Offshore SeisNews ©
••• 29.12.06 GGS reports that the launch of the GGS Atlantic that was planned to take place approximately 15. December, had to be postponed until after the holidays.
Sea trials are now scheduled to commence during the first week of 2007. The vessel will be deployed for the planned surveys west of Florida immediately upon mobilisation.
••• 28.12.06 Aircraft crash close to South Morecambe.
According to Lancashire police the CHC helicopter crashed about 38 km (24 miles) off the coast and about a mile from the South Morecambe platform.
Various reports suggested that the aircraft was seen hitting the water as it approached the South Morecambe installation.
Detective Superintendent Mick Gradwell of Lancashire Constabulary, who was quoted on the incident said: “The helicopter had been travelling around various rigs in Morecambe Bay. I am sad to say at the moment we have recovered six bodies and the search continues for the outstanding person.”
But with the extremely cold sea temperatures, there was little hope of finding the missing passenger alive. One report suggested they either died when the helicopter hit the water, or in the near extremely cold water soon afterwards.
Michael Mulford of the Royal Air Force Rescue Centre was quoted as saying: “In the rescue business you never say never but you have to temper that with being quite realistic about someone’s chances of survival.”
A spokesman for helicopter operator CHC in Aberdeen said the company usually operates about eight flights a day to the Morecambe Bay fields and averages between 230 and 250 flights every month.
Aircraft have been flying out to the Morecambe Bay fields since gas was discovered there 20 years ago and there have been no “high risk” incidents involving its aircraft – involving death or serious injury - since 1999, CHC indicated.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 28.12.06 Helicopter down in Liverpool Bay.
A search and rescue mission was launched last night after a rig support vessel reported a distress call from a helicopter in the Eastern Irish Sea near the Liverpool Bay fields.
The Highland Sprite informed the Marine Coastguard Agency and deployed two of its fast rescue craft to the point where it has last seen the AS3654N helicopter with two crew and seven passengers on board ditching in the sea. Liverpool Coastguard also scrambled a rescue helicopter from RAF Valley and Fleetwood and Barrow lifeboats were launched.
CHC Helicopter Corporation’s European Operations centre also confirmed that one of its aircraft was involved in the incident.
A search of the area was reported to be underway.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 27.12.06 Gazprom Wins Offshore Libya Acreage.
Gazprom was declared as the hydrocarbon exploration & development tender winner for Block 19 situated in Libya's Mediterranean Sea offshore. With 45 bidders involved, the tender was organized by the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC).
Gazprom will receive an up to 30-year upstream license for the Block. The project is planned to be funded with over US$ 200 million to be used for geological exploration purposes including for drilling 6 exploration wells.
Developing Block 19 in the Mediterranean Sea offshore will be Gazprom's second-largest project in Libya. The first project will be executed under a framework asset swap agreement between Gazprom and BASF. Under the agreement, the Russian side will receive a 49-percent stake in Wintershall Holding that annually recovers some 5 million t of oil in Libya.
Source: Rigzone/OAO Gazprom
••• 23.12.06 SeaBird Exploration charters vessel for SeaBed.
SeaBird Exploration Ltd (SeaBird) and Siem Offshore Inc have entered into a 5 year firm bareboat charter with 3 x 1 year options for the vessel Siem Mariner, a DP2 platform supply vessel of MT 6000 mk II design, delivered from the Kleven yard in Norway December 2006. SeaBird will convert the vessel to a state of the art SeaBed Seismic vessel at a cost estimated to be approximately USD 17 mill.
The contract value for the firm period is approximately USD 57 million and is scheduled for commencement in 2Q 2007. SeaBird has an option to purchase the vessel at the expiry of the firm 5 years period at a price of approximately USD 48 million.
Seabird has decided to move the Harrier Explorer previously destined for SeaBed into the 2D/Source vessel market due to strong market demand and is in a dialogue with several industry players for employment of the vessel.
••• 22.12.06 Norwegian seismic group Wavefield Inseis has completed acquisition of US-based data specialist AIM Geophysical in a cash-only deal.
