems to operate on heavy fuel oil; rearranging the shaft tunnel aft of the engine room to for heavy fuel oil equipment, new seismic compressors, including frequency converters and other auxiliary equipment; rebuilding of cable tank Number 2; replacement of ship’s Fast Rescue Craft and installation of a new workboat on starboard side; rearrangement of charterer’s lounge as a conference room and a lounge.
On completion of the conversion Polar King was due to be renamed Geo Atlantic.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 03.07.06  Survey ships selected for Orca technology.
Three latest-generation seismic survey ships due to hit the data acquisition market in the next couple of years are to be outfitted with a specialist command and control systems developed by an Edinburgh-based oil and gas information technology specialist.
Fugro-Geoteam’s three new seismic boats Geo Atlantic – due in service May 2007 – the Geo Barents and Geo Celtic, will be equipped with Orca, a command and control system to manage data workflows on board the new seismic ships and which will be designed to operate with steer-able streamers, large streamer spreads, and used for complex acquisition programmes including 4D repeat surveys where positional accuracy is crucial.
Concept Systems, a subsidiary of US-based Intput/Output, will provide Orca licences to Fugro under the purchase agreement. Orca manages both navigation and seismic data acquisition and provides quality control – eliminating the need for constant operator monitoring - and error alerts.
The high-end system, which has taken the equivalent of 300 years to develop, will also optimise the position of streamers, and will enhance time-lapse survey repeatability.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 30.06.06  Fugro has placed an order for a new vessel Geo Caribbean.
Fugro has placed an order for a new vessel (Geo Caribbean) with the Bergen Mekaniske Verksted (BMV) shipyard in Norway. The vessel will be owned by Fugro and will be delivered no later than October 2008.
The overall length of the vessel is 101 metres and it will be used for three dimensional (3D) seismic survey work and it will be equipped for towing a maximum number of 14 streamers for long offset acquisition (streamer length over 9 km).
The Geo Carribean has the same design as the previously announced vessels chartered by Fugro from E. Forland Shipowners; the Geo Celtic (seismic survey, available in May 2007) and the Fugro Saltire (ROV Subsea support, available in February 2008). The special design allows for future multiple purpose utilisation of the vessel.
The vessel together with the seismic equipment involves a total investment of over € 100 million. This investment which is part of Fugro’s earlier announced plan to increase and modernise its marine seismic capacity will be financed out of Fugro’s own resources.
Source: Fugro N.V.

••• 28.06.06  More Black Sea work for Atwood rig.
Atwood Oceanics’ semi-submersible Southern Cross has been lined up to drill two more wells in the Black Sea for Vanco Energy after it completes existing commitments there for Melrose Resources.
Vanco has contracted the Southern Cross for one firm 40-day well in the Black Sea off the coast of Ukraine and the deal includes an option for second 40-day drilling commitment. Atwood says the deal is worth at least US $13 million, based on drilling plus mobilisation over 43 days, or $26 million if the second well option is taken.
At present the rig is working for Italy’s ENI which is expected to keep the rig until August or September this year.
Thereafter the drilling unit will move to the Black Sea for a drilling programme operated by Melrose, then another with Toreador Resources in Turkey, so the Vanco contract is due to commence after that, which could be as early as August 2007, or January 2008, depending on whether options on the rig are exercised.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 26.06.06  SeaBird slows on GGS takeover.
Marine seismic specialist SeaBird Exploration has delayed its planned takeover of seismic contractor Global Geo Services to spend more time looking at Global’s financing and undertaking a due diligence review.
SeaBird has previously indicated its intention to buy all the outstanding shares in Global on or after 3 July - after Global’s annual general meting which was expected to take place on 30 June – to provide sufficient time to review Global’s 2005 results.
Although Global’s initial result were published last week, and it has taken an initial view of these, SeaBird said today: “SeaBird is of the opinion that it would need further information, in particular regarding the financing of GGS, and furthermore performing detailed due diligence investigations of GGS in relation to the contemplated offer.”
However SeaBird chief executive Dag Reynolds has indicated in the statement today that there are still synergies from combining the two companies, which suggests the takeover could still go ahead, subject to a satisfactory outcome of the due diligence process.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 25.06.06  Hostages Freed in Nigeria.
PGS confirmed that the two hostages, Joseph Doctorlero and Pacifico Gajo were released 3.45 local Nigeria time today, and confirms that they are both in good health.
The two men are now undergoing a routine medical examination in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and will be reunited with their families in the Philippines as soon as possible. Both men have been in contact with their families and are assisted by representatives from PGS and the Philippines Embassy in Nigeria.
Source: PGS

••• 23.06.06  MMS Issues Seismic Permits for Chukchi Sea.
The Minerals Management Service (MMS) has issued seismic survey permits to Shell Offshore Inc., ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. and GX Technology Corporation for the Chukchi Sea for the 2006 summer and fall.
The permits are conditional upon the companies obtaining required authorizations form both the National Marine Fisheries Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The companies have entered into conflict avoidance agreements with the appropriate North Slope communities to avoid conflict with subsistence activities. Companies do not plan to begin surveys until mid-July. Surveys can be conducted until November 30, 2006.
Source: Rigzone/MMS

