Offshore SeisNews ©
••• 30.04.07 SCAN Geophysical Completes Chevron Seismic 3D Surveys.
SCAN Geophysical ASA has announced that the company has successfully completed its 3-D seismic acquisition programmes offshore Venezuela for Chevron.
Encompassing two non-adjacent areas, the survey was completed using the 3D vessel Scan Resolution.
The vessel will now transit to new assignments in the Caribbean region after a port call in Curacao, the Netherlands Antilles.
"This is our first survey for Chevron and in the Americas and we are pleased to be able to continue work in this region," said Stephane Touche, Senior Vice President and COO of SCAN.
Source: SCAN Geophysical
••• 30.04.07 Repsol, Lukoil, Mittal Sign Kazakh Zhambay Block Agreement.
Repsol YPF SA (REP) and a joint venture between Russia's OAO Lukoil Holdings (LKOH.RS) and Mittal Investments have signed a deal to take part in an exploration and production venture along with Kazakh state oil company KazMunaiGaz, Lukoil said Friday.
The venture, called TOO Zhambay, has a production sharing agreement to explore and develop the offshore blocks of South Zhambay and South Zaburunye in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian sea for oil and gas. The combined area of the exploration blocks exceeds 2,000 square kilometers.
KazMunaiGaz will have a 50% in Zambay. Repsol will take a 25% stake, while Caspian Investment Resources -a joint venture between Lukoil and Mittal -will also take a 25% stake.
Source: Rigzone/Dow Jones Newswires
••• 28.04.07 4C seismic fibre optic reservoir monitoring pilot project for Statoil.
Optical sensor specialist Optoplan, which is jointly owned by Weatherford and Wavefield Inseis, has signed a contract with Statoil for a permanent 4C reservoir monitoring pilot installation on the Snorre field in the North Sea during third quarter 2007.
The new 4C reservoir seismic system has been developed jointly by Statoil and Weatherford, and will be further developed and commercialised in cooperation with Wavefield Inseis ASA.
The delivered system will be fully optical and incorporates optical seismic sensors which bring cost, reliability and data quality benefits to the permanent installation market, all of which have been strongly demanded by the industry.
Wavefield Inseis initially purchased 35 per cent of Optoplan from Weatherford in December 2006. Due to the successful technology development the company has increased its ownership percentage to 38.5 per cent and will, as commercialisation progresses further, increase ownership to 49 per cent.
Wavefield Inseis has a fixed option to purchase the remaining 51 per cent from Weatherford.
The first commercial full-scale installation of the permanent optical reservoir monitoring system is anticipated in 2008.
"This pilot project demonstrate Statoil’s commitment to this technology," - said Wavefield Inseis CEO Atle Jacobsen, - "We anticipate that this step changing 4C fibre optic technology will become an important tool for increasing oil and gas recovery rates."
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 28.04.07 Galp Energia and Eni Ink Deal for Oil Exploration in Timor and Mozambique.
Galp Energia has signed two agreements with ENI for the acquisition of a 10% stake in the concession for oil exploration, appraisal, development and production, in five blocks in Timor and one in Mozambique. Galp Energia will have a 10% stake in each consortium, both operated by ENI.
Timor blocks have exploration rights in five different areas, located offshore, with a total area of more than 12,100 square kilometers, and a water depth between 0 and 2,000 meters. The concession period includes seven years for exploration and 25 years for production.
In the first three years, the consortium has the obligation, in the five blocks of Timor area, to acquire seismic lines, subsequent interpretation and to drill two exploration wells. If the exploration is positive and ends in a commercial discovery of hydrocarbons, the consortium will enter into production phase.
In Mozambique, the block is also located offshore, in a water depth reaching 2,000 meters and a total area of 17,000 square kilometers. The exploration period is set to be eight years, with the production period reaching 30 years.
The program in the first four years of the exploration period will consist in the acquisition and interpretation of seismic lines.
The consortium for the exploration in Timor area is composed by ENI (Operator with a 90% stake) and Galp Energia (10%). In Mozambique the consortium, apart from the participation of ENI (operator with 80%) and Galp Energia (10%) also includes the Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos with a 10% stake.
The participations in these two areas are subject to the approval of Timor and Mozambique governments.
For offshore exploration, apart from the participation in Timor and Mozambique blocks, Galp Energia is also present in Angola (four blocks), Portugal (three blocks) and Brazil (10 blocks). Regarding onshore exploration, Galp Energia holds a position of 20% in block Cabinda Center, located in Angola, and 44 blocks in Brazil.
Source: Galp Energia
••• 27.04.07 Odim wins deck gear for survey ship.
Norway’s Odim has secured a NOK 32 m (US $5.3 m) deal from seabed logging specialist "emgs" to provide two more back deck systems.
Both automated and containerised equipment handling systems are due to for delivery by December next year and will be installed on the seventh vessel under development by "emgs".
••• 26.04.07 Seismic company SCAN Geophysical has reported what it says are the best results in its history:
• Total revenues in the first quarter amounting to NKr 102.2 million, this being the highest quarter revenues ever.
• For the first time, SCAN achieved a positive net result; NKr 5.4 million in the first quarter, with an EBITDA of NKr 20.6 million.
• Scan Resolution has proven its success through its 3-D operation for Chevron in Venezuela, following nine days off-hire in early January caused by the steering incident in December. The production has been excellent and the vessel is now in line with SCAN’s productivity targets. The vessel has firm interest for seismic contracts into mid 2008.
• Geo Searcher has achieved very high level of production throughout the quarter. Operating with long streamer offset and high source volume for GX Technology in the Far East region, the vessel has further confirmed its capacity as a very efficient high end 2-D vessel. The vessel has increased its back-log for seismic contracts into 2008.
• SCAN has secured sale lease-back agreements at attractive terms for its three new buildings with one of the world’s largest ship owners, Ship Finance International, based on a total price of approximately US$210 million, including complete seismic equipment.
• For the new buildings, SCAN has signed a ship management agreement over 10 years with V.Ships Management International, the world’s largest provider of ship management services. V.Ships is very experienced in operating vessels for the oil and gas industry with strict QHSE requirements.
• The new buildings are specifically designed for high streamer capacity with 10 tow points and streamer lengths of up to 10km. Steel cutting for the first vessel commenced on January 15th.
• The shipyard has requested new discussions regarding 45 days delayed delivery dates, which is not accepted by SCAN. Discussions will take place in May, and until a new agreement has been reached, the formal delivery dates remain at the end of January, April and July 2008.
• Neptune Seismic AS, owned by Neptune Offshore AS (currently owned 50 per cent by SCAN), has entered into a Letter of Intent with Irving Shipbuilding Group in Canada for conversion of Scan Stigandi into a 3-D vessel with streamer capacity of up to 3 x 6 km or 1 x 12 km in 2-D configuration. The vessel is scheduled to commence operation in Q3 2007. The seismic equipment has been fully financed through a financial lease agreement.
• During the first quarter, SCAN has continued its ambitious QHSE progress, being qualified by the most demanding oil and gas companies through high scores in QHSE audits and good operational performance. SCAN continues to improve the quality and performance of its organisation.
• An application has been submitted to the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE), for listing of the company’s shares and convertible bonds following the OSE’s Board Meeting on May 23rd.
Source: SCAN Geophysical
••• 25.04.07 Hammerfest - the most dangerous town in Norway.
Norway's northern petroluem capital, the town of Hammerfest, is the most dangerous place of living in Norway, a new study concludes. The town, which is about to turn into the processing center for gas from the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea, has most cases of violence per inhabitant.
A culture of violence and a high level of illegal drugs abuse make the town top the list. The town in the period 2004-2005 had 11,4 cases of violence per 1000 inhabitant, the study shows. According to police, the numbers continue to increase for the years 2006 and 2007.
Also other northern Norwegian towns among them Kirkenes, Alta and Vadso are high on the low-status list.
Source: Barentsobserver/Dagens Naringsliv
••• 24.04.07 Total Awarded 32 Offshore Exploration Blocks in Alaska.
Total's subsidiary, Total E&P USA, Inc., has been awarded 32 offshore exploration blocks in an oil and gas lease sale in Alaska. Award of these blocks is subject to final approval by the Minerals Management Service.
Covering an area of around 750 square kilometers, the blocks are located around 40 kilometers off the northern coast of Alaska in an average water depth of 35 meters. The exploration period will last 10 years. Total E&P USA is considering conducting a seismic survey to identify the main prospects and possible drilling locations for the exploration wells.
••• 20.04.07 SCAN signs agreement with V.Ships, the world’s largest provider of ship management services.
SCAN Geophysical ASA (SCAN) today announced that the company has signed an agreement with V.Ships Management Limited for marine management of SCAN’s three new-build high capacity 3D streamer vessels, due to be launched in 2008.
The agreement, which calls for V.Ships to manage the SCAN vessels for 10 years, was entered into in connection with the closing of the recently announced sale lease-back transaction with Ship Finance International Ltd. on bare boat basis.
SCAN’s new vessels are purpose built and specifically designed for efficient 3D seismic acquisition with high streamer capacity of 10 tow points and streamer lengths of up to 10 km (applies for up to 8 streamers), corresponding to a total capacity of 80 km streamers.
V.Ships, the world’s largest provider of ship management services, manages a fleet of more than 900 vessels encompassing most ship types, including a considerable number of vessels owned by Ship Finance. V.Ships operates from 52 offices in 26 countries, employing 1,350 office staff and 23,000 sea staff. Heavily experienced in operating vessels for the oil and gas industry, V.Ships works under the strictest QHSE requirements.
“We are very pleased to have one of the most experienced ship managers to operate SCAN’s state-ofthe-art vessels. With V.Ship’s extensive experience with the oil and gas industry, they comply with SCAN’s strict requirements for QHSE,” commented Lars Johan Frigstad, President and CEO of SCAN. “With its network and offices worldwide, V.Ships will be able to operate our vessels in a most efficient way as well as provide high-quality marine crew, securing SCAN’s efficient production together with SCAN’s experienced seismic crew,” added Frigstad.
Source: SCAN Geophysical ASA
••• 19.04.07 Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping has acquired four of the eight planned controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) lines on concessions held by the UK's Falkland Oil and Gas in the Falkland Islands, the latter said in a statement.