AIM formed in 2000, and which has 3D data sets from both traditional towed streamer and ocean bottom cable data acquisition programmes, will allow Wavefield to expand internationally.
The deal is in line with its growth strategy of expanding its seismic vessel fleet and optimising vessel utilisation, Wavefield said.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 22.12.06 Gazprom Joins Sakhalin II.
On Thursday, OAO Gazprom (Gazprom), Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell), Mitsui &Co., Ltd (Mitsui) and Mitsubishi Corporation (Mitsubishi) signed a protocol to bring Gazprom into the Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd. (SEIC) as a leading shareholder. Under the terms of the protocol, Gazprom will acquire a 50% stake plus one share in SEIC for a total cash purchase price of $7.45 billion. The current SEIC partners will each dilute their stakes by 50% to accommodate this transaction, with a proportionate share of the purchase price. Shell will retain a 27.5% stake, with Mitsui and Mitsubishi holding 12.5% and 10% stakes, respectively.
SEIC will remain the operator of the Sakhalin II project. Gazprom will play a leading role as majority shareholder while Shell will continue to significantly contribute to SEIC management and remain as Technical Advisor. The key focus for SEIC is to complete the project on schedule allowing LNG to be delivered to existing customers in Japan, Korea and the North American West Coast. All existing LNG sales contracts will remain in force and will be honored.
••• 21.12.06 Arrow Seismic ASA, a 54 % owned subsidiary of GC Rieber Shipping ASA, has exercised its option with the spanish yard and contracted a new high capacity seismic vessel (yard no.535) for delivery in 4Q 2009.
New building 535 is identical to the 532, 533 and 534 new buildings due for delivery in 2008/09 and the investment (in EURO) will be at similar level.
Reference to the announcement made on 2nd November 2006 relating to Arrow purchase of the 1992 built cargo vessel "Sophie".
>"Sophie" was formally acquired on 8th December and renamed "Polar Explorer".
Further, Arrow has now entered into a firm agreement to purchase the sister vessel "Karen B" built in 1993 at a similar price as for "Polar Explorer" with delivery in 1st Quarter 2007.
Both vessels will as previously announced be converted source vessels of high standard in order to meet the requirement of safety and comfort from the oil exploration industry.
Source: Arrow Seismic
••• 21.12.06 Gardline Australia Pty Ltd has signed a one-year contract with the Australian Customs Service for the provision of the vessel RV Tritonto undertake patrol duties off Northern Australia.
Earlier this year the Australian Government undertook to strengthen its enforcement activities against illegal foreign fishing vessels and following an exhaustive tender process has contracted Gardline Australia to provide the RV Triton to augment the Customs patrol boat fleet.
The vessel will operate under the direction of the Australian Customs Service primarily to deter and seize illegal fishing vessels.
Built in the UK in 2000, the diesel-electric powered RV Triton at 98m in length is the largest motor-powered trimaran in the world with a top speed of 20 knots and is capable of remaining at sea for extended periods.
Triton is currently undergoing modifications for its new task and will shortly be sailing for Australia to commence work for the Australian Customs Service in January 2007.
••• 20.12.06 Norwegian Deck Machinery (NDM) to provide winches onboard the new seismic vessels "Sanco Star" and "Sanco Spirit".
The vessels are for Sanco Holding and will be built on Vaagland Batbyggeri for delivery May 2008 and February 2009 to RXT. Both ships is designed by Multi Maritime in Forde, Norway, and have a length of 80 m and a width of 16 m.
"Our deliverance will be 2 Anchor winches with cable lifters and 2 Capstans. This is our first contract with Vaagland Batbyggeri and we are looking forward to deliver high quality winches to both vessels", says NDM's sales manager Sverre Mowinckel-Nilsen.
NDM will also deliver winches onboard the new vessels "Fugro Saltire" and "Geo Caribbian".
