Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

Old entries from my weblog on geophysics and the energy industry.


Oil and Gas Journal: Moody's says prospects better for oil services industry.

"[Alexandra Parker, Moody's vice president and senior credit officer] said international markets are still lagging behind the recovery in North America, and deepwater markets are lagging behind the shallow water and onshore markets.

"As major and independent oil and gas companies increase exploration and development spending outside of North America, Moody's expects all the markets to improve during 2001, and the international oil services market to recover fully by the end of the year. Moody's projected oil and gas producers would raise their capital spending by 15-20% in 2001, as compared to an estimated 10-15% increase in 2000, and a 22% drop in 1999."

I think I remember this same story being published last month, but what the heck, it needs all the publicity it can get.

Oil and Gas Journal: EIA sees 32% gain in US energy demand by 2020.

"EIA's annual energy outlook noted that economic growth is a major determinant of both energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions. Its reference case assumes US gross domestic product (GDP) will grow at 3%/year from 1999 through 2020."


"EIA said in its reference case, the energy intensity of the US economy, measured as energy used per dollar of GDP, is projected to decline 1.6%/year through 2020 as more efficient energy-using technologies become available and penetrate the market."


"It said the reference case assumes technology improvements in oil and natural gas exploration and production that lower costs and improve finding and success rates."


Merger news --

Oil Online: Chevron to respond to FTC second request.


Oil and Gas Journal: Marathon to buy Pennaco Energy for $500 million.

"Pennaco, Denver, only produces coalbed methane gas (CBM) from the Powder River Basin of northern Wyoming and southern Montana....

"Marathon President, Clarence Cazalot said, `Much of the growing global demand for energy will be met by natural gas, and this is particularly the case for the US where growth in electric power generation is a prime driver. The North American gas market is a core area for Marathon, and this acquisition will enhance our already strong presence.'"


Yoram Shoham of Shell wrote the lead editorial in this month's Leading Edge. If you're a geophysicist in need of a moral booster, it's an optimistic piece.

The Leading Edge: Geosciences: The roads ahead and the emerging technology revolution.

"Geophysics is much broader than imaging but few outside of our industry are aware of this. The success of 3-D seismology has contributed to a point of view that considers geophysics a mature, commodity-type technology that has reached its climax. Geophysicists know that this is wrong and that we are using only a small portion of the information contained in our seismic and other data."


WSJ: Eni Makes $4 Billion Bid for Lasmo, Exceeding Offer From Amerada Hess.

"Eni, with a market value of some $60 billion, is 10-times larger than Hess and also better capitalized. And [Italian] Eni wouldn't face the same challenges in dealing with Lasmo's assets in Libya and Iran, which some analysts have speculated Hess might have to divest to comply with U.S. State Department sanctions, one industry expert familiar with Eni said."

Dow Jones: Without Sweetened Lasmo Bid, Amerada Needs New Target.

"If the acquisition of Lasmo had gone as planned, Lasmo's reserves would increase Hess' reserve base by more than 80%, to 1.83 billion barrels of oil equivalent, making Hess the eighth-largest oil and gas company in the U.S. In total production, Hess' 565,000 barrels a day would rank ahead of Unocal Corp. (UCL) and Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) and just behind Conoco Inc. (COCA, COCB).

"Hess hasn't been as successful with the drill bit in recent years as the company would have liked, [Hess spokesman Carl] Tursi said."

Houston Chronicle: Core Labs acquires oil-site analysis firm.

"[Core Petrophysics] proprietary technology can deal with unconsolidated reservoirs, which contain a mix of materials such as sand and clay."

Houston Chronicle: Input/Output to buy seismic-goods maker.

"Input/Output has agreed to acquire the Pelton Co., a privately held firm in Ponca City, Okla., that makes the hardware and software to link seismic recording equipment with either vibrator trucks or dynamite."

Houston Chronicle: Earnings - Input/Output.


Oil and Gas Journal: Analysts: E&P spending to jump more than 19% in 2001.

"Most of the gain in international spending is a result of large budget increases by two supermajors, BP and the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, up from depressed levels this year. However, Lehman Brothers also reported substantial budget increases among large US independents...


"The projected strong increase in E&P spending for next year is driven primarily by high natural gas prices-particularly in the US and Canada-and the resulting strong cash flow to producers."

I spent last week at Paradigm's home office in Israel training on the next release of the GeoDepth Power depth imaging software. It was a good trip. I got to meet and talk with most of the Israeli staff responsible for development and support of this product, including Zvi Koren, Dan Kosloff, Uri Zakhem, Michal Hadar, Rony Weinshall, Dana Birnboim, Vicky Ilin, Oleg Meshbey and, of course, Ofra Kalechstein. (I'm mainly listing everyone as a memory crutch. For the next month, I'll be able to access this entry to find everyone's full names.)

Enterprise Oil Awards Contract to Paradigm Geophysical for Global Access to Paradigm Technology.


Oil Online: Harken (who?) announces Colombian 3D seismic results.

"Harken Energy Corp. has completed an analysis and interpretation of