The survey's progress "has been slower than expected due to unusually poor weather," the statement said.
The lines acquired to date cover six different prospects.
"It will take up to three months to process and interpret this data fully, but preliminary results indicate several promising anomalies," the statement said.
Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping will begin acquisition of the remaining four lines next month.
Meanwhile, Norwegian marine geophysical company Wavefield InSeis has acquired roughly 6,000km of 2D seismic data on Falkland's concessions since starting in December.
Wavefield has a 10,000km seismic survey program planned for the concession in order to provide additional details of Falkland's top leads and prospects.
••• 19.04.07 Statoil Wins First Exploration License Offshore Tanzania.
Statoil has signed a production sharing agreement for deepwater Block 2 off Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. This is the first time Statoil has been awarded exploration acreage in Tanzania.
The PSA was signed in the capital of Tanzania, Dodoma, between Statoil, the government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Tanzanian Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC). Statoil is operator of the block. If a commercial discovery is made, TPDC has the right to participate in joint operations with a 10% participating interest.
"We are very pleased by today's signing and are looking forward to start exploring for oil and gas in an area we see as very interesting," says Bill Maloney, senior vice president for global exploration (GEX) in International Exploration & Production.
Block 2 covers an area of 11,099 square kilometers and has water depths up to 3,000 meters. The area has no previous exploration and is considered to be frontier. The work program comprises of 5,800 kilometers of 2D seismic and an optional 3D in the initial four-year exploration period.
••• 18.04.07 Five Companies Buy Anegada-Labay Seismic Bidding Rules.
Five firms have bought bidding rules for an international seismic study tender for the Golfo de Mexico Sur project that Mexican state oil company Pemex's E&P unit Pemex Exploracion y Produccion (PEP) launched earlier this month.
The potential bidders are Compania Mexicana de Geofisica, Fugro Chance de Mexico, PGS Mexicana, Dowell Schlumberger de Mexico and Wavefield INSEIS AS, according to PEP question and answer meeting minutes.
Bidding rules will be available through May 9 and offers due May 15.
The winner will carry out the Anegada-Labay 3D surface seismic exploration study in a 15,082 sq km area offshore Veracruz state.
The high-resolution seismic data will help PEP define underground structural and stratigraphic characteristics to confirm possible hydrocarbons-bearing traps. Pemex has budgeted an initial US$43.8mn for the study, which is due to begin in July and will take 483 days to complete.
••• 17.04.07 Arrow Seismic Accepts $125M Secured Facility.
Arrow Seismic ASA, a 54 % owned subsidiary of GC Rieber Shipping ASA, has accepted a firm offer for a US$125 million secured facility to be entered into between Arrow Seismic and DnB NOR Bank ASA as mandated lead arranger, underwriter and bookrunner.
The purpose of the facility is to refinance the vessel "CGG Laurentian" and part-finance the purchases and planned conversions of the three 2D/source vessels.
The facility will be secured with first priority mortgages in the vessels and a parent company guarantee provided by Arrow Seismic ASA.
Source: Arrow Seismic ASA
••• 17.04.07 "emgs" awarded seabed logging contract worth USD 13.9 million.
"emgs" has been awarded a contract by an independent oil company for a seabed logging ("SBL") project offshore India commencing in late May 2007. The firm scope of work is no less than USD 13.9 million; the actual contract value is dependent upon final decisions concerning acquisition geometry.
The program, which consists of a large scanning component, is expected to continue until October 2007. In addition, the contract provides the oil company with an option to extend the scope of work substantially.
The firm program includes a 1,400 square km scan, followed by 510 kilometres of traditional line acquisition.
Terje Eidesmo, CEO of "emgs" comments: "We are pleased to confirm that we get repeat business from a satisfied customer, and are pleased that we have succeeded in strengthening this business relationship further. We have strong reasons to believe that the contractual firm scope of work will lay the foundation for extension via the optional program."
••• 16.04.07 PGS will employ four seismic vessels in the North Sea season 2007.
The six streamer seismic vessel Atlantic Explorer has started acquiring seismic in the North Sea as the first PGS vessel to start operating in the area for this year’s summer season. In a global strong seismic market, PGS will use four seismic vessels in the North Sea this year, compared to five seismic vessels in 2006.
Rune Eng, Group President Marine in PGS, commented:
"The North Sea has always been an important market for PGS and continues to be in 2007. This year we will shoot a mix of both contract work and highly pre-funded multi-client work. Although we will employ one fewer vessel this year compared to 2006, the market for seismic in the North Sea is stronger today than one year ago."
In addition to Atlantic Explorer, the six streamer vessel Ocean Explorer and the high capacity seismic vessels Ramform Explorer and Ramform Challenger, are scheduled to work in the North Sea in 2007.
PGS will be adding substantially to its already extensive multi-client 3D library in the North Sea this year. To date, PGS has acquired a total of 80,000 square kilometer of MC3D in the North Sea, most of which is integrated into the PGS MegaSurvey.
••• 12.04.07 TGS Kicks Off 5th Season of North Sea Renaissance Seismic Program.
TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company announced the initiation of its fifth season of North Sea Renaissance (NSR) seismic acquisition. The long offset NSR program currently extends from 54 degrees North (the Gas Basin) to 63 degrees North (the More Basin) and totals approximately 65,000 kilometers.
Using four seismic vessels in operations this summer, TGS plans to add approximately 20,000 kilometers of 2D by infilling the existing NSR data as well as extending the program into new areas both in UK and Norway to make NSR significantly more complete.
"NSR has turned out to be a reference survey when hunting for deeper stratigraphic exploration and play models in the North Sea." states Kjell Trommestad, VP & General Director, Europe/Russia.
The North Sea Renaissance program is strongly pre-funded and acquired in co-operation with Fugro. The data will be processed by the TGS Imaging group in Bedford and will be available to clients beginning Q4 2007.
••• 12.04.07 Wavefield Inseis have secured additional backlog in the North Sea for the 2007 season.
Work worth in excess of 45M$ has been awarded by several international oil companies for the large capacity 3D vessel Geowave Master, the 2D vessel Malene Ostervold and the 3D vessel Akademic Nemchinov which is currently on a short term charter. The work includes various 3D and 2D projects in both the UK and Norwegian sectors to be acquired between May and September 2007.
This backlog is in additional to the previously announced 10 months of 3D and 4D work in the North Sea that has been awarded by Statoil and which will be acquired by the Geowave Commander and Geowave Champion.
"We are extremely pleased to have secured this additional North Sea work giving us backlog for the whole fleet up to the fourth quarter of this year," commented CEO Atle Jacobsen, - "We have been able to achieve this by moving the planned start-up of our Wide-azimuth Gulf of Mexico 3D project into the fourth quarter".
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 11.04.07 Wavefield Inseis launches new 2D/3D vessel.
Marine seismic acquisition specialist, Wavefield Inseis ASA, is bringing a new vessel into operation as the company further expands its 2D/3D capability. The vessel, the Malene Ostervold, is currently being converted in Norway and will be fully operational in June 2007.
Commencing operations by acquiring a series of 2D projects in the North Sea, the Malene Ostervold is ideally suited to long offset 2D and small 3D acquisition. Carrying the very latest seismic acquisition technology, the vessel will be equipped with new Sercel SEAL streamers (1 x 12000m or 2 x 6000m) and dual Bolt airgun source arrays.
Wavefield Inseis’ second 2D craft, the Malene Ostervold brings the number of vessels in the company’s fleet to six and is in line with the company’s aim to provide a flexible seismic fleet with ready access to 2D vessels that can also be used as source vessels for Wide-azimuth projects and undershoots.
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 10.04.07 TGS Kicks Off Mekong Delta Survey.
TGS-Nopec Geophysical Co.ASA (TGS) said that it has begun acquisition of a 46,000 square kilometer non-exclusive aeromagnetic survey in the Mekong Delta area of Vietnam. A planned second phase of acquisition will include aerogravity data. The survey is strongly supported by industry pre-funding and is being carried out in collaboration with Petrovietnam.
"The Mekong Delta has good, yet untested hydrocarbon potential and numerous oil companies have expressed interest to both TGS and Petrovietnam to see this survey undertaken. The survey area is adjacent to productive areas offshore but lacks any previous geophysical data to define basin architecture," said Paul Gilleran, TGS General Manager Asia-Pacific region.
••• 06.04.07 Pemex Launches Anegada-Labay Seismic Tender.
Mexican state oil company Pemex's E&P unit Pemex Exploracion y Produccion (PEP) has launched an international seismic study tender for the Golfo de Mexico Sur project.
The winner will carry out the Anegada-Labay 3D surface seismic exploration study in a 15,082sq km area offshore Veracruz state.
The high-resolution seismic data will help PEP define underground structural and stratigraphic characteristics to confirm possible hydrocarbons-bearing traps. Pemex has budgeted an initial US$43.8mn for the study, which is scheduled to begin in July and will take 483 days to complete, according to the bidding rules.
Bidding rules will be available through May 9 and offers due May 15.
••• 06.04.07 Vietnam Offers 7 Offshore Oil Blocks to Foreign Companies.
Vietnam will invite foreign companies to bid for exploration and production contracts with state-owned PetroVietnam for seven offshore blocks, a PetroVietnam official said Thursday, in a bid to boost the country's crude oil and gas output.
"PetroVietnam is offering seven blocks in the Song Hong Basin, a deepwater basin offshore north Vietnam, where our surveys have shown potential hydrocarbon reserves of more than 5 billion barrels," said the official at PetroVietnam's headquarters.
He said several companies have shown an interest in the blocks, which cover a total area of 50,000 square kilometers and are located 100 kilometers from the shore. He declined to name companies that have registered for bidding.
Last year, Vietnam for the first time allowed foreign oil companies to enter its northern region, which is believed to contain large crude oil and natural gas reserves. PetroVietnam awarded exploration and production rights for offshore oil blocks 101 and 100/04 to Australian oil giant Santos Ltd. (STOSY) and Singapore Petroleum Co. (S99.SG) last October.
Currently, PetroVietnam has 35 joint exploration and production contracts with foreign companies which control 1.1 billion tons of oil reserves and 4 billion cubic meters of natural gas in offshore blocks, according to PetroVietnam figures.