The seismic vessel "Geo Caribbian" and ROV survey construction vessel "Fugro Saltire" are for E. Forland Shipowners in Bergen, Norway. Both ships will be built at Bergen Mekaniske Verksted for delivery February 2008 and October 2008 to FUGRO. Both ships are designed by Skipsteknisk in Aalesund. "Fugro Saltire" has a length of 111 m and a width of 24 m and "Geo Caribbian" has a length of 100.8 m and a width of 24 m.
NDM deliverance for each vessel will be: anchor winches with cable lifters, warping head and local control, chain stoppers with local control, capstans with warping head and local control.
NDM will also deliver hydraulic power system for both anchor winches and capstans to both vessels.
This is NDM second and third contracts with Bergen Mekaniske Verksted in 2006. The vessel "Geo Caribbian" is similar to "Geo Celtic" (for delivery from Bergen Mekaniske Verksted in May 2007) in which NDM also will deliver winches.
••• 19.12.06 CGG's Merger with Veritas DGC
As previously disclosed, Compagnie Generale de Geophysique and Veritas DGC, Inc. will hold separate meetings of their shareholders on January 9, 2007 in connection with the proposed combination between the two companies.
Veritas stockholders will vote to approve the merger agreement among Veritas, CGG, and CGG's subsidiaries Volnay Acquisition Co. I and Volnay Acquisition Co. II. CGG shareholders will vote to approve the issuance of CGG ordinary shares underlying the CGG ADSs to be issued pursuant to the merger and certain related matters. Upon approval of the share issuance and related matters by the shareholders of CGG and the merger agreement by the stockholders of Veritas, and satisfaction of other customary conditions, the proposed merger is expected to close on or about January 12, 2007.
Veritas shareholders may elect to receive either CGG ADSs, cash or a combination there of (subject to the allocation procedure described in the proxy statement/prospectus) in exchange for their shares of Veritas common stock. Election forms for purposes of making this election have been mailed together with the proxy statement/prospectus on or about December 5, 2006. The deadline for making an election with respect to the type of merger consideration to be received is 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on January 10, 2007. Holders of Veritas common stock should carefully complete the election forms and submit them to the exchange agent before the election deadline.
Immediately after the effective time of the merger, the combined company will be renamed "Compagnie Generale de Geophysique-Veritas," abbreviated as "CGG Veritas".
••• 18.12.06 Statoil and Hydro to merge oil and gas activities.
One single Norwegian oil giant will exist in the future with the announcement that Statoil and Norsk Hydro are to combine their oil and gas operations.
Claiming the creation of "The world’s largest offshore operator," Statoil and Hydro said the new company will production of 1.9 m boe/d in 2007 and 6.3 Bn boe of proven reserves.
The two companies said the merger makes sense in a challenging global landscape.
In a joint statement today, the companies said: "Both Hydro and Statoil have developed competence and technologies acknowledged to be among the best in the global energy industry. By combining forces, the new company will be a highly competent and financially strong Norwegian-based energy champion, well positioned to ensure continued domestic excellence and pursue international business opportunities for long-term growth," said Jan Reinas and Jannik Lindbak, Chairmen of the Board of Directors of Hydro and Statoil, respectively, in a joint statement. "The industry faces an increasingly challenging international landscape. To merge now makes perfect sense."
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 14.12.06 Arrow Seismic ASA, a 54 % owned subsidiary of GC Rieber Shipping ASA and GC Rieber Shipping Ltd. as 100 % owned ship management company of GC Rieber Shipping ASA, has entered into a non binding Letter of Intent with seismic major CGG for a state-of-the-art high capacity seismic new building 534 to be delivered April 2009.
The Letter of Intent describes an agreement between CGG and Arrow to enter into a firm 12 year bare boat charter for the vessel including insea seismic equipment, whereupon the continuation will be regulated by a put/call option. The parties have agreed not to disclose the commercial terms. The Letter of Intent with seismic major CGG confirms Arrow’s position as a leading supplier of high capacity seismic vessels to the marine seismic industry with cost efficient design and focus on safe and cost efficient operations.