••• 22.06.06  Irish Dunquin 2D data to be acquired.
Acquisition of 2D seismic data is due to start next month on the Irish Dunquin prospect operated by exploration minnow Providence Resources with oil giant Exxon Mobil participating as an 80% partner.
Exxon caused a sensation when it farmed into the Dunquin prospect in the Porcupine Basin off Ireland’s west coast earlier this year sending Providence shares rocketing.
And in a statement to shareholders at its annual meeting Providence has said it is moving forward to the first stage of exploration on the prospect by acquiring initial seismic data.
A 2D seismic programme is scheduled to commence next month on Dunqin, Providence said, while work is progressing also on other exploration prospects including Spanish Point, where a data room has been open since May to invite potential farm-in partners.
A further 2D seismic survey is to be carried out by Gardline Surveys on the Ardmore, Hook Head, Pegasus and Blackrock drilling targets, in the St George’s Channel licence area of the Celtic Sea.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 22.06.06  Eidesvik contract for JRC/ProNav.
Eidesvik Shipping and JRC’s Norwegian distributor ProNav have signed a contract for delivery of navigation and communications equipment for a new seismic vessel.
The vessel is under construction at West Contractor shipyard in Norway, and is due to enter service early next year.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 21.06.06  Hostage Taking in Nigeria.
PGS confirmed that about noon yesterday, two contract employees from Beaufort International were abducted by six armed men in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Both men were abducted from a small vessel maneuvering in the channel. PGS is working to resolve this matter and has informed the local authorities. PGS is currently doing everything possible to solve this situation. There has been no contact to date from the kidnappers.
Both victims are Filipino nationals. The company has informed the men’s families and is maintaining contact with them to keep them updated. All other crew members are uninjured and out of risk.
Source: PGS

••• 21.06.06  SeaBird reaches final agreement to acquire SeaBed.
SeaBird Exploration Limited has announced that it has reached final agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares in SeaBed Geophysical AS.
Source: SeaBird Exploration

••• 20.06.06  Gazprom considers hook-up to Norway pipelines.
Russia’s Gazprom is reported to be considering linking its own gas pipeline network with Norway.
Alexander Ryazanov, deputy chairman of Gazprom’s managing committed said: “We are considering this option with the Norwegian companies Statoil and Hydro.”
Ryazanov indicated that the pipeline connection could be completed as part of the second stage of the Shtokman gas development.
Source: Barents Observer

••• 19.06.06  Seabird acquires new ship for US $20 million.
Marine seismic specialist SeaBird Exploration Limited has bought a new dynamically positioned ship to provide additional data acquisition capability.
The MV Sentinel, built in 1979, has been acquired for a total of US $20 million including the cost of upgrading and will be converted to become a controlled source and ocean bottom seismic ship which is due to go into full operation early 2007.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 16.06.06  SeaBird is intending to submit a voluntary offer to purchase all the outstanding shares of Global Geo Services ASA (GGS).
More details...

••• 16.06.06  Drilling is due to start on a seventh appraisal of the giant Shtokman gas field.
Drilling is due to start in a few weeks with Odfjell Drilling’s Deepsea Delta semi-submersible rig on contract to Norsk Hydro.
This will be the second appraisal of the 3.2 Tcf Barents Sea gas and condensate field drilled by Hydro on behalf of Russian partners Gazflot – the drilling arm of Gazprom - and Sevemorneftegaz.
"It will be taking place from July through to September," a Norsk Hydro spokesman told. "The well will be drilled with the Deepsea Delta. Currently it is operating on the Oseberg West Flank and when operations have finished there it will sail up to the Barents Sea, probably starting in July."
Given the location of Shtokman, 550 km (350 miles) offshore from the Russian port of Murmansk, ferrying equipment to and from the rig will present a major logistical challenge.
Hydro plans to operate rig crew changes from a support base at Hoviknes, northern Norway, from where it already operates supply boats.
"All the personnel and all the equipment will be on the rig," he said. "This is the second appraisal that Hydro has assisted Russia with on Shtokman," the spokesman pointed out. Hydro supported a previous appraisal well on the field in 1991.
Shtokman was discovered in 1988 and lies in a water depth of 350 m (1,150 ft). Development is not expected much before 2010 although operator Gazprom has yet to choose from a shortlist of five international operating companies, including Statoil and Hydro, who it wants to invite to participate in the field’s development.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 15.06.06  Gazprom has started collecting seismic data for the two blocks offshore Venezuela.
Russian natural gas major Gazprom has started collecting seismic data for the two blocks offshore Venezuela it was awarded last year, newspaper El Universal reported.
The company was amongst a handful of local and international outfits including US major Chevron and consortiums that included Spain's Repsol YPF and Japan's Teikoku) which received five new licenses to explore and produce natural gas in as many blocks.
Gazprom won two blocks, Urumaco I and II, both off the shore of western Venezuela's Falcуn state, and has retained a vessel, the Akademic Nemchinov, especially fitted out to collect the data. The article says other vessels should be arriving soon to conduct similar activities in the area.
According to Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA, there are some 26 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and some 7 billion barrels of crude in the Gulf of Venezuela area and northwest Falcуn state, which comprises all of the blocks awarded last year, plus some that will be open to bidding this year.
The grand total of Venezuela's proven natural gas reserves stands at 151 trillion cubic feet, according to official PDVSA figures.
Source: BNAmericas