Between January and March this year, Vietnam reported total crude oil production of 4.004 million tons or around 326,100 barrels a day, down 7.2% on year, government statistics show.
Source: Rigzone/Dow Jones Newswires
••• 05.04.07 Geoconsult enters Russian subsea JV.
Geoconsult AS, a subsidiary of DOF Subsea in Norway, has entered into a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Russian Company OOO "ResCom", an established technology company in St Petersburg, Russia.
The LOI concerns establishment of a Joint Venture (JV) in Russia to offer offshore/subsea services in the Russian sector.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online
••• 03.04.07 SeaBird experience delays on some of the conversion projects.
Through the conversion work on the Harrier Explorer, asbestos has been found on board the vessel, despite the fact that that she has an "Asbestos Free Certificate". This may delay the completion of the vessel until late July 2007. It is expected that this will increase the estimated cost of the conversion, but the exact consequences is still to be investigated.
The Hugin Explorer is suffering delays on engineering and some long lead items, pushing the delivery into the 4th quarter of 2007.
It is estimated that SeaBirds` investments in SeaBed nodes and the vessel will be in the range of USD 45-50 million.
It is now decided that the Raven Explorer will be equipped with 4 streamers and completion is scheduled for 4th quarter 2007. The additional streamers will bring the cost of the vessel up to USD 45-50 million.
The Aquila Explorer is expected to leave the yard in early May 2007, while the Munin Explorer is expected to commence operation early in the third quarter of 2007.
SeaBird has chosen to shoot its first multi client in March with the Geo Mariner offshore the Seychelles. The background for this project is the prospectivity of the area and an additional opportunistic equity stake in a part of the survey area.
Northern Explorer has entered a planned dry-dock in March.
••• 02.04.07 RXT Ocean Pearl is currently on its way to West-Africa.
Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA (RXT) has not yet signed any agreement for work in West-Africa, but is confident that the vessel will be on contract within a short timeframe.
As previously announced RXT has significant outstanding tenders in West-Africa.
••• 02.04.07 GGS reports that its newly rigged seismic vessel GGS Atlantic has started production on Phase 3 of the GGS-Spectrum Big Wave program West of Florida.
The project which has secured significant pre-funding, is located in the part of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico which was opened up for exploration by the US Congress late 2006.
GGS Atlantic is a state-of-the-art 2D survey vessel capable of carrying out long offset data acquisition. The vessel is planned to collect Phase 3 data for about 3 months and thereafter scheduled to move to Bahamas to carry out contract work.
••• 30.03.07 Caspian Services Adds Seismic Source Vessel to Fleet.
Caspian Services, Inc. has finalized the purchase of a specialized shallow water seismic source vessel, to add to the existing fleet of vessels operated by its wholly owned subsidiary, Caspian Services Group Ltd.
Designed to operate in waters as shallow as 1.5 meters (5 feet), the vessel is highly suitable for carrying out operations in the extremely shallow waters of the north east Caspian Sea. The vessel is 36 meters (118 feet) in length. The vessel has the capability to operate autonomously for periods of more than 20 days. The vessel can accommodate up to 10 crew and passengers.
The vessel will be assigned to the ongoing State Geophysical Survey being conducted by Veritas Caspian LLP on behalf of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Veritas Caspian LLP is a joint venture between Kazmorgeophysica, a subsidiary company of Caspian Services Inc. and Veritas DGC Ltd. Caspian Services expects the vessel will be mobilized to the Caspian Sea and ready to commence work at the beginning of the 2007 work season.
Caspian Services, Inc. is an oilfield service company providing a broad range of services in the Caspian Sea region of western Kazakhstan. The Company provides geophysical and seismic data acquisition and interpretation services; maintains a fleet of vessels that it commissions to oil and gas exploration companies engaged in exploration and development activities in the north Caspian Sea and other oilfield services such as desalinated water. In addition, the Company plans to construct a marine base facility in the Port of Bautino. The Company maintains corporate offices in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Aktau, Kazakhstan and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Source: Rigzone/Caspian Services, Inc
••• 28.03.07 Multi-Transient Electromagnetic (MTEM), an Edinburgh-based company working in electro-magnetic surveying for the oil and gas industry, has selected Global Marine Systems Limited to provide the cable installation for a ground-breaking North Sea oil finder project, for Venture Production Plc.
The work started earlier this month on a 24km stretch of water located 200km off the North Scottish coast.
For the first time, MTEM's technology will be deployed offshore to help oil companies determine oil and gas reserves, before drilling.
Said Global Marine: "Until now, locating oil and gas reserves saw a high degree of error which resulted in many unsuccessful and expensive dry-holes. If successful, the technology could be rolled out to other oil companies, potentially delivering billions of pounds of cost savings."
MTEM's electromagnetic surveys will be deployed to detect levels of hydrocarbons beneath the ocean floor, and help pinpoint the location of oil and gas deposits. The company will utilise Global Marine’s cable ship Sovereign to lay receiver cable on the seafloor in water depths of 80-100m, which will accurately record the level of hydrocarbons under the sea at predefined locations.
The recordings will then be transmitted to Sovereign’s onboard recording laboratories and evaluated.
The potential to use electromagnetic surveying has been known by the industry for some time and has been initially used in deeper waters.
The advent of modern receiving instruments, computing power and analysis methods combined with techniques developed in recent years has lead to the development of Multi-Transient electromagnetic surveying applications for reservoirs both onshore and in shallow marine applications.
Source: Multi-Transient Electromagnetic
••• 26.03.07 PGS secures sale for the legend 3D seismic vessel Ramform Victory.
PGS announced today that it has entered into a Heads of Agreement with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) for a long term cooperation agreement, which will include the sale and flag change of the 3D seismic vessel Ramform Victory and the continued provision by PGS of intellectual property and technical and operational services. The Heads of Agreement is subject to completion of satisfactory agreements relating to the sale of the vessel, the licensing of PGS' intangible property and continued PGS services.
The vessel will be used by METI in a planned 10 years seismic campaign to survey approximately 70,000 square kilometers of the Japanese Continental Shelf.
The sales price of the vessel including support start up fees is USD 213 million. The sale is preconditioned on a service agreement between PGS and METI, or an organization appointed by METI in agreement with PGS, for technical and operational support providing PGS with an exclusive right to provide such services relating to Ramform Victory during the survey period. The commercial terms of the agreement will be fixed for four years and is expected to give PGS a net pretax cash flow of approximately USD 150 million for the first four years. The service agreement consists of technical support, operation consulting and training, in addition to licensing of various advanced PGS seismic technology products.
METI is to take delivery of Ramform Victory in fourth quarter 2007. It is the intention of PGS to purchase the vessel at the end of the survey period.
Through this project PGS is assisting METI in opening up for seismic surveys in a very interesting area, and at the same time securing both a strong financial return and an excellent position to develop further business.
••• 25.03.07 GGS reports that it has made an agreement for its new seismic vessel GGS Atlantic to carry out a seismic contract for an international oil company.
The contract, expected to take 2-3 months, is planned to be carried out during the 3rd quarter of 2007 and has an estimated value of more than USD 7 million.
The GGS Atlantic is expected to start its first project shortly by collecting Multi Client data west of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. The new contract is in line with the expressed strategy of using the GGS Atlantic both in the contract market to improve cash flow and benefit from the current good seismic market and as a cost effective tool for acquiring Multi Client data.
••• 23.03.07 ODIM awarded new contract worth NOK 200 million.
ODIM in Norway has been awarded a contract worth NKr 200 million by the seismic company Eastern Echo (based in Dubai) for delivery of automated handling systems for a 3-D seismic vessel.
The contract is for delivery of complete back-deck solutions for four seismic vessels, which are designed to handle 10 streamers each. The systems are due to be delivered in 2008.
••• 22.03.07 Wavefield bags Barbados data.
Norway’s Wavefield Inseis has completed a 2D long-offset seismic acquisition campaign offshore Barbados in advance of a forthcoming licensing round which is due to be launched in June.
The survey covering the entire prospective shelf and amounting to 6,000 km (3,750 miles) of long-offset 2D seismic data has been acquired on a multi-client basis for the Ministry of Environment and Energy which is due to launch the country’s first Offshore Licensing Roune in June and the dataset is due to be available for potential bidders.
Data was acquired by the M/V Akademik Nemchinov vessel which also recorded marine and gravity magnetic data during the first phase of the survey programme.
UK-based Geotrace Technology is to process the data under contract with Wavefield in time for the new round.
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 21.03.07 SCAN Geophysical signs agreement with Ship Finance International Limited.
SCAN Geophysical in Norway has announced that it has agreed to sell its three newbuild high capacity 3-D vessels, including complete seismic equipment, to Ship Finance International Limited (Ship Finance) based on a total price of US$210 million, or US$70 million per vessel.
The agreement includes a lease-back over 12 years with purchase options after 6, 10 and 12 years.
The vessels are purpose built at the ABG Shipyard in India and specifically designed for efficient 3-D seismic acquisition with high streamer capacity of 10 tow points and streamer lengths of up to 10km (applies for up to 8 streamers), corresponding to a total capacity of 80km streamers.
Ship Finance is a major international shipping company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation of approx. US$2 billion. The company owns a fleet of 60 vessels, including crude oil, OBOs, container vessels, dry bulk carriers and two jack-up drilling rigs.
"We are very pleased to team up with Ship Finance for our core seismic vessel fleet, as their total fleet is one of the largest in the world", said Lars Johan Frigstad, President and CEO of SCAN. "The seismic market is currently very healthy and we see promising outlook for the three state of the art vessels in the years to come”, added Frigstad.
On delivery from the shipyard, the vessels will begin 12-year bareboat contracts to SCAN, and the charter rate per vessel, including the seismic equipment (8 x 6 km streamers), is agreed to be approximately:
Year 1-3: USD 26,500 per day;
Year 4-6: USD 24,500 per day;
Year 7-12: USD 10,000 per day.
SCAN has been granted fixed price purchase options for each of the vessels after 6, 10 and 12 years at approximately US$20 million, US$14 million and US$9 million, respectively.
Following a complete evaluation of consequences from the previously announced flood in 2006, the revised delivery dates are scheduled from the yard to be the end of January, April and July 2008.