Further, the Letter of Intent describes an agreement between CGG and Rieber Shipping Ltd. to enter into a firm 6 year ship management contract for the same vessel.
Source: Arrow Seismic
••• 14.12.06 A new high capacity 3D vessel for CGG.
CGG announced the signature of a non binding Letter of Intent with Arrow Seismic ASA, a 54 % owned subsidiary of GC Rieber Shipping ASA and Rieber Shipping Ltd, for a state-of-the–art 12 streamers seismic new built vessel to be delivered April 2009.
This project is part of the CGG group's long term planning of fleet renewal and upgrade in a context of increasing market demand for high capacity seismic vessels.
••• 12.12.06 RWE-Fugro Malta seismic survey completed.
RWE as operator of the Company's Malta project has contracted Fugro-Geoteam AS to acquire of 2D/3D seismic over prospects in Blocks 4 and 5 of Area 3 offshore Malta.
The seismic survey is completed 05, December and was undertaken using the Fugro seismic vessel "Geo Atlantic".
Built in 2000 and converted this year into one of the world’s most modern 3D vessels, this high capacity ten solid-streamer and latest source technology vessel is perfectly suited for this type of 2D/3D project. Magnetic data also was acquired during the survey.
Source: Offshore Media
••• 11.12.06 Russian oil to be reloaded at North Cape.
The Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) has approved ship-to-ship reloading of Russian gas condensate clsoe to the Norwegian North Cape. The decision will open for 40 reloading operations by the company Kirkenes Transit.
The oil, which is transported by railway to the Vitino port in the White Sea and from there to Norway, will have ports in Western Europe and the US. as its destination.
Kirkenes Transit originally wanted to conduct the reloading in the Bokfjorden bay outside Kirkenes. SFT did not however grant the company the necessary permission, arguing that the bay is subjected to special environmental protection regulations.
The STF stresses that the reloading operations are subjected to strict environmental preparedness regulations. The ships, which can only be up to 75,000 tons, will have to be surrounded by protection booms during the reloading, and the waters should be free of ice. The control authority not yet allow for reloading of other oil products.
••• 10.12.06 SCAN Geophysical has begun 3D seismic acquisition for Chevron offshore Venezuela.
The survey encompasses two non-adjacent areas and is expected to take several months to complete. The M/V SCAN Resolution, newly arrived in Venezuela after completing a survey in the Mediterranean, is conducting the Chevron survey. The M/V SCAN Resolution features the latest solid-streamer and source technology, incorporating an environmentally-friendly design for quiet operation in moderate seas.
“We have been looking forward to conducting our first seismic survey in the Americas,” said Stephane Touche, Senior Vice President and COO of SCAN. “This not only establishes our presence in an important new market, but also is consistent with our plan to expand seismic value worldwide.”
Source: SCAN Geophysical
••• 08.12.06 Wavefield Inseis has been commissioned by Petrobras to carry out a seismic survey in the south east Mediterranean.
The project, due to commence in February or March 2007, is expected to take one and a half months and will involve a 3D marine survey over Petrobras’ licence offshore Libya.
Located in block 18 within the Pelagian Basin, the 850 km2 survey will be acquired by the M/V Geowave Commander. Built in 1998 and converted by Wavefield Inseis earlier this year into one of the world’s most modern 3D vessels, this high capacity ten streamer vessel is perfectly suited for this type of large scale exploration 3D project.
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 07.12.06 Norway exploration spend to hit new high.
Norway’s Statisitcs Agency estimates that the spend on exploration activities offshore the country will hit a record NOK 24.7 billion (US $4 Bn) in 2007.
Total investments in oil and gas activities for 2007, including pipeline transportation, are preliminary estimated at NOK 100.2 billion. The estimate is NOK 7.4 billion higher than the corresponding number for 2006 and NOK 11.6 billion higher than the estimate given in the previous quarter.
Investments for exploration activity in 2007 are estimated at record high NOK 24.7 billion. The figure is NOK 12.5 billion higher than the corresponding estimate for 2006, given in the fourth quarter of 2005. This is the highest exploration estimate given, measured in current prices, since Statistics Norway started collecting estimates in 1985.