••• 15.06.06  First deepwater find offshore China.
Canada’s Husky Energy has announced the first deepwater discovery offshore China with the Liwan 3-1-1 well in the Pearl River Mouth Basin.
Husky said the well, drilled in a water depth of 1,500 m (4,920 ft) in block 29/26 and located 250 km (156 miles) offshore from Hong Kong, encountered 56 m (184 ft) of net gas pay in a large structure with 60 sq. km of closure after drilling the discovery well to a total depth of 3,843 m (12,605 ft).
"The porosity encountered in the pay zones averaged approximately 20 percent, based on Husky's petrophysical interpretation. Liwan 3-1-1, which is the deepest water well drilled offshore China, confirms the existence of a new hydrocarbon province," Husky announced.
Further appraisal of the discovery is underway with further sidetracks being drilled to evaluate the extent of the reservoir. Husky said it is also planning to acquire more 3D seismic data and more drilling will take place once that new data has been evaluated.
Husky signed a Production Sharing Agreement for the 3,965 sq. km (1,530 sq. mile) block in August 2004, and China’s National Offshore Oil Corporation has the right to participate in the development of any discovery up to 51%.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 14.06.06  CGG Geo Challenger is world's first seismic vessel with Sercel Sentinel solid streamers.
CGG has announced the launch of the Geo Challenger, the new flagship of its 13-vessel strong seismic fleet. The new 3D/4D HR vessel was recently converted at a Norwegian shipyard to 12 tow-point capacity and equipped with 80 km of new Sercel Sentinel solid streamers. It is the first seismic vessel in the world to operate with this new cutting-edge solid streamer technology.
The introduction of this new multi-purpose vessel will allow the international offshore exploration community to benefit from its flexibility to perform the full range of high-resolution, wide-azimuth 3D/4D acquisition services.
Clients have already started securing the availability of the vessel which has a backlog through the first half of 2007. The Geo Challenger is currently conducting its first campaign in the North Sea and is scheduled for the Asia-Pacific region later in the year.
Christophe Pettenati Auziere, President of Geophysical Services, commented: "The launch of the Geo Challenger, which will be followed by the upgrade of the Symphony to Sercel Sentinel solid streamers and 14 tow-point capacity, consolidates the ranking of our fleet in the top tier of the offshore seismic industry.
These advanced vessels are specifically designed to meet industry demand for ever improved seismic images by offering the very best in offshore acquisition capability based on CGG’s Eye-D technology solutions."
Source: CGG

••• 13.06.06  Wavefield Geophysical AS is bringing a new vessel into operation as the company expands its 3D capability.
The vessel, Geowave Champion, is currently being converted in Norway and is expected to be fully operational by January 2007. Wavefield have chartered the vessel from owner Solhaug AS for a period of seven years with options for up to 10 years. The marine management for the vessel is to be carried out by Shipman AS.
106 metres long, 22 metres wide and with a transit speed of 18 knots, the Geowave Champion will become newly-formed Wavefield’s second, large capacity 3D vessel – the first being the eight streamer M/V Geowave Commander, due to commence operations in July this year.
Bringing Wavefield’s current fleet to three vessels, the Geowave Champion will be capable of 12 streamer acquisition and is specifically designed to provide high-capacity 3D, 4D, Multi-azimuth and Wide-azimuth solutions for the delivery of the highest quality data. The vessel is equipped with state-of-the-art seismic acquisition technology and is perfectly suited to the requirements of Wavefield’s clients.
"Wavefield has highly focused plans for the next few years, and not only in the towed streamer market," commented Atle Jacobsen, CEO of Wavefield Geophysical. He continued, "The announcement of our second, large capacity 3D vessel represents only the beginning for us – we have expanded our fleet and increased our capability, and look forward to completing highly successful campaigns with the Geowave Champion."
Source: Wavefield Geophysical

••• 12.06.06  Bourbon Bora crewboat is first of a series.
The first week of June saw the first of a series of crew boats building for Bourbon Offshore undergo sea trials. The vessel was built by Midship Marine Inc of Louisiana.
At 170ft by 32ft with a moulded depth of 13ft the boat has significant capacities. These include tankage for 34,500 gallons of fuel cargo, 30,000 gallons of rig water and 2,000 gallons of potable water.
The boat’s 109ft by 29ft aft deck can handle up to 220 long tons of cargo.
Accommodation is provided for an eight-person crew and seating is included for 80 offshore workers.
Propulsion power for Bourbon Bora is provided by four Cummins KTA50 M2 engines each rated for 1,800hp at 1,900rpm for a total of 7,200hp. The engines turn Hamilton 811 waterjets through reversible Reintjes gears.
A pair of 99kW Cummins/Onan generator sets provide ship’s service power.
The DP1 equipped vessel is fitted with a 200hp tunnel bow thruster and two fire fighting monitors.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 09.06.06  Merger between Wavefield Geophysical AS and InSeis AS
Wavefield Geophysical AS, the new Norwegian marine seismic acquisition company, and Oslo based multi-client specialist InSeis AS announced today that the two companies have merged to form Wavefield Inseis AS. The new entity has been founded with an additional MNOK 200 (MUSD 33) in new equity, which will be used for new acquisition capacity and investments in new multi-client projects.
Source: Wavefield Geophysical AS