Ship Finance will replace SCAN’s existing guarantees of US$48.9 million towards ABG Shipyard, or US$16.3 million per vessel. The sale lease back transaction is supported by a non-interest bearing seller’s credit of approximately US$20 million per vessel from SCAN, which is amortized (non-cash) over six years.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online
••• 19.03.07 Shell eyes a role at Shtokman.
The Anglo-Dutch oil company Royal Dutch Shell is angling for a role in developing the Shtokman field in the Barents Sea, the Businessonline.com reports. According to the newspaper, Shell made contact with Gazprom earlier this year when it became clear the Russian giant was once again seeking an international partner to help develop the field.
Shell has lately not been among the top bidders in Shtokman project. The company was not among the five shortlisted companies, earlier preferred by licenseholder Gazprom.
Gazprom last fall announced that it would not be interested in sharing field ownership rights with other companies, and that the foreign bidders only would be engaged as contractors. In February this year, the company started a new round of talks with foreign companies.
••• 16.03.07 Total Submits Bid on Shtokman Project.
Total CEO Christophe de Margerie said that the French group is participating in a new tender process launched by Gazprom to develop a gas field in Shtokman, Russia, calling the project "absolutely strategic" given global demand for gas.
Speaking at the opening of a refinery at Gonfreville L'Orcher, northern France, de Margerie said that Gazprom is maintaining a tender process but "under a different form to the previous one."
The CEO said Total had submitted an initial response to the tender before March 12 as required by Gazprom, adding that "I don't know yet what the next step is."
Russian gas giant Gazprom had announced on Oct 9 that it would develop alone the Shtokman gas field, after attracting interest from five foreign oil companies.
The Russian authorities subsequently said that foreign participation was not ruled out, leading Total to state it was still willing to participate in the project.
"We consider it to be an absolutely strategic project, in view of the gas reserves and the demand for gas in Europe and worldwide," Christophe de Margerie said.
The other oil majors that were candidates last year to develop the Shtokman field are Norway's Statoil and Norsk Hydro, and US groups ConocoPhillips and Chevron.
Source: Rigzone/AFX News Limited
••• 15.03.07 Gaz de France Norge selects Wavefield Inseis for North Sea 3D survey.
Seismic acquisition specialist, Wavefield Inseis AS, has received a letter of intent from Gaz de France to carry out a 3D marine seismic survey offshore Norway.
Due to commence in June 2007, the survey is expected to take one month and will cover an area of 380 km2 over blocks 34/6 and 35/4 in the North Tampen area of the North Sea. Wavefield Inseis will deploy a four streamer - or greater capacity - vessel for the assignment, which will be equipped with some of the most advanced seismic acquisition technology available.
After the tender process, Gaz de France Norge selected Wavefield Inseis ahead of five other seismic acquisition operators. This will be the first time the companies have worked together utilising Wavefield Inseis’ extensive experience of 3D marine projects. It is also the first project Gaz de France Norge has commissioned over blocks 34/6 and 35/4, although they are located within one of its core operational areas – the northern North Sea.
"The LOI from Gaz de France Norge illustrates our growing, international reputation," commented Rick Donoghue, Wavefield Inseis’ vice president sales and marketing. He added, "We are expanding our operation at a rapid rate and the addition of Gaz de France Norge to our client base represents another significant step forward for Wavefield Inseis."
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 15.03.07 Aker Yards seeks new owners.
Norwegian investor and billionaire Kjell Inge Roke has decided to sell Akers 40,1 percent stake in Aker Yards in order to free up capital for other companies in the Aker-family.
Aker Yards has 17 yards in Norway, Finland, Germany, France, Ukraine, Romania and Brazil, plus a yard for building offshore and specialised vessels on it’s way in Vietnam.
- The share divestiture will commence immediately, with shares offered to Norwegian and international institutional investors in a bookbuild offering managed by J.P. Morgan and SEB Enskilda, Aker said in a statement.
- We...consider that greater share liquidity will enhance Aker Yards' attractiveness to investors and the stock market in general, Leif-Arne Langoy, Aker's chairman and chief executive and chairman of Aker Yards, said in the statement.
- Through the divestiture of Aker Yards stock, Aker will free up both managerial capacity and financial resources that can be applied to other Aker companies, targeting new businesses, and long-term industrial development," Aker said.
••• 14.03.07 "emgs" executes option for chartering second new build.
"emgs" announced that it has executed an option and signed a contract for chartering a second custom-built vessel to carry out the company's proprietary Seabed Logging operations for oil and gas exploration companies worldwide. The charter is for five years plus options.
The vessel - the sixth 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 late 2008.
"emgs" is the leading global offshore technology company for the provision of Seabed Logging (SBL), which is a technology used to detect hydrocarbons beneath the seabed through the use of electromagnetic energy prior to drilling.
In 2006, "emgs" revenues increased by 167 per cent to USD 117.7 million, compared with USD 44.0 million in 2005. For 2006, the EBITDA was USD 20.7 million, an increase of USD 29.7 million from 2005.
••• 13.03.07 Schlumberger Middle East and Asia Learning Center Inaugurated in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Schlumberger and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company officially launched their joint initiative, the Schlumberger Middle East and Asia Learning Center, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The Learning Center is the newest and largest multi-disciplinary oilfield services training center in the world. It is the fourth of its type and joins existing centers in the United States, the United Kingdom and France. The new Center features state-of-the-art classrooms, workshops, laboratories and field technical equipment to provide new field engineers, field technicians and maintenance engineers from all over the world basic and advanced training in data services and software, seismic, well logging, cementing, stimulation, directional drilling,
measurements-while-drilling and artificial lift technologies.
••• 12.03.07 Fugro N.V. reported that it had a successful 2006 and that the upward trend continues. Highlights of its results follow:
Revenue rose by 24% to EUR 1,434 million;
Net result rose by 42% to EUR 141 million;
Result from operating activities (EBIT) rose by 47% to EUR 212 million;
All the divisions contributed towards the improvement of the net result;
Very well-filled order backlog at the beginning of 2007;
It is proposed that the dividend for 2006 be increased to EUR 0.83 per (certificate of) ordinary share (2005: EUR 0.60).
K.S. Wester, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fugro N.V., commented:
"This past financial year was, in every sense, a success for Fugro. Favorable market conditions helped us to once again achieve record highs for revenue and net result. Our strong organic growth shows Fugro's flexibility to respond to market developments. The number of employees was increased during 2006 by approximately 1,300 to almost 10,000 at the end of the year, which is also the result of strategically important acquisitions. Based on a very well-filled order backlog we are working towards continuing growth of revenue and result in 2007 and given the current market conditions, Fugro's objective for the coming period is to at least maintain a net profit margin of around 10%."
The expansion and modernization of Fugro's seismic capacity is a response to the growing demand for this type of service. Fugro's goal is to expand its position in the offshore seismic market. With the focus on a good geographical spread, Fugro wants to operate in this market segment with a fleet of eight to ten vessels, some owned, some chartered.
This fleet expansion and modernization program comprises five new vessels some of which are replacements for vessels on short-term charter.
The goal is to triple the revenue from seismic surveys in the period 2005-2008. The revenue is expected to come close to EUR 400 million in 2008.
The fleet expansion involves the following vessels:
"Geo Atlantic", 3D/4D seismic vessel, length 121 meters, in operation since October 2006, long-term charter agreement;
"Geo Barents", 3D seismic vessel, length 77 meters, will be launched in March 2007, three-year charter agreement, from March 2010 under Fugro ownership;
"Seisquest", 3D/4D seismic vessel, length 92,2 meters, four-year charter agreement commencing June 2007;
"Geo Celtic", a new 3D/4D seismic vessel, length 101 meters, that will come into operation in June 2007, multi-year charter agreement;
"Geo Carribean", 3D/4D seismic vessel, length 101 meters, will be owned by Fugro and will be launched in October 2008.
Fugro is also investing in five new vessels for activities other than seismic surveys:
"Fugro Gauss", a survey vessel, length, 68 meters, will be acquired in March 2007;
"Fugro Discovery", a survey vessel, length 70 meters, owned by Fugro, will commence in May 2007;
"Fugro Enterprise", a survey vessel, length 52 meters, is under construction and will be owned by Fugro, launch in June 2007;
"Fugro Saltire", a ROV sub-sea support survey vessel, length 110 meters, to be launched in February 2008; long-tem charter with an option to purchase in 2013;
"Fugro Synergy", a multi-purpose vessel, length 103.8 meters, will be owned by Fugro, launch in November 2008.
Globally Fugro operates around 45 vessels.
Source: Fugro N.V.
••• 09.03.07 Seismic player CGG said that 2006 group revenues hit Euros 1.33 billion in 2006, up 53% compared to 2005.
Group operating profit was Euros 289 million, while revenues from Geophysical Services came in at Euros 792 million, a rise of 43% compared to 2005.
Meanwhile, 2006 net profit was Euros 159 million compared to a net loss of Euros 6.8 million in 2005.
CGGVeritas Chairman & CEO, Robert Brunck, said: "In 2006, the CGG Group took advantage of strong demand in geophysics to increase its market share and its profitability through its renewed and modernized fleet, the excellent quality of its multi-client library and more generally its reinforced technological positions in imaging and in equipment through the successful launch of new Sercel products. The CGG Group almost quadrupled its operational profit with a record year for Sercel and strong operational performance of Geophysical Services.
Looking forward in 2007 continued favourable market conditions provide an excellent environment for the new CGGVeritas Group to meet our growth, operational performance and debt reduction objectives."
••• 08.03.07 StatoilHydro is the name.
StatoilHydro is the new name for the merged Norway oil group which will combine Statoil and Hydro into a single company.
The new name was revealed publicly for the first time today and it will be recommended to shareholders before being adopted.
"The decision enables us to concentrate fully on a successful integration planning process," said Hydro chairman Jan Reinas, announcing the name with Statoil’s chairman Jannik Lindbak.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 07.03.07 Delays GGS Atlantic.
GGS reports that following damage to one of the ship`s cooling systems last week-end and problems encountered in the steering system a plan for repairs has been made. The plan is subject to alterations and estimated duration is 3 weeks.
••• 06.03.07 Avery Resources Begins 3D Seismic Survey of Katandra Prospect.