The total investments in oil and gas activity in 2006, including pipeline transportation, are now estimated at NOK 99.9 billion.
This is NOK 0.3 billion lower than the approximate calculation conducted in the survey last quarter, but an increase of NOK 12.8 billion compared with the corresponding estimate given for 2005. The increase in 2006 is due to higher investments in all investments areas except pipeline transportation where the estimates indicate a decrease.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 05.12.06 Seismic company Reservoir Exploration Technology (RXT) has confirmed that it has entered into a long term charter for a second purpose-built vessel which will be delivered in the first quarter 2009.
"Oil and gas companies have an increasing requirement for improved data quality for both exploration and improved oil recovery from existing fields. This has led to an increasing need for multi component seismic data acquisition. These purpose-built vessels will add great capacity and flexibility in our drive to meet this growing market," said Michael Scott, CEO at RXT.
Sanco Spirit will be chartered from Sanco Holding AS in Norway. Sanco will, in April 2008, also deliver the sister vessel Sanco Star, which was ordered earlier this year. The vessels are being built at Vaagland Batbyggeri AS in Vagland, Norway and are of the MM80 Seismic design from Multi Maritime in Norway.
For Sanco Star, the time charter is for a period of five years, with options of five more. Both vessels will be rigged with state of the art seismic equipment to operate as combined shooting and cable handling vessels for multi component seafloor seismic data acquisition.
••• 04.12.06 Anti-piracy plan in place.
Plans to counteract piracy on offshore vessels has been put into place by members of the Marine Contractors Association in a bid to cut security threats.
An IMCA task force has published new guidance on verification of third party security personnel after threats posed to ships in port in high risk areas of the world. "This new publication gives useful advice on vetting procedures to ensure that private security contractors provide standards of service and personnel fit for purpose," said Hugh Williams, chief executive of IMCA.
"Experience has shown that ships, whilst in port or operating within certain geographical areas, regularly require suitable additional protective security to counter threats that may stem from a variety of local factors."
The new guidance is obtainable from IMCA and contains a checklist for vetting security personnel.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 04.12.06 Sanco Shipping has exercised its option for a second MM80 seismic vessel at Vaagland Batbyggeri shipyard in Norway.
The vessel will be delivered in the spring of 2009 and the hull will be built by Helgeland Sveiseindustri in northern Norway.
As with the first vessel, this new vessel will be chartered by RXT, which specializes in multi component seismic sea-floor acquisition.
This is the fifth vessel of Multi Maritime design to be built at Vaagland Batbyggeri. Currently 18 vessels designed by Multi Maritime are on order, in addition to a major conversion project.
••• 01.12.06 TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA announced today that it has begun acquisition in the Sultanate of Oman of a 6,000 kilometer multi-client 2D seismic survey.
The survey is being acquired utilizing the vessel M/V Akademik Lazarev under contract to TGS. Gravity and magnetic data are also being acquired in conjunction with the survey. Acquisition of the program is expected to be completed by mid-January 2007 and processed data is expected to be available to participants in the second quarter. The survey is strongly supported by industry pre-funding.
According to Richard Horscroft, General Manager for TGS in Africa and the Middle East, offshore Oman has high potential. "The survey area is considered highly prospective yet underexplored and lacks any previous data in the deep water areas. Petroleum systems of interest include a sub-ophiolite play and extensions of the prolific hydrocarbon producing Mesozoic rift basins in Yemen as well as postulated overlying Tertiary basins."
••• 29.11.06 Norway presented claims for continental shelf.
The Norwegian government yesterday handed over its claims for the northern continental shelf to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). The claims include a 250,000 square km area in the Norwegian Sea, the Barents Sea and the Polar sea. –This is a historic day for Norwegian High North policies, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store says.
In a press note from the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, Minister Store says that the delimitation of the continental shelf is an important contribution to the government’s bid for clarity and predictability in the High North.