••• 09.06.06  Trimaran concept developed for Barents region.
Offshore contractor Acergy has been studying the development of a multi-purpose Trimaran construction ship for possible operations in the Barents Sea region in the future.
The triple hull concept ship has a would have a displacement of 12,000 tonnes, and could be 130 metres long, 38 m wide and have a transit speed of 18 knots while the freeboard would be 12.5 high.
Acergy has been carrying out the three-year design study with Statoil and the University of Stavanger. The vessel could be required to carry out inspection, repair and maintenance work, diving, pipelaying and offshore construction.
“It will be an expensive vessel but until we see a lot of developments in this area I do not think this vessel will fly,” said Arild Nybo, business acquisition manager for Acergy.
Pressed further on the likelihood of developing the vessel, Nybo admitted it would take more than the Barents Sea Shtokman development before this vessel could become reality. “I do not think that would be enough,” he told “It would take more than Shtokman.”
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 07.06.06  1400 new wells needed for Barents Sea.
More than 1,400 new exploration wells need to be drilled in the Barents Sea to explore it as thoroughly as the North Sea.
Anita Utseth, State Secretary at Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy told delegates at the Underwater Technology Conference in Norway that was how many wells need to be drilled to put Barents Sea exploration on a par with the North Sea.
She said only 47 concession areas have been awarded in the Barents Sea area, and a total of only 65 exploration wells have been drilled, on a frontier area estimated to contain one third of the remaining resources on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Half of those 65 wells have been drilled in the Snohvit area. "Only 32 [have been drilled] in the rest of the Barents Sea, an area twice the size of the North Sea," said the State Secretary.
"There are large parts of the Barents Sea that have never been explored," the Minister told the UTC conference delegates. "We would need to drill another 1400 wells to explore it as much as the North Sea," she added.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 07.06.06  Veritas DGC to Sell Land Seismic Acquisition Business.
Veritas DGC Inc. has entered into a letter of intent with Matco Capital Ltd. to sell its land seismic acquisition business for an undisclosed amount.
In fiscal year 2005 the land seismic acquisition business of Veritas generated approximately US $140 million of revenue, or approximately 22 percent of the consolidated revenue of Veritas. Closing is expected to occur in the summer of 2006 and is contingent upon reaching a definitive agreement as well as receipt of regulatory and other approvals. Peters & Co. Limited is acting as financial advisor to Veritas in the transaction.
Chairman and CEO Thierry Pilenko commented, "We believe this transaction will create superior value for Veritas stockholders by improving our return on capital through the cycles of the seismic industry and by enabling us to focus on our most differentiated services. We will concentrate our resources on growing our land and marine data libraries, land and marine data processing, marine acquisition, and software and consulting services, as these activities best leverage Veritas's intellectual capital worldwide. Specifically, in marine acquisition, we have committed to charter a newly constructed world class seismic vessel expected for delivery in the first quarter of 2007 and, in land and marine data library, we are significantly accelerating the growth of these programs."
Matco management said, "We are excited to have the opportunity to acquire the land acquisition business of Veritas. Its strong position and reputation in the marketplace and industry leading personnel combined with an exclusive relationship to acquire data for the Veritas land library provides an excellent platform for growth."
Source: Veritas DGC Inc

••• 06.06.06  Hydro to further challenge Barents.
In view of Eni’s grand Goliat discovery, Hydro are set to drill a number of wells in the Barent Sea in oncoming years. First up is the Nucula well, close to Goliat.
- The new exploration well will be drilled in licence 393 in the Nucula prospect in the Barents Sea, and yes, Hydro is looking for oil, Hydro spokesman Bjorn Otto Sverdrup confirms to Oilinfo.
- It’s a very interesting prospect, and we wish to drill it as soon as possible, Sverdrup says. The plan is for the rig "Polar Pioneer" to drill the well sometime in the course of 2007, depending on the rig’s ongoing campaign.
The western block of licence 393 is located around 90 kilometres from Eni’s Goliat discovery, and Sverdrup is not shy to say that the neighbouring Goliat makes the Nucula prospect even more encouraging.
- We applied for this block in the 19th round, before the last Goliat discovery, and the well looked promising already then, says Sverdrup.
- Norsk Hydro will drill between five and seven exploration wells in the High North over the next years. Two or more of these might be drilled in the Barents Sea, Sverdrup confirms.
Source: Oilinfo

••• 06.06.06  Rockhopper Positive about Prospectivity of Falkland Island Acreage.
Rockhopper Exploration plc, the oil and gas exploration company focused on the North Falkland Basin, which listed on AIM in August 2005, announces its preliminary results for the year ended March 31, 2006.
Executive Chairman, Dr. Pierre Jungels commented:
"We completed a successful listing on AIM in August 2005 raising Ј15 million before expenses to undertake work on all of our license areas.
A 2D program has been completed on licenses PL023 and PL024 and a 3D vessel is now secured for licenses PL032 and PL033. CGG, one of the world's leading marine seismic contractors, will undertake the survey.
We have also completed two Controlled Source Electromagnetic surveys in order to give ourselves greater confidence in the prospects over which they were acquired. These are the first such surveys ever completed in the Falkland Islands, the results of which will be fully integrated with all our other technical studies once they are available.
We remain positive about the prospectivity of the basin as a whole and our acreage specifically."
Rockhopper Exploration plc is currently the largest license holder in the North Falkland Basin and has a 100 per cent. interest in four offshore production licenses which cover approximately 5,800 sq. km. These licenses have been granted by the Falkland Islands government.
Source: Rockhopper Exploration

••• 05.06.06  Primeline Begins 3D Survey in Block 25/34, East China Sea.
Primeline Energy has commenced the 3D seismic survey in Block 25/34 in the East China Sea.
Following the signing of Geophysical Service Contract as previously announced on May 11, 2006, the vessel Binhai 512 arrived on location, after mitigating the delays caused by the recent tropical storm "Pearl" in the offshore China region. The 3D seismic survey for Primeline has successfully commenced.
This 3D survey is designed to better evaluate the nearby prospects to the existing gas discovery Lishui 36-1, and is a crucial step in the selection of the next well location. The survey is expected to last around 2 months with processing and interpretation planned for the second half of 2006. The timing of the 3D survey will allow the Company to embark on a drilling program for the end of 2006/early 2007 subject to rig availability.
Source: Primeline Energy