Avery Resources says its 3D seismic survey of the Katandra Prospect in the Timor Sea, offshore Australia, is planned to begin this week using the recently-commissioned ship Veritas Voyager and will cover 681 square kilometers including the 272 square kilometer AC/P 24 Katandra permit.
The seismic shoot is expected to be complete in six weeks, with processing and interpretation of the data expected within six months.
David Little, Chairman and CEO of Avery, noted that the Katandra Prospect will be a very important asset for Avery if future drilling of the lease is successful. "The aim of the 3D seismic survey is to locate a well that would establish commerciality. Katandra could be the jewel in Avery's crown," he said. "We have been awaiting the commencement of this seismic study for some time and we are very excited to have it underway. Katandra's potential is significant."
Source: Avery Resources
••• 06.03.07 Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) was the largest seismic company offshore Africa in 2006.
The African market has been an important seismic market for PGS in 2006. Based on acquired square kilometer of 3D contract and multi-client seismic, PGS had a market share of approximately 40% of the African seismic market in 2006, according to internal estimates.
Per Arild Reksnes, President for Europe, Africa and Middle East in PGS, commented:
"The average size of a license block offshore West Africa is relatively large compared to other regions of the world. The size of each seismic program is therefore often quite big. With our highly efficient and advanced Ramform seismic vessels, we have gained a key competitive advantage in this prospective region and we look forward to serve our clients needs with more advanced seismic solutions also in the future."
PGS will have a substantial activity offshore West Africa also in 2007. Currently Ramform Explorer is acquiring contract seismic offshore Ghana. Ramform Challenger has just completed a contract offshore Gabon, while Ramform Vanguard is acquiring seismic offshore Angola.
PGS also has an extensive multi-client library offshore Africa. Measuring approximately 50,000 square kilometers, it represents 15% of PGS global multi-client library, in terms of size and covers many African countries including Nigeria, Angola and Sao Tome and Principe. In addition, PGS offers MegaSurvey products in several African countries, including Nigeria and Angola.
••• 05.03.07 The multi component seismic company Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA (RXT) has signed a letter of intent for a contract in the Gulf of Mexico with GX Technology Corporation (GXT). The proposed contract rates are favorable to the company's annualized projection. The survey duration is estimated to be around 120 days.
"This means that our Gulf of Mexico (GOM) crew has secured contract work until at least the end of September 2007," said Michael Scott, RXT's chief executive officer. "The crew will then have been in continuous operation in the GOM since operation commenced in 3rd quarter 2004. There is an increased interest in our operation which is attributable to a combination of improved cost efficiency and excellent data quality. This further validates our projection that this operation will continue to operate in the GOM area."
Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA (RXT) is a marine geophysical company specializing 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.
••• 02.03.07 Odim ASA has captured a fourth option to supply automated handling systems for a seismic ship through Arrow Seismic worth a total of NOK 60 m (US $9.6 m).
Odim’s deal marks the exercise of a fourth option to supply a complete 12-streamer system and the equipment will be delivered by the summer of 2008 for installation on the new-build ship currently being constructed by Arrow in Spain.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 02.03.07 Circle Oil plc announced the successful completion of its 6,300-kilometer seismic survey over Block 52 in the Arabian Sea, off the southwestern coast of Oman.
The survey acquired utilizing the vessel M/V Akademik Lazarev under contract to TGS-Nopec Geophysical Co. TGS has begun processing the data prior to its interpretation by Circle.
Block 52, which was awarded to Circle as a nine-year exploration license in 2005, covers an area of over 90,000 square kilometers and extends approximately 150 kilometers offshore.
Data processing is expected to be completed over the coming months. Preliminary onboard processing has already shown the data to be of good quality. Final processing, including modern routine pre-stack procedures, is expected to yield a good quality dataset. Initial interpretation of the data by Circle's specialist team and its incorporation into the existing dataset is scheduled to start in early summer 2007, following which the next phase of the exploration program will be confirmed.
David Hough, Chief Executive of Circle said:
"The successful completion of the Oman Block 52 seismic survey is a significant step forward for Circle. We are now working to finish the processing of the data so that our specialist interpretation team can advance the exploration of this offshore Block and its interesting though untested play concepts."
Circle has the largest license holding of any company in Oman. In addition to Block 52, the company also has an ongoing exploration program in onshore Block 49. Worldwide, the company is active in exploration in the Owambo Basin, Namibia; in the Caribbean Sea, offshore Panama and in the Rharb Basin, Morocco.
Source: Circle Oil plc
••• 28.02.07 Norway’s Barents Sea region has given up more riches with confirmation of a new find on the Nucula prospect drilled by Norsk Hydro.
Norway’s Petroleum Directorate confirmed today that the Barents Sea 7125/4-1 well drilled in the PL 393 licence area found both oil and gas. The well was not production tested, an extensive data collection programme was carried out, and samples were taken from the wellbore, which was drilled to a total depth of 1,692 m (5,549 ft) subsea by the Polar Pioneer semi-submersible operating in a water depth of 293 m (961 ft).
Collected data will be analysed to determine the resource potential in the find, and to evaluate further plans for the licence area, the NPD indicated.
The Nucula discovery is about 110 km (68.7 miles) northeast of Eni Norge’s Goliat discovery, and 65 km north of the town of Honningsvag.
Norsk Hydro operated the well with 30% and licence partners are Eni Norge also with 30% and BG Norge and Petoro each with 20%.
Next the rig is due to go to Statoil for further drillling in the Norwegian Sea.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 27.02.07 Seismic contractor SeaBird Exploration has forecast significant growth in revenue and earnings for 2007 based on current market conditions.
"On the basis of the substantial increase of the fleet and the strengthening of the market rates, we expected a significant growth in both revenues and earnings in 2007, and in particular we expect a very strong second half of the year," SeaBird declared.
"Revenues are expected to be in excess of US $170 million for the full year while Ebitda is expected to be in excess of US $90 million," SeaBird said.
For the fourth quarter this year SeaBird reported revenue up 165% to US $20.6 m and up 111% to $46.3 m for the full year.
Fourth quarter net profit was up 189% to $3.2 m and the figure for the full year up 146% to $11 m compared with 2005.
The improvements are mainly driven by the strengthening of the seismic markets, with substantially better rates together with bringing Hawk Explorer and Osprey Explorer into operations in Q4 2006. SeaBird’s seismic acquisition fleet was expanded in the last year with the addition of five vessels: The Harriet Explorer is due to begin operating in April this year under a four-year US $48 m charter with PGS.
The M/V Aquila Explorer, undergoing a $35 m conversion in a Singapore shipyard, is due to commence operating in April for PGS under a one-year contract with options; and the Munin Explorer, a former Norwegian trawler, is undergoing a $8 m conversion into a 2D source boat, commencing June 2007, after being hired for five years.
The M/V Taseem, bought and undergoing conversion for $36 m is due to begin operating for SeaBird in the third quarter, while the Siem Mariner acquired from Siem Offshore for $57 m, is to be converted into seabed seismic vessel, and is also due to commence operating in the third quarter.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 27.02.07 Murmanskaya Wins LOI for Work Offshore Sakahalin Island.
A subsidiary of Sinvest ASA and Premium Drilling have agreed to a Letter of Intent with Venineft LLC for drilling one exploration well offshore Sakhalin Island at the Veninskiy block. The expected duration of the program, including mobilization and de-mobilization, is around five months. The estimated contract value is approximately US $36 million. The contract will commence in Singapore in May 2007.
The drilling contract will be performed by Premium Drilling with the unit Murmanskaya. The Murmanskaya is a Russian designed ILC jackup built at Vyborg shipyard, assisted by Rauma Repola, in 1991. The rig is designed and equipped for operation in harsh environments.
Source: Rigzone/Sinvest ASA
••• 26.02.07 Norwegian seismic player, Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) posted record earnings in 2006, with operating profit of US $409.9 million, up $279.7 million (215%) compared to 2005.
Revenues came in at $1,308.5 million, up $420.5 million (47%), while the operating efficiency of the company’s fleet improved.
For the final quarter of 2006, operating profit hit $117.5 million, marking the best quarter ever and up $100.6 million (595%) compared to Q4 2005.
Svein Rennemo, PGS President and Chief Executive Officer, said: "2006 was the best year ever for PGS. We delivered substantial growth in revenues, operating profit and cash flow, driven by strengthened market conditions and improved operational performance. Marine realized a record high contract margin, while Onshore improved its profitability significantly from 2005.
We experienced a stronger underlying demand for multi-client seismic in 2006 compared to 2005 and despite fewer licensing rounds internationally we further improved our late sales. Our Gulf of Mexico depth processing products, strong performance of our library offshore West Africa and increased demand for our Brazil library were important elements in this success."
••• 26.02.07 The multi component seismic company Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA (RXT) has received a contract award from BP for a survey in the Caspian Sea. The estimated contract survey duration is five months. Under the contract, RXT will acquire 4C seismic data over the Shah Deniz field, offshore Azerbaijan in the South Caspian Sea. The field is operated by BP.
The survey will be acquired with RXT`s third operation, "RXT3," which is scheduled to commence operation in April/May, 2007 over the Kashagan field offshore Kazakhstan. Acquisition over the Shah Deniz field is planned to commence in the fourth quarter 2007, at contract rates favorable to RXT`s annualized projections.
"The Caspian Sea has huge areas of prospective acreage requiring high-quality seismic data for future development," said Michael Scott, CEO of RXT. "The VectorSeis Ocean technology, combined with RXT`s innovative acquisition methods, is ideally suited to meet these data requirements, together with the highly varied operational challenges."
This contract complements very well the Kashagan project already awarded to RXT and further validates RXT's trategy to keep a crew permanently in the Caspian region.
••• 24.02.07 SCAN Geophysical has been selected by GX Technology to acquire up to 9,000 kilometers of long offset 2D data offshore East Africa as part of GXT's East AfricaSPAN program.
Acquisition of the program is underway and is estimated to take another six weeks to complete. SCAN's 2D vessel, the M/V Geo Searcher, is conducting the survey, using a long offset streamer and a high output source. This is the second 2D survey SCAN has conducted for GXT within the last 12 months.