A number of coastal states have a continental shelf which stretches beyond the 200 sea mile border. These states, among them Norway, have to provide documentation about the size of the shelf, whereupon the Commission will assess the claims and recommend the shelf borders. The Arctic is believed to contain significant amounts of hydrocarbons and all the northern states with borders towards the Arctic all want a piece of the cake.
••• 27.11.06 Norway’s company Odim has scooped a NOK 70 million contract from Wavefield Inseis for delivery of automated handling equipment for a new seismic vessel.
Odim said the contract involves the delivery of various handling systems for three-dimensional seismic surveying, for the 16 streamer vessel Geowave Endeavour.
The contract is for delivery in the beginning of first quarter 2008.
••• 23.11.06 Wavefield opens up in Perth.
Marine geophysical specialist, Wavefield Inseis, has opened its first Asia Pacific office in Perth, Australiain a bid to give the company closer access to the Asia Pacific marketplace.
Wavefield Inseis’ first permanent presence within the Asia Pacific region, the Perth office will be headed by new Asia Pacific marketing and sales manager, Tim Spencer. With 28 years’ experience in the industry, Spencer joins the company after eight years with PGS Asia Pacific as geophysical operations manager.
Reporting directly to Rick Donoghue, Wavefield Inseis’ vice president sales and marketing, Spencer will be responsible for increasing the awareness of the company’s client services, together with leading the coordination of Wavefield’s marketing and sales activities throughout the Asia Pacific territory.
"As part of our strategic development, we have been planning to increase our presence in the Asia Pacific region for some time," commented Donoghue. "The opening of the Perth office is an exciting development for us, but this is only the first of several initiatives we are currently pursuing in our strategy for growth."
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 23.11.06 Only for the brightest.
Statoil is seeking 68 bright talents to join the company’s trainee programme 2007. To net the best candidates, the company has brought forward the deadline to early December this year.
- More and more students are being offered full-time jobs before they complete their studies. We've previously advertised trainee positions in February, the same time many other companies are looking for people. If we're to attract the best candidates we need to advertise earlier, Nickey Berg, vice president for learning solutions in corporate human resources (P&O), said in a press release Tuesday.
The two-year programme acquaints candidates with Statoil’s value chain, and a good business understanding of the group. Candidates must have a Master’s degree from a college or university, and at least two years work experience. The programme is established to recruit further younger, talented employees, as well as securing the company’s long term expertise requirements, the company said.
••• 20.11.06 Petroleum Geo-Services ASA is currently acquiring 3D seismic data for Maersk Oil Qatar. PGS will survey an area of approximately 2,350 square kilometers under the contract.
The HD3D seismic is acquired using the vessel Pacific Explorer. The acquisition started in October 2006 and is estimated to end in September 2007.
President of PGS Marine, Rune Eng, stated the following:
"We are proud to work for Maersk on this extensive seismic acquisition job. We expect that shooting this survey in HD3D mode will provide Maersk with an exceptionally high quality dataset to support their future exploration and production programs in Qatar. We have seen an increased demand for more advanced types of seismic in recent years, evidenced both by this survey and our new Wide Azimuth survey in the Gulf of Mexico." The survey offshore Qatar was as previously disclosed included in PGS backlog as of September 30, 2006.
••• 19.11.06 Wavefield Inseis will launch a new purpose built 3D seismic flagship vessel in april 2008 as it keeps up with its fleet expansion plans.
The Geowave Endeavour will be one of the most powerful and highest capacity seismic vessels in the world. The Volstad Maritime owned vessel will be built at the Fosen Yard in Norway.
Wavefield said in a statement: "With 16 streamers capacity and eight gun strings the vessel has been designed to meet the growing demand for high density 4D seismic data and the need for wide-azimuth and multi-azimuth data acquisition. Built with the future in mind, the vessel also incorporates design elements that will allow it to accommodate new advances in acquisition technology and to provide techniques such as under-/over streamers and source configurations".