••• 05.06.06  Aker Yards and Damen plan joint venture in Ukraine.
Aker Yards and Damen Shipyards Group are planning to establish a joint venture owning the Damen Shipyards Okean yard in Mykolayiv, Ukraine.
The plans will contribute to an increased steel- and shipbuilding capacity of Aker Yards.
The Okean yard is able to build a variety of vessels, steel sections for all the three of the company's business areas, and the existing range of Damen vessels.
Karl Erik Kjelstad, CEO & President of Aker Yards, said: "This planned cooperation meets Aker Yards strategy to increase its steel and shipbuilding capacity."
Rene H Berkvens, CEO of Damen Shipyards Group, emphasized that the product range of Aker Yards matches very well with the capacities of the Okean yard and for that reason this is a very valuable cooperation.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 01.06.06  Seabed seismic company buyout agreed.
SeaBird Exploration has finalised a NOK 68 million (US $11.7 million) deal to but up seabed seismic specialist SeaBed Geophysical AS.
SeaBed, which specialises in the high-end 2D and 3D source vessel market, provides multi-component data through geophones placed on the seabed to obtain high-quality data.
The deal to acquire SeaBed was announced in 5 May and the final deal has now been reached, SeaBird said today.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 31.05.06  Shtokman Consortium to be Finalized in August.
The composition of the group of companies to develop the giant Shtokman natural gas field in the Barents Sea will be decided by August, the Interfax news agency reported a senior OAO Gazprom official as saying Tuesday.
The comments, made by Sergei Yemelyanov, deputy chief executive of Gazprom's export arm Gazexport, corroborate similar ones made by Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko two weeks ago. He said the choice would be delayed until summer.
Gazprom has short-listed Total SA, Chevron Corp., Conocophillips, Statoil ASA and Norsk Hydro ASA as potential partners for the field, which Gazprom estimates has reserves of 3.7 trillion cubic meters.
The final consortium will include two or three partners, Gazprom officials say. One will be appointed operator of the field, although Gazprom will retain responsibility for marketing.
Source: RigZone

••• 30.05.06  PGS will in 2006 have five seismic vessels acquiring 3D seismic in the North Sea, the same amount as last year.
In addition to the 3D programs, Falcon Explorer will conduct some 2D multi-client programs and serve as an undershooting vessel on some of the 3D programs.
PGS estimates to shoot approximately 6,000 square kilometer of 3D multi-client seismic in the North Sea this season, all highly pre-funded.
The North Sea season is typically from early second quarter to late third quarter, when weather permits acquisition of seismic in the area. Last year the North Sea season was hampered by bad weather significantly above normal, and completion of the extensive program this year will depend on a normal weather situation.
The vessels operating in the North Sea this season are the high capacity vessels Ramform Explorer and Ramform Viking, and the six streamer vessels American Explorer, Atlantic Explorer and Ocean Explorer.
Source: Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS)

••• 29.05.06  Eni to scout for Barents gas.
Head of Italian oil company Eni says the company is now aiming to be involved in exploration of gas deposits in the Barents Sea in order to boost production in coming years.
The Barents Sea includes the vast Shtokman gas field, 650km (400 miles) from the port of Murmansk, holds an estimated 3.2 trillion cu m of natural gas and 31 million metric tons of gas condensate.
Paolo Scaroni said Eni planned to increase annual natural gas production by three percent between 2009 and 2012, and that the company planned to get involved in long-term development of deposits in the Barents Sea, as well as in Kazakhstan and western and northern Africa, news agency Interfax reports.
He added that the company also planned to ink long-term contracts with Algeria's Sonatrach, the Netherlands' Gasunie, Norway's Statoil and Russian energy giant Gazprom.
Italy is the third largest European natural gas market after the United Kingdom and Germany. Natural gas accounts for over 30% of Italy's energy balance, and imports, mainly from Algeria and Russia, accounted for some 86% of the country's natural gas demand last year.
Source: Oilinfo

••• 26.05.06  GGS - sales FAR EAST data.
GGS reports that it so far this month has received orders for more than one million USD for its Far East surveys JPDA and East Java Super Tie (EJST). More orders are expected this quarter.
The JPDA and EJST projects are carried out though GeoBridge Ltd., a Singapore joint venture owned 50/50 bye GGS and the Chinese geophysical contractor BGP.
The JPDA survey is expected to reach cost recovery with sales in connection to the licensing round that is closing today. The survey is further expected to have good sales potential for many years to come, as it is a program connecting all key wells in the area with modern seismic data of significantly higher quality than previous vintages of data.
Morten Andersen, Chairman of the Board of GGS states: "We are seeing a growing level of interest in the area of our Far East projects. The activity in the region is increasing with several new oil companies entering the exploration scene. The Far East will remain a priority area for GGS".
Source: GGS

••• 26.05.06  Gippsland Offshore Petroleum and their partners in the Jamaica Joint Venture (Finder Exploration Pty Ltd) report that the extensive exploration program for the Walton Basin has entered a new phase. Acquisition of the extensive long offset 2D seismic program was completed ahead of schedule and the Fugro operated vessel Akademik Shatisky is currently demobilizing.
Completion of the seismic coincides with the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) granting exploration rights to the Jamaica Joint Venture an additional offshore permit: Block 6. The JV applied to the PCJ for this additional block after completing the reprocessing of old seismic data in the area and identifying prospective zones within the unlicensed block. The timely award of Block 6 is testimony to the excellent working relationship that the Jamaica Joint Venture has established with the PCJ.
The award of Block 6 increases the JV's acreage holding in the Walton Basin, offshore Jamaica to approximately 14,000 square kilometers.
The award of the additional block also triggers the commencement of the BHP Billiton FALCON airborne gravity gradiometer survey which is due to start later this week. The FALCON technology will be employed over blocks 6, 7 and 10 to map structure, lithology of the basins and in particular to provide detailed information on the reefs which are the key exploration play for most of the region. It is the first survey that Gippsland Offshore will be flying with BHP Billiton under their recently signed technology agreement.
The integration of the extensive long offset seismic data and the detailed FALCON will be an exciting first for oil and gas exploration around the world. Gippsland Offshore and Finder Exploration bring unique technical expertise to the acquisition and interpretation of these data that will be key to unlocking the potential in Jamaica.
The joint venture is well underway to meet their target schedule for data acquisition and interpretation that aims to identify drillable prospects by the end of 2006/early 2007.
Source: Gippsland Offshore Petroleum