The company successfully recorded approximately 17,000 kilometers for GXT offshore India between February and October, 2006, using the same vessel. GXT is now selling data from this ultra-deep, multi-client library under the IndiaSPAN name to oil & gas companies around the world.
"We are delighted to continue working with GXT to acquire data in this important region," said Stephane Touche, Chief Operating Officer of SCAN. "Repeat work is always encouraging and we believe the performance of the Geo Searcher and its crew has been exemplary."
Source: SCAN Geophysical
••• 23.02.07 Seismic specialist Reservoir Exploration Technology (RXT) has announced the acquisition of its fourth VectorSeis Ocean (VSO) seismic system from seismic solutions provider Input/Output Inc.
VSO is a redeployable, ocean bottom cable (OBC) seismic imaging system equipped to support full-wave (multi component) data acquisition on the seabed.
The VSO system's buoy based recorder eliminates the need for one vessel during acquisition.
The 9-cable system will equip RXT's fourth operation, which is expected to be operational in the end of fourth quarter of 2007.
••• 23.02.07 ODIM has been awarded deals worth NOK 100 million for delivery of automated handling systems for various seismic projects, the company said.
One of the contracts is for delivery of equipment for Arrow Seismic’s three new vessels, "Polar Explorer", "Polar Pearl" and "Lisbeth C", all together worth about NOK 30 million.
Odim has also been awarded a contract worth about NOK 40 million for supplying the first part of the equipment package for Arrow’s newbuilding No. 535 in Spain. The systems are due to be delivered in the first quarter 2009.
In addition Odim has been awarded various seismic contracts worth about NOK 30 million in the last two weeks.
"The outlook for the seismic industry looks very promising, at least for the next three years. Also 2009 will be a good seismic year for Odim. There is still a strong demand in the seismic market, which will probably lead to further contracting of new vessels," said Idar Hatloy, Vice President – Seismic at Odim.
••• 22.02.07 Aker Kvaerner Egersund’s acquisition of Russian engineering company Zvezdochka is so far the Aker Group’s latest move to gain wider access to Russian markets.
- I can confirm that we bought Norwegian Kimek Offshore’s 50% stake in Zvezdochka Engineering this week. We chose to do so in order to gain access to the competence and capacity required to serve projects and suppliers in the North Sea, and to gain better access to the Russian market, says Aker Kvaerner Egersund director May Wenche Hammert to Oilinfo.
Zvezdochka Engineering is based in Archangelsk, and the remaining 50% stake is still own by their mother company, Zvezdochka Yards. A press conference was held in Russia this week to announce the new part owners, although paying price has not been made public.
- The acquisition gave us access to 20-some engineers, a solid track record and expanded capacity, Hammert explains.
Buying Kimek Offshore’s shares further solidifies Aker Kvaerner’s growing position in Russia. Even though Gazprom announced their intentions to go solo on the Shtokman project, Norwegian suppliers and service companies still have a lot to gain from the Russian arctic challenges. Especially Aker Kvaerner, backed by their dominant industry position and massive subsea- and engineering competence.
- One can see this as an extension of Aker’s plan to focus more on field development, says Hammert, adding that her company already has began looking for NCS projects to put their new Russian colleagues to work on.
••• 22.02.07 Chinese seismic contractor BGP selects VERIPOS.
BGP Ltd, the largest Chinese seismic contractor, has recently awarded VERIPOS a long term contract to supply positioning equipment and services onboard BGP’s latest addition to its fleet.
BGP Pioneer, a six-streamer seismic vessel, started operation in late December after final fitting out in Singapore. BGP Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), has long been responsible for the Chinese state oil company’s geophysical exploration business.
BGP has a large number of seismic crews operating both in China and internationally. The company's principal operating areas are China, Nigeria, Sudan, the Middle East and Latin America.
The contract awarded by BGP is based on the provision of VERIPOS Ultra decimetre accuracy precise point positioning solution services which available on a global basis.
The contract also includes the purchase of VERIPOS LD2-G2 integrated mobile units which are enabled for reception of L1/L2 Dual Frequency GPS and also includes L-band satellite differential correction demodulator and the provision of Verify-QC positioning processing and quality control software packages.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online
••• 22.02.07 New seismic contract in the Middle East for Fugro.
Fugro has been awarded work of major high density 3D and regional 2D marine seismic project by the Al-Khafji Joint Operations. The award comprises the 3D and 2D marine seismic data acquisition and the full scale seismic data processing. The project, which is to start in late April 2007, will be carried out in the KJO Offshore area.
The duration of the project is up to twelve months. The total value of the contract is USD 38 million (EUR 29 million). Al-Khafji Joint Operations is a joint venture between the Aramco Gulf Operations Company Limited and Kuwait Gulf Oil Company (K.S.C.), at Al-Khafji, Saudi Arabia, for oil and gas exploration, development and production in the KJO Offshore area.
Fugro will use its seismic vessel Geo Baltic for this project.
••• 21.02.07 Wavefield Inseis going strong.
Seismic player Wavefield Inseis returned consolidated revenues in the fourth quarter 2006 of US $26.3 million compared with $2.2 million in the same period in 2005.
Full year net revenues, meanwhile, came in at $30.2 million for 2006, compared to $4.5 million in 2005, an increase of 571 %.
"The strong operating performance in Q4 demonstrates that we are on track building a full service marine geophysical company. Furthermore, our financial performance proves that our strategy of deploying capacity into the market at an early stage of the cycle has been successful. With more new vessels to be deployed early in 2007 we are in a unique position to take advantage of continued strong market fundamentals," - said CEO Atle Jacobsen. - "The announced agreement with Weatherford and our plans to launch the next generation fiber-optic 4C permanent seabed system indicates our commitment to innovative technology and an ability to create value in segments other than the traditional towed streamer business".
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 20.02.07 First Australian: Offshore Senegal Seismic Begins.
First Australian Resources Limited (FAR) said that the MV Symphony seismic vessel has begun acquiring seismic in the Rufisque, Sangomar, and Sangomar Deep blocks offshore Senegal. The survey will be the largest 3D survey conducted offshore Senegal as part of an exploration program that FAR and operator Hunt Oil Co. are conducting.
Both Hunt and FAR are sharing the MV Symphony seismic vessel with the Italian group Edison and have applied savings that will result from sharing the mobilization costs toward extending the 3D coverage by 50 km2. The increased survey area comprising a total of 2,050 km2 will now include prospect C1, in the southwest corner of the Sangomar Offshore block. Integrating C-1 into the overall 3D grid offers significant advantages compared to reprocessing old Shell seismic data over this prospect.
FAR's survey follows Edison's recently completed 1500 km2 3D in the Rufisque Deep Offshore block adjacent and to the north. The aggregate of this combined activity is likely to substantially upgrade activity in this relatively under-explored but highly prospective northwest African margin.
The acquisition of 2,050 square km of 3D seismic data is being conducted by the French seismic company CGG. FAR holds a 30 percent participation in the Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep Offshore blocks. These offshore concessions, located in the Mauritania-Senegal, Guinea Bissau Basin, offer potential for world-class oil accumulations.
Source: First Australian Resources Limited
••• 20.02.07 Gippsland Offshore Begins Kenyan Seismic Survey.
Gippsland Offshore Petroleum and its joint venture partner will start offshore exploration in Kenya this week when the Geomariner vessel will begin shooting approximately 1,200 line kms of 2D seismic.
This survey will precede a BHP Billiton operated FALCON airborne gravity gradiometry survey scheduled for start-up at the end of the month.
Gippsland Offshore Petroleum will earn a 60% equity share in the Lamu Basin L-6 block by spending $UD1.9 million on the geophysical exploration program. GOP will become the operator for the joint venture.
L-6 is a coastal block with approximately 30% of the area being onshore. The FALCON technology is the key to linking the onshore geology to the offshore and helping to unlock the basin's structural setting.
Interpretation of the new seismic and FALCON data will be completed by August, 2007 in preparation for moving into the drilling phase of the program.
Participants in theL-6 joint venture are Gippsland Offshore Petroleum as operator with 60% and Pancontinental Oil & Gas with 40%.
Source: Gippsland Offshore Petroleum
••• 19.02.07 Time charter for Veritas Viking II extended.
Newly formed CGGVeritas has, through its subsidiary Viking Maritime, exercised its option to extend the charter for the seismic research vessel Veritas Viking II.
The extension is for a fixed period of six years beginning June 2007. As a part of the charter extension agreement, CGGVeritas has agreed to waive its option to purchase 49 per cent of the vessel.
Veritas Viking II was delivered in 1999, and prior to the extension agreement was on an eight-year fixed time charter to Veritas DGC now merged into CGGVeritas.
With this extension and two new contracts entered into for delivery in 2007, CGGVeritas will have five large modern seismic vessels owned by Eidesvik Shipping AS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eidesvik Offshore ASA.
••• 19.02.07 GGS reports that the Odin Explorer has completed a Multi Client survey in the Asia-Pacific region.
The survey has been fully pre-funded with more than USD 2 million. The data is now being processed for rapid delivery.
••• 14.02.07 Seismic Vessels Begin Survey Work Offshore New Zealand.
Two seismic vessels are collecting approximately 10,000 km of seismic data in New Zealand waters over the summer season in a multi-permit program.
Both ships Pacific Titan and Duke are working for newly-merged CGGVeritas, now the world's largest seismic provider. The French-based Compagnie Generale de Geophysique and Texas-based Veritas completed their merger in January 2007.
The Pacific Titan, which arrived in Taranaki in late January to work in the Northland and Taranaki basins, completed a 40 km shallow gas 2D seismic survey in the Kupe mining license for Origin Energy.
Origin is also carrying an extensive program of seismic acquisition in the Northland Basin in the two permits which it operates with joint venture partner OMV New Zealand in PEP 38619 and PEP 38618.
Origin said in its December quarterly report that in PEP 38619, which lies along the coast south of Auckland to Kawhia Harbour, that Pacific Titanwas carrying out the Nimitz 400 sq km 3D seismic survey as well as the 1910 km Pantheon 2D survey.
This would be followed by a further 1200 km Akira 2D survey in PEP 38618 immediately to the west.
Approval was also granted to Origin to carry out a further 160 km of 2D seismic outside part of the northern boundary of its two Northland permits as part of the Pantheon survey. This is inside a 636 sq km extension to PEP 38619 which Origin has applied for.