"The 106m long and 26.6m wide 3D seismic vessel will be the fourth Wavefield Inseis high capacity 3D vessel. With a maximum speed of 16 knots and a large streamer capacity, the Geowave Endeavour is destined to make a very significant impact in the market, which demands more efficient delivery of large high density seismic data in order to meet the imaging challenges of the E&P industry."
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 17.11.06 Shtokman discussions statement.
Reports have surfaced that Statoil has started new talks over developing the Shtokman gas field with Gazprom despite a firm denial by the Norwegian operator.
Statoil said yesterday that a number of articles had been published indicating it had started new negotiations associated with the Shtokman development. "This is not true," Statoil said.
The operator went on to say that Gazprom has announced it will develop Shtokman without international partners, and that Statoil has taken note of this. "Statoil has not commenced any new negotiations or discussions about the Shtokman development. Comments that give any other impression are not true," Statoil added.
Yet today reports quoting Russian source Rio Novosti in Murmansk – the most likely landfall point for Shtokman gas – has quoted Statoil vice president Harald Finnvik, suggesting otherwise.
Finnvik is quoted as saying that Statoil still has ideas for involvement in Shtokman, one way or another, and does not feel the door is entirely closed to participation.
He is quoted by Rio Novosti as saying: "We have never had doubts Statoil will be involved in Shtokman's development, one way or another," and: " We don't feel the door of opportunity has closed on us. We can see new potentialities in this situation, but, of course, it will now take us some time to assess the situation adequately and to see which form of cooperation is realistic".
"We have a number of ideas, although it is still too early to talk of any concrete proposals," he added.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 09.11.06 Wavefield plans fleet expansion.
Seismic company Wavefield Inseis has completed a NOK 500 million (US $77.6 million) share placement as it looks to expand its fleet and invest in new geophysical technologies.
The company said the main purpose of the private placement is to fund investments in two additional high-end 3D vessels and one additional 2D vessel which will expand Wavefield Inseis’ fleet to four 3D vessels and two 2D vessels, all of which are planned to be in operation before Q2 2008.
"The fleet expansion will enable Wavefield Inseis to be a global provider of marine geophysical services. Also, Wavefield Inseis will use some of the proceeds to make further investments in multi-client (MC) surveys to expand the company’s existing library of MC data as well as make selected investments in new and innovative geophysical technologies," the company said in a statement.
"We have chosen a fast entry into the high-end of the marine seismic acquisition market, and made a commitment to develop new technologies." commented CEO Atle Jacobsen. "The funds raised in the private placement will enable us to deliver on our strategy of becoming an innovative geophysical company with a global platform".
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 05.11.06 Arrow Seismic purchases vessels for conversion to source vessels.
Arrow Seismic ASA ("Arrow"), a 54 % owned subsidiary of GC Rieber Shipping ASA have entered into agreement to purchase the 1992 built cargo vessel "Sophie" for about USD 6,75 million. Further, Arrow has an option to purchase a sister vessel built in 1993 at a similar price. The option has to be exercised within medio November 2006.
Arrow, having access to winches and compressors for delivery in 2007, is planning to convert and renew the vessels to source vessels of high standard in order to meet the requirement of safety and comfort from the oil exploration industry. Total investment for the two vessels, including conversion cost, winches and compressors, is estimated to about USD 62 million.
The size of the vessels (92m x 17m) is sufficient for a further rigging of streamer winches as mulltistreamer 3D vessels. This alternative is being evaluated, depending on availability of propulsion upgrade.
Source: Arrow Seismic
••• 03.11.06 SCAN Geophysical ASA has signed a contract with GEMS International N.V. that calls for SCAN to acquire approximately 3,000 km of 2D seismic data offshore Pakistan for the Government of Pakistan.
The survey, which will take approximately one month to complete, is scheduled to begin mid-November of 2006 for the National Institute of Oceanography of Pakistan.
The contract rates reflect increasing market prices for high-end 2D surveys in general. The survey will be conducted by SCAN's modern, high-capacity 2D vessel M/V Geo Searcher which has completed acquisition work offshore India using a 10,000 m long streamer and high-volume sources.