••• 25.05.06  Repsol Includes Hydro and OVL in Cuban Exploration Project.
Repsol YPF, Hydro (Norway), OVL (India) and CUPET (Cuba) have signed an International Economic Association Contract in Havana for the exploration of six offshore blocks that are in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cuba.
Repsol YPF with a 40% stake in the project will be the operator, while the other companies will each have 30% stakes. For its part, CUPET (Cubana de Petroleos) will maintain its rights as a State company.
With this agreement, Repsol YPF, which until now was the holder of 100% of the exploration rights in the mentioned blocks, will transfer 60% of its previous stake to Hydro and OVL in the project.
As part of the project's exploratory program, 3,000 km2 of 3D seismic is currently being realized which will be completed in the short term as well as diverse geological studies that will serve as a base to evaluate future exploratory actions.
Source: RigZone

••• 24.05.06  ODIM lands another.
Norwegian supplier of seismic equipment, ODIM, has landed yet another contract for delivery of automated handling equipment. The value is NOK 25 million.
The order relates to a supplement to an existing contract with WesternGeco for the Eastern Spirit seismic survey ship. It involves the delivery of various handling systems, winches and control system which collectively complete a package for three-dimensional seismic surveying.
The contract is due for delivery in January-February 2007.
Source: Oilinfo

••• 24.05.06  Arrow Seismic ASA has entered into a non binding Letter of Intent with WesternGeco for a state-of-the-art multistreamer seismic newbuilding to be delivered in February 2008.
The Letter of Intent describes an agreement between parties to enter into a firm charter for the vessel for a fixed period of three years whereupon the continuation will be regulated by a put/call option to transfer the vessel to WesternGeco.
WesternGeco has an option of first refusal at market terms for a second newbuilding to be delivered in the fourth quarter of quarter 2008. The option expires in November 2006.
Source: Arrow Seismic

••• 24.05.06  Polar Pevek delivered to Rieber Shipping.
The icebreaking tug Polar Pevek has been delivered to GC Rieber Shipping in Norway.
Early in 2004, Rieber Shipping won an international tender from Exxon Neftegaz Ltd for a 15-year charter of a purpose-built ice-breaking tug vessel to support its operations at Sakhalin.
The contract was successfully secured in close cooperation with Rieber Shipping's partner, Primorsk Shipping Corporation (Prisco).
Polar Pevek was built by Aker Langsten in Norway, and will now commence her duties for Exxon Neftegaz at the DeKastri oil-terminal.
The ship is 72m x 17m and has 11,000kW and is purpose-built for tanker assistance and ice-management in one of the most weather-exposed areas of the world.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 23.05.06  Statoil Says Upcoming Seismic Season to be Very Active.
Statoil is facing a very active season for seismic data acquisition, both on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) and internationally.
Seismic data acquisition on the NCS has almost doubled over the past two years. Seismic surveying on Statoil operated blocks has also increased internationally.
"The high activity reflects Statoil's focus on reservoir management and improved oil recovery," says Erik Hеvarstein, head of the geology and geophysics unit in the Technology & Projects business area. The unit handles the seismic data acquisition for all relevant units in the group.
Whereas 4,500 square kilometers of seismic were acquired last year, the plan this year is to gather some 8,500 square kilometers.
This year's acquisition of exploration seismic data on the NCS is about to start. In connection with the 2005 awards in pre-defined areas (APA) Statoil is due to acquire about 3,000 square kilometers of seismic data from the North Sea and the Halten/Nordland area of the Norwegian Sea. Start-up is expected at the end of June.
Statoil was awarded two exploration licenses in the Barents Sea in the 19th offshore licensing round. The seismic data acquisition is scheduled to start in the late summer. The seismic data acquisition for feasibility studies and field development will take place on the Valemon prospect in the North Sea, the Tyrihans field and the Trestakk structure in the Norwegian Sea, and structures in the Snohvit area in the Barents Sea.
About 1,800 square meters of 4D seismic data were shot last year, whereas the plan for 2006 is to acquire 1,900 square kilometers. Four-dimensional seismic data are used for identifying the depletion of the reservoir over time. The method has helped improve the oil and gas recovery from existing fields.
The 4D seismic data shooting will take place on the Troll, Sleipner West, Sleipner East, Snorre, Tordis and Vigdis fields in the North Sea, on the Norne, Heidrun, Kristin fields and the Midgard structure in the Norwegian Sea, and on structures around the Snшhvit field.
In the Camamu basin off the coast of Brazil, where Statoil is the operator of four blocks, the seismic surveying started in November. About 3,200 square kilometers of seismic data are expected to be acquired here during June.
Seismic shooting on land in the Hassi Mouina block operated by Statoil in Algeria is also well under way, with some 1,050 kilometers of two-dimensional seismic data gathered so far. The seismic program in Algeria is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2006.
Source: Statoil