The second CGC-Veritas vessel Duke (formerly the Polar Duke operated by Multiwave Geophysical) is due to arrive in New Zealand in March where it will be carrying out seismic surveys along the east coast of the country.
Origin Energy will carry out further 2D surveys with Duke in its two large offshore Canterbury Basin permits. Rob Willink, Origin Energy's executive general manager for exploration, said late last year that Origin planned to acquire in early 2007 some 2300 km of 2D seismic across both of its PEP 38262 and PEP 38264 permits.
Origin says in its latest quarterly report that the seismic surveys will be carried out in the Caravel area in the inner PEP 38262 and in the Wherry survey area in the outer PEP 38264 in deeper water.
A 200 km survey is also planned for Discovery Geo Corporation in its Cook Strait-Marlborough permit PEP 38343, Discovery Geo's operations manager Bruce Morris said.
The Duke program will also include Pogo's large 21,460 sq km East Coast Basin permit PEP 38344 where 2500 km of 2D is scheduled.
A 2300 km 2D survey for Crown Minerals in the un-permitted and largely un-surveyed Raukumara Basin north of East Cape is also planned.
••• 12.02.07 Shelton Canada Continues to Build Ukraine Portfolio.
Shelton Canada has entered into an agreement with Chernomornaftogas to acquire a concession known as the North Kerchenskaya field in the southern part of the Azov Sea. The finalization of the acquisition and development of this project will be completed by a wholly owned foreign subsidiary of Shelton. This concession holds the North Kerchenskaya structure which was discovered initially by seismic and subsequently found to be gas bearing through drilling. Two gas wells have been drilled which have defined an estimated resource of up to 160 billion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. Gas was tested from both wells at rates up to 2.5 million cubic feet per day from Miocene age reservoirs at drill depths of approximately 1300 meters. The North Kerchenskaya field is approximately 25 kilometers offshore with water depths of 12 meters.
This concession lies adjacent to the natural gas producing properties of North Bulganakskoye and East Kazantipskoye which produce from sediments of similar age.
An independent reserve report is being prepared by a Calgary based engineering firm.
The acquired interest is a 50 percent working interest in the North Kerchenskaya concession and through a wholly owned Shelton foreign subsidiary, the concession will be jointly developed and operated with Chernomornaftogas of Ukraine.
Zenon Potoczny, President and CEO, commented: "Reaching agreement with Chernomornaftogas on the North Kerchenskaya concession is a significant milestone for Shelton. This exceptional opportunity greatly enhances Shelton's portfolio with a project near two already producing fields not far from existing infrastructure and huge market. Because natural gas has already been discovered in significant quantities, we believe that this natural gas concession can be a profitable development and could add substantial value to Shelton. We also believe that we will be able to access further attractive opportunities to complement and expand our existing portfolio of properties in Ukraine."
The agreement regarding North Kerchenskaya represents a further important milestone in cooperation between Shelton and Chernomornaftogas following previously announced agreements on the West Birjuchja, North Birjuchja and East Birjuchja concessions all with a 50% participation for Shelton.
BOEs may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A BOE conversion ratio of 6 Mcf: 1bbl is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead.
Shelton is a junior oil and gas company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange holding an interest in producing properties located in northeastern British Columbia and north central Alberta. Shelton also holds petroleum and natural gas concessions in southern Ukraine.
Source: Rigzone/Shelton Canada
••• 08.02.07 In Poland on the 26th January the Gdansk Shipyard launched the 100 metre long GEO CELTIC, the largest seismic vessel so far constructed.
She is the first of four sister vessels. Fitting out will now be done by Bergen Mekaniske Verksted with delivery expected in July this year.
Source: Shipping & Shipbuilding News
••• 06.02.07 PGS - Chartering of Source and 2D Vessel.
Petroleum Geo-Services ASA announced today that PGS has entered into a 4 year firm Time-Charter with 2 x 1 year options with SeaBird Exploration Limited for the "Harrier Explorer" as a fully equipped and operated source vessel. PGS has the option to use the vessel as a 2D vessel by covering the cost of additional seismic equipment and additional operating cost. The contract value for the firm period is approximately USD 58 million and is scheduled for commencement on May 1st, 2007.
Chartering the "Harrier Explorer" secures PGS additional vessel capacity for 2D and undershoot work as well as for more advanced seismic solutions like Wide Azimuth.
••• 04.02.07 Pemex Launches Offshore Survey Work Tender.
The E&P unit of Mexican state oil company Pemex has launched an international tender to carry out 3-D seismic survey work in the Temoa area of the Gulf of Mexico.
The work will cover 7,050 sq km of the country's exclusive economic zone as part of the Golfo de Mexico B exploration project, according to the bidding rules. Golfo de Mexico B could contain close to 10Bb of crude oil equivalent, according to Pemex.
The new seismic information will complement existing 2-D data, help generate geological models and support studies to increase exploratory drilling sites.
Work is due to begin in May and will take 224 days to complete, according to the bidding rules. Potential bidders may purchase bidding rules until March 7, with offers due March 13.
••• 01.02.07 Fugro wins seismic contracts in Norway.
Fugro has been awarded contracts by the Norwegian companies Hydro, Pertra, Statoil and Talisman Norge for 3D seismic surveys to be acquired offshore Norway during the summer season in 2007.
The combined value of the contracts is in excess of USD 50 million (EUR 40 million).
••• 31.01.07 TGS charters additional 2-D vessel capacity.
TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA (TGS) has signed a two-year charter agreement with BGP for a 2-D seismic vessel to be named BGP Atlas.
BGP is currently outfitting BGP Atlas with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, and is scheduled to deliver it to TGS in June 2007.
TGS plans to deploy the vessel initially in the North Sea during the summer season.
TGS has the option to extend the vessel contract by two consecutive one-year periods under the same commercial terms.
With this agreement TGS has now secured access to three 3-D crews and six 2-D vessels for all or parts of 2007, enabling the company to continue expanding its multi-client database.
••• 30.01.07 SeaBird Exploration charters vessel.
SeaBird Exploration Limited and Norway’s Okland Fiskebatrederi have entered into a 5 year firm bareboat charter with 3 x 1 year options for the vessel Newfoundland Otter, to be renamed Munin Explorer, a 1990 built Norwegian trawler under conversion to a Seismic ship. Okland Fiskebatrederi will carry out the conversion to a Source/2D vessel at their cost with the exception of the cost of the Air Guns and the Streamer.
The contract value for the firm period is approximately USD 33 million and is scheduled for commencement in June 2007.
SeaBird has an option to purchase the vessel during the firm 5 years period.
••• 29.01.07 New Shtokman talks coming up in Kirkenes.
The upcoming oil and gas conference in Kirkenes, Norway, could become the venue for new talks on the development of the Shtokman field . The conference, held in the Norwegian border town of Kirkenes in the period 29-31 January, includes a number of noted representatives of both the Norwegian and Russian oil industries. The hydrocarbon resources in the Barents Sea is the field of focus.
The Norwegian oil and gas partners - Intsok – is the organiser of the conference. The Norwegian Barents Secretariat is one the main conference partners.
Norwegian Minister of Oil and Energy, Odd Roger Enoksen, will open the conference, followed by high-ranking officials from Gazprom, Statoil and Hydro. Among the other companies represented are Gazprom-subsidiaries Sevmorneftegaz and Gazflot, as well as FMC Kongsberg, Murmansk Shipping Company, Zvezdochka and Nerpa.
Gazprom’s investments plan for 2007 confirms that the company has concrete plans for the development of the Shtokman field already this year. The plan, which includes 17,1 billion RUB (500 million EUR) of investments in the field, could mark the formal start of the field development. If Gazprom is to stick to its investment plan, it is in a hurry to start acting.
••• 22.01.07 Fugro will triple its turnover in seismic survey.
The extension of Fugro’s fleet by seven large vessels that in 2007/2008 will complement the existing fleet of about 40 ships. This concerns five seismic vessels and two so-called multi-purpose vessels. This means, for instance, that Fugro will triple its turnover in seismic survey over the period 2005-2008.
The first new ship Geo Atlantic is in the mean time active near India and the second, Geo Barents, will depart in February to the Gulf of Mexico.
Source: Offshore Media
••• 19.01.07 CGGVeritas Announces Final Allocation of Merger Consideration.
Compagnie Generale de Geophysique-Veritas on Thursday announced the final allocations of merger consideration in its acquisition of Veritas DGC Inc.
In the transaction, stockholders of Veritas were offered a choice of receiving CGV ADSs or cash for each of their shares, subject to certain limitations.
Of the 40,420,483 shares of Veritas common stock outstanding as of the merger date (January 12, 2007), approximately:
81.7%, had elected to receive cash,
14.3%, had elected to receive CGG ADSs; and
4.0%, did not make a valid election.
Stockholders electing cash will receive, on average, 0.9446 CGV ADSs and $45.32 in cash per share of Veritas common stock. Stockholders electing ADSs and stockholders making no valid election will receive 2.0097 CGV ADSs per share of Veritas common stock. In aggregate, approximately $1.5 billion and approximately 46.1 million shares of CGV ADSs will be paid to Veritas stockholders as merger consideration.
CGGVeritas is the world's leading international pure-play geophysical company delivering a wide range of technologies, services and equipment through Sercel, to its broad base of customers mainly throughout the global oil and gas industry.
••• 17.01.07 GGS Atlantic has started sea trials.
GGS reports that the GGS Atlantic has been inspected by the ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) and that all relevant certificates have been issued.
Sea trials have started in preparation for mobilisation of the vessel to work in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, west of Florida.
••• 16.01.07 SBX acquires GeoBird.
SeaBird Exploration Limited has agreed to purchase GeoBird Management Middle East FZ (GeoBird) for US$2 million with immediate effect.
GeoBird is a maritime management company that has been responsible for the maritime operations of the SeaBird fleet of vessels since year 2003.
The acquisition of GeoBird will further consolidate SeaBird's operations.
Jan Eivind Fondal has been appointed President for SeaBird Exploration Dubai FZ LLC, the company in which the full operation of the SeaBird vessels now will be consolidated.