Source: SCAN Geophysical
••• 03.11.06 Hostage Taking in Nigeria - Update
PGS is presently operating a shallow water seismic crew offshore Nigeria. The operation involves the deployment of a large number of seismic sensors on the sea bed from small vessels and the crew members are accommodated on two larger support ships.
Shortly after midnight on Thursday, November 2nd, two PGS employees, one US citizen and one UK Citizen, were abducted by a group of armed men from the vessel HD Commander while anchored near the Funiwa Platform offshore Bayelsa state.
PGS are currently doing everything possible to solve this unfortunate situation. PGS have mobilized their Emergency Crises organization and are getting assistance from third party experts. Currently PGS have had no demands from the kidnappers.
The company hopes that contact can soon be established with the hostage takers and is coordinating efforts to bring this situation to a quick and successful conclusion.
All other crew members are uninjured and out of risk.
The families of the two employees have been contacted and PGS is committed to supporting them during this difficult time. PGS requests that the media respect the privacy of the families.
••• 30.10.06 First commercial use of OBS technology in the Celtic Sea.
Providence, the AIM and Dublin IEX listed oil & gas exploration and production company, announced that it has engaged the services of Gardline Surveys to utilize Ocean Bottom Seismic (OBS) technology over the next potential well location on the Blackrock structure.
It is planned for the survey to be carried out during Q4 2006 over blocks 48/30 & 49/26 in the Celtic Sea, offshore southern Ireland. The survey will be performed by the University of Durham, which is part of the Ocean Bottom Instrumentation Consortium (OBIC), who specialize in the utilization of this innovative technology.
OBS technology, a highly advanced surveying technique, has been demonstrated to be effective in assessing hydrocarbon fluids within structures where there are existing well control points. This is the first time that the highly advanced OBS technology has been deployed as part of the search for oil in the Celtic Sea. The technique is based on placing the hydrophone sensors, which are normally towed near the sea surface, on the seabed, which greatly increases the amount of data acquired. In the case of Blackrock, Providence has two control points comprising of the two existing wells on either flank of the structure.
Source: Providence Resources P.l.c.
••• 28.10.06 CGG, Veritas - One Step Closer to Merge.
Compagnie Generale de Geophysique (CGG) said Thursday that the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, relating to the previously announced merger agreement whereby Compagnie Generale de Geophysique will acquire Veritas.
On September 5, 2006, Veritas and CGG announced that they entered into a definitive agreement for the merger. The termination of the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period satisfies one of the merger conditions. Completion of the merger remains subject to receipt of shareholders and regulatory approvals, as well as the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.
Source: Rigzone/ Compagnie Generale de Geophysique
••• 27.10.06 PGS improves performance.
International seismic acquisition group PGS saw revenue for the third quarter raised 54% to US $326.1 m compared with $211.4 m a year ago.
Net income for the third quarter was substantially higher, by 380% to $107.6 m compared with $22.4 m a year ago.
For the first nine months this year, PGS reported that its revenue hit $947.5 m up 51.8% from $623.9 m in 2005. Net income for the nine months was $219.9 m up 9.07% from $201.6 m.
Total revenue from marine seismic operations in the third quarter rose 49% to $254.3 m – a rise of $83.3 m, while total revenue from onshore operations in the third quarter rose 85% to $71 m.
PGS reiterated its plans to build a second third-generation Ramform seismic vessel, which is due for delivery in the second quarter of 2009 while the first new Ramform is due for delivery first quarter 2008.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 26.10.06 Completion of "Geo Atlantic" conversion.
The conversion of the "Geo Atlantic" which is owned by Arrow Seismic ASA, a 54 % owned subsidiary of GC Rieber Shipping ASA, into a multi streamer state-of-the-art seismic vessel, has now been completed.
"Geo Atlantic" left the yard in Gothenburg on 22nd October 2006 and started 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. The vessel will earn the charter rate from medio October 2006.
Source: GC Rieber Shipping ASA