••• 22.05.06  Veritas DGC Selects C-Nav GPS.
The C-Nav GPS Division of C & C Technologies has been awarded a contract to install C-Nav Worldwide DGPS on all seven seismic vessels operated by Veritas DGC.
For redundancy, Veritas DGC chose to input two totally independent DGPS systems into their integrated navigation system. The integrated navigation system will weigh each solution equally to produce a combination position. However, if one of the systems is performing outside preset parameters it is eliminated from the solution.
This technique allows for Veritas to have a true fully redundant position system.
C-Nav Worldwide DGPS is a well-established system that Veritas began evaluating in 2003.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 20.05.06  Export tanker deal done for Russia’s Prirazlomnye.
Russian tanker company Sovkomflot and Admiralty Shipyards in St Petersburg have won a US $260 million deal to build two tankers for Russia’s Pechora Sea Prirazlomnoye oil field development.
The two tankers with a deadweight of 70,000 metric tonnes are to be built to shuttle crude production from Prirazlomnoye, which is estimated to contained 600 m bbl of oil in the Barents Sea, according to a report. Prirazlomnoye is being developed by re-using the topsides from the UK North Sea Hutton Tension Leg Platform – which were bought by Rosneft in 2002 – and locating them on a new gravity base structure 60 km (37.5 miles) offshore, in shallow water.
Up to 40 wells are planned to tap the field which is to export production using ice-breaking shuttle tankers to carry crude 1,100 km (690 miles) to a 360,000 tonne floating platform, Belokmenka, which is to be installed in ice-free Kola Bay, and exported from there by shuttle tankers.
The field was discovered in 1989 and although Rosneft won the right to develop it in 1993, it was transferred to Sevemorneftegz four years ago.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 19.05.06  Wavefield Wins Idemitsu North Sea Contract.
Wavefield Geophysical has been commissioned by Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS to carry out a seismic survey in the North Sea. The project, due to commence in August and expected to take one month, will involve a 3D marine survey offshore Norway.
Located in block 35/7 (PL377 S) within the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, the 3D project will complement existing 3D seismic over parts of the license and provide improved data and better coverage. The survey will be acquired by Wavefield's Bergen Surveyor vessel, which was upgraded in April 2006 and will utilize two streamers and two sources.
The new project will be the first 3D survey for the Bergen Surveyor and adds to a growing list of surveys for the newly-formed Wavefield - recognition of its management team's extensive experience and track record in the industry.
Commenting on the award, Rick Donoghue, Wavefield's Vice President Sales and Marketing said, "This 3D project for Idemitsu, together with the Bergen Surveyor's 2D commitments for other operators this year, illustrates the flexibility of the vessel as a 2D/3D unit which meets a market need for high-quality long offset 2D and efficient, detailed 3D acquisition."
Source: Wavefield Geophysical

••• 19.05.06  Seismic vessel for Gulf of Mexico.
GGS reports that it in a back-to-back agreement with Spencer Energy AS has purchased the vessel M/V Jeff Chouest from Edison Chouest Offshore LLC. The vessel will be sold on to Spencer Energy and leased back for a period of 5 years at a bare boat rate of USD 10,000 per day. Spencer Energy is controlled by Arne Blystad.
The vessel will be rigged as a state of the art long offset 2D vessel using recording equipment and streamers already owned by GGS, and is planned to be ready to collect data in September 2006. Spencer Energy will pay for the vessel, equipment and rigging thereby allowing GGS to release capital that is currently tied up in equipment.
Jeff Chouest will undergo ABS class work and has recently been employed as a seismic source vessel. It has previously been working in different configurations as a recording vessel and as a fully equipped 2D vessel. The vessel is purchased to secure capacity and reduce exposure to the high prices in the present seismic market for the announced GGS projects and future plans in the US Gulf of Mexico. The strong seismic market will also provide the opportunity to strengthen cash flow and increase profits by offering the vessel in the contract market.
Source: GGS

••• 17.05.06  ODIM lands Ramform contract.
A contract worth some NOK 90 million to supply a complete automated handling system to the next generation of Ramform seismic survey ships has been awarded to ODIM ASA.
The vessel is being constructed for Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) at the Aker Langsten yard in Norway, with ODIM due to deliver the equipment in the third quarter of 2007.
- We`re proud to have been chosen to supply automated handling gear to one of the industry`s most advanced seismic vessels. At the same time, we can note with gratification that PGS has chosen to use our equipment on all the survey ships it has built since its creation in the early 1990s, says ODIM president Jogeir Romestrand in a press release.
This contract makes PGS one of ODIM`s biggest customers since the company was established, ODIM says.
Source: Oilinfo

••• 16.05.06  India's OVL to Acquire Stake in Seven Blocks in Cuba.
ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp, will on May 23 sign a contract to acquire stake in seven oil and gas blocks in Cuba.
OVL had last September acquired 30 per cent stake in seven oil and gas blocks in Cuba, which holds more than 4 billion barrels of oil reserves.
"A formal agreement with the Cubian government will be signed in Havana," a company official said.
Spain's Repsol-YPF is the operator of the Block 25-29, 36 and a part of Block 25 with 40 per cent stake and the remaining is with Norway's Norsk Hydro.
"OVL had entered into an agreement on September 15 with Repsol-YPF of Spain to acquire 30 per cent participating interest in the deepwater exploration Blocks 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 36 and part of Block 35 in Gulf of Mexico," the official said.
The blocks are spread over an area of nearly 12,000 sq km in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cuba.
"The hydrocarbon resource potential in the blocks is estimated to be in excess of four billion barrels. One exploratory well drilled in one of these blocks indicated presence of hydrocarbons," the official said.
These blocks are in the third exploration period. Work program during this period includes acquisition 3,000 sq km 3-D seismic data.
Drilling wells on selected prospects will be decided in the next exploration phase.
Source: RigZone/Asia Pulse Pte Ltd