GeoBird's business is mainly related to the SeaBird maritime operations, but GeoBird is also providing maritime management services for other leading seismic companies.
••• 16.01.07 Seismic shakedown.
Seismic groups CGG and Veritas DGC have completed their previously announced merger after finalising closing transactions.
The new company will be called Compagnie Generale de Geophysique-Veritas - or more simply, CGG Veritas.
Shares will be listed on both the Euronext stock exchange in Paris and the New York Stock Exchange with the trading symbol CGV in the US.
Chairman and chief executive Robert Brunck described the newly-merged company as: “The leading pure-play geophysical company.”
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 14.01.07 Norwegian seismic company, Wavefield Inseis, has won a contract from the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to carry out a a new 3D seismic survey offshore Libya.
The work is due to start in the first quarter 2007, and is expected to take one and a half months to complete with the M/V Geowave Commander vessel.
Wavefield Inseis’ second offshore Libya contract win in less than one month, the survey for CNPC will cover 850 km2 and is located within block 17-4 of the Pelagian Basin, at a water depth of 200 to 400 metres.
"We requested tenders from a number of companies and, after a full evaluation of the alternatives, found that Wavefield Inseis precisely met our requirements," said Dr. Feng Kai, assistant general manager of CNPC International - Libya Branch. Dr. Feng Kai added, "The Company offers the key strengths and expertise required to make a real contribution to CNPC’s activities and we look forward to a highly successful partnership."
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 12.01.07 TGS Charters Additional 2D Vessel Capacity. Nine seismic crews now chartered for all or parts of 2007.
TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA (TGS) announced today that it has signed a two-year charter agreement with BGP for a 2D seismic vessel to be named the M/V BGP Atlas. BGP is currently outfitting the M/V BGP Atlas with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, and is scheduled to deliver it to TGS in June 2007. TGS plans to deploy the vessel initially in the North Sea during the summer season.
TGS has the option to extend the vessel contract by two consecutive one-year periods under the same commercial terms.
With this agreement TGS has now secured access to three 3D crews and six 2D vessels for all or parts of 2007, enabling the company to continue aggressively expanding its multi-client database.
••• 10.01.07 Wavefield, Weatherford to Commercialize 4C Technology.
Wavefield Inseis AS said that it has entered into an agreement with Weatherford International Ltd to jointly commercialize the next generation multi-component ocean bottom cable (4C OBC) system using Weatherford's optical sensing technology. The optical seismic array includes high-precision seismic measurements, much lower power consumption, improved system reliability with a completely passive wet-end and lower unit cost compared to other technologies.
"This relationship provides the market with a unique technology. With Weatherford's experience in optical sensors and Wavefield Inseis' expertise in the seismic industry, this partnership has the potential to develop game-changing solutions in the permanent 4C4D market," commented Dharmesh Mehta, Weatherford's Vice President of Production Optimization.
The ocean bottom seismic application of the optical sensing technology has been developed in a strong co-operation between Statoil and the Weatherford subsidiary Optoplan AS through a two year joint research and development program resulting in successful field testing of the developed technology. Field tests conducted at the coast of Norway have verified excellent performance of the seabed seismic sensors. Repeated surveys have shown the 4C OBC functionality to be extremely robust with exceptional vector fidelity. Wavefield Inseis will introduce this technology into the permanent, time-lapse (4D) seismic market, where many operators have long waited for this type of lower cost, highly reliable system. First commercial full-scale installation is anticipated in 2008.
"Wavefield Inseis' business plan has always focused on becoming a full range geophysical service provider," stated Wavefield Inseis Chief Executive Officer, Atle Jacobsen. "Our strategy to initially enter the market with proprietary and multi-client 2D and 3D towed streamer activity Wavefield Inseis Agreement/ Weatherford is now proven. The agreement with Weatherford signals the next phase in Wavefield Inseis' evolution. We have now a solid foothold in place for delivering permanent 4C4D multicomponent acquisition, using a technology that will bring the step change in cost and performance that the market has been waiting for."
The agreement involves a 35% partial-asset purchase of the Weatherford subsidiary Optoplan AS in Trondheim, Norway with an option for Wavefield Inseis to purchase the remainder of Optoplan upon completion of the commercialization period. Optoplan pioneered in the 1990's the application of optical sensing down-hole and has recently worked closely with Statoil on the ocean bottom seismic application of optical sensing technology.
"Statoil has been an invaluable contributor in the development and qualification of this revolutionary seismic technology," comments Morten Eriksrud, Managing Director, Optoplan A.S.
Norwegian-based Wavefield Inseis provides a range of proprietary and non-exclusive multiclient marine geophysical services using highly specified vessels and the latest seismic equipment. The company is also a full service permanent 4D acquisition provider. Wavefield Inseis supports clients through a range of services aimed at increasing exploration success and maximizing production from existing reservoirs.
Weatherford is one of the largest global providers of innovative mechanical solutions, technology and services for the drilling and production sectors of the oil and gas industry. Weatherford operates in over 100 countries and employs more than 32,000 people worldwide.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 08.01.07 Caspian Services Charters Three Vessels to RXT.
Caspian Services, Inc. said that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Caspian Services Group Ltd., it has signed a contract to provide three vessels to Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA (RXT), a marine geophysical company specializing in multi-component seismic sea-floor acquisition.
RXT recently signed a letter of intent with Agip KCO to conduct a four component 3D seismic survey over the extensive Kashagan field. Caspian Services will add two additional shallow draft survey/work vessels to its fleet to service this contract. These vessels will be drawn from the Rederij Waterweg BV fleet as part of the ongoing partnership between the two marine companies.
John Scott, Chief Operating Officer of CSI, commenting on the contract noted "This contract will keep Caspian Services in the forefront of companies providing seismic fleet services in the expanding Caspian Sea oil and gas exploration efforts. We expect that our extensive experience in conducting seismic surveys in the challenging waters of the northeast Caspian Sea will benefit the project significantly."
Caspian Services, Inc. is an oilfield service company providing a broad range of services in the Caspian Sea region of western Kazakhstan. The Company provides seismic data acquisition services; maintains a fleet of vessels that it commissions to oil and gas exploration companies engaged in development activities in the north Caspian Sea and other oilfield services such as lodging and desalinated water in the Port of Bautino. The Company maintains corporate offices in Almaty and Aktau, Kazakhstan and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Source: Caspian Services, Inc.
••• 05.01.07 Wavefield secures AIM Geophysical.
Norway’s Wavefield Inseis has finalised the acquisition of the Houstonbased multi-client seismic data specialist AIM Geophysical.
AIM Geophysical, which was founded in 2000, has been attracting industry interest in the multi-client 3D data sets it has acquired both on and off the shelf in the highly competitive Gulf of Mexico region using traditional towed streamer technology and Ocean Bottom Cables (OBC).
Wavefield Inseis said in a statement: “The reputation of AIM Geophysical and their focus on the Gulf of Mexico will greatly enhance the current international portfolio and multi-client business development activities of Wavefield Inseis. This acquisition is in line with the company's growth strategy of expanding the seismic vessel fleet and optimising utilisation of vessel capacity within the exclusive contract and multi-client seismic market.”
AIM Geophysical will continue to provide Gulf of Mexico multi-client services under its name but will actively integrate its experience and expertise into all aspects of the multi-client business unit of Wavefield Inseis.
David Wegner, President of AIM Geophysical, said: "This transaction provides AIM with an extensive fleet of world class vessels and highly experienced operations personnel which will enable us to begin executing our multi-client strategy in the Gulf of Mexico in early 2007."
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 04.01.07 PGS said its marine fleet utilisation was slightly down in the last quarter last year with 80% of total time engaged in marine contract and multi-client seismic acquisition programmes.
A further 18% of vessel time was spent steaming between locations, and 2% in shipyards.
Vessel utilization figures were marginally down compared to the third quarter 2006 when contract and multi-client seismic work accounted for 83% of vessel utilisation, while the vessel utilisation figure for fourth quarter 2005 was 78%.
••• 03.01.07 TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company has announced that it has commenced acquisition of a series of non-exclusive geoscientific surveys to be conducted over Indonesia's under-explored frontier basins.
The project is undertaken in cooperation with the Directorate General of Oil and Gas (MIGAS). MIGAS, a subdivision of the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, is responsible for all aspects of the Indonesian petroleum industry.
The surveys will acquire a variety of data to conduct a comprehensive prospectivity analysis over an area of around one million square kilometers. The studies, involving some 16 sedimentary basins, will include:
- 33,000 kilometers new 2D seismic data;
- 419,000 square kilometers of Multibeam SeaSeep, gravity and magnetic data;
- 1,500 sediment cores;
- 4,500 geochemical analyses;
- 250 heat flow probes.
All operations will be managed by TGS, with interpretation of the data carried out by an expert team of geoscientists with extensive knowledge of Indonesian basins and a proven record of exploration success in the region.
The project is designed to couple innovative, new technologies with proven geologic concepts.
The gravity and magnetic data will provide valuable information on the tectonic fabric and basement architecture in the basin while the seismic data will provide more detailed structural mapping capabilities. The Mutibeam SeaSeep data will provide a high-resolution view of seafloor topography and will be used to detect hydrocarbon seeps on the seafloor. The sediment cores, geochemical analyses, and heat probe tests will all be used to evaluate the commercial viability of petroleum systems within the frontier basins. The complete, integrated data package will be marketed to the exploration industry.
"The geology and petroleum potential of Indonesia`s frontier basins are not well understood by industry, with large areas written off with little or no data," said Paul Gilleran, TGS' General Manager for Asia-Pacific. "Modern, integrated data can help open these frontier basins to new, 'clever' exploration."
••• 03.01.07 Norway’s Odim has been awarded a NOK 80 million contract by Fugro Geoteam to supply automated handling systems for a 3D seismic vessel.
The contract comprises electrical driven handling equipment for Fugro Geoteam’s second new build vessel Geo Caribbean.
The equipment is due to be delivered during second quarter 2008.
Last year 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 3D seismic survey and it will be equipped for towing 14 streamers for long offset acquisition (streamer length over 9 km).
The Geo Carribean has the same design as the previously announced vessel chartered by Fugro from E. Forland Shipowners the Geo Celtic (seismic survey, available in May 2007).