••• 16.05.06  Multi-Client Agreement for Offshore Lebanon.
PGS in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Water have signed an agreement on multi-client MC3D seismic for offshore Lebanon.
The Phase 1 acquisition will involve approximately 1000 sq km’s of MC3D seismic data in the 4th Quarter 2006, which covers an area over the Levant Basin. The survey will be available late in the 1st Quarter 2007 and lies within water depths of 1500m’s. It will form the basis for a future licensing round to the industry late in the 1st Quarter 2007.
Source: PGS

••• 15.05.06  Fugro reports strong first quarter.
At its Annual Meeting of Shareholders last week, Mr K S Wester, CEO of Fugro, said the company's first quarter had turned out to be "very strong" and that, setting aside unforeseen circumstances, both profit and turnover will exceed last year’s record.
The company's orderbook remains at a high level, and by now, the number of employees has increased to more than 9,000, despite what the company called "a worldwide shortage of technical personnel and qualified specialists."
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 14.05.06  WesternGeco secures seismic vessel.
Arrow Seismic, a subsidiary of GC Rieber Shipping ASA, has entered into a Letter of Intent with WesternGeco for a state-of-the-art multistreamer seismic newbuilding delivered early 2008.
The agreement, although non binding, options WesternGeco to acquire the vessel after a three-year period. The total value of the charter hire from the fixed charter and the purchase price under the put/call option is between EUR 115 million and EUR 125 million, dependent on timing of payment under the put/call option and charter hire.
Further, WesternGeco has an option of first refusal at market terms for the second newbuilding to be delivered in 4th Quarter 2008, such option expiring 1st November 2006.
- The Letter of Intent with seismic major WesternGeco confirms Arrow’s position as a leading supplier of multistreamer seismic vessels to the marine seismic industry with cost efficient design and focus on safe and cost efficient operations, Arrow Seismic states.
Source: Oilinfo

••• 12.05.06  Northern Norway on the threshold of an oil boom.
The town of Hammerfest in the western part of the Norwegian Finnmark county is about to be transformed from an aging province to a pulsating petroleum centre. The former pessimism and recession is replaced by economic growth and belief in the future.
The main reason for the boom is the “Snohvit” gas field in the nearby Barents Sea. Oil major Statoil has spent billions of dollars on the construction of a gas processing plant at the island Melkoya just outside Hammerfest. Norwegian foreign minister Jonas Gahr Store has called the plant “Norway’s Nokia” referring to the successful Finnish technology company.
Leader of the branch organisation Petro Arctic, Arvid Jensen, says the growing importance of the Barents Sea will transform the county of Finnmark from an area of constant crisis, unemployment and shrinking populations to a new economic powerhouse in Norway. He points at the fact that the Melkoya plant in the future might not only handle the gas from “Snohvit”, but also gas from other nearby fields, as well as oil from the “Goliat” field.
Experts also believe developments on the Russian side in the Barents Sea will positively influence the Norwegian north. They assume that the companies will benefit from being represented on both the Norwegian and Russian sides of the border, and that Russian bureaucracy could cause problems for the operators. –The Norwegian county of Finnmark will be stimulated by the big resources on the Russian side, Aftenporten writes.
Source: "BarentsObserver"

••• 11.05.06  Norsk Hydro, Spanish Repsol and Indian ONGC will sign a contract on May 23rd, allowing them to explore offshore Cuba in search of oil and gas. The US is left out due to own sanctions.
American oil companies won’t be allowed to participate in the upcoming campaign, due to the US government’s long-standing trade embargo of the socialist island state. Cuban waters are only 120 kilometers offshore the coast of Florida, and the possibilities of oil discoveries are strong. This is frustrating for American companies, which now seem to suffer from the fact that the coast off Florida is set to be off limits for oil exploration due to fragile eco systems, and not being allowed to travel further out to do their thing.
Lobbyists are now working hard to get US oil companies excused from the trade embargo, much like a number of US food producers selling food to Cuba. But exile Cubans and politicians with close Cuban ties in Florida is fighting such an exception.
Repsol found high quality oil offshore Cuba in 2004, but not in commercially viable amounts. American scientists believe that as much as 4,6 to 9,3 million barrels of oil can be hidden on the Cuban shelf.
Rig shortage will prevent any activity before 2008, though.
Source: Oilinfo

••• 10.05.06  Indian coast guard rescues a person from foreign research vessel Professor Kurentsov.
Indian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (ICGMRCC) has rescued a Russian crew member from a research vessel which was carrying out seismic survey, 180 miles North East of Port Blair.
ICGMRCC had received a message on May 5 from Professor Kurentsov that one of its crew member was sick and the person needed evacuation.
Receiving the information, ICGMRCC had alerted all concerned agencies and prepared one of its coast guard ship for evacuation.
Indian Coast Guard reacted promptly and sailed CGS Kanaklata Barua yesterday for safe evacuation.
CGS Kanaklata evacuated Mr Vitaly Kurochkin from the foreign vessel.
ICGMRCC said the operation was quite difficult as the sea was rough and the research vessel could not stop due to seismic survey.
After rescuing, Mr Kurochkin was sent to G.B.Pant hospital, and is in stable conditions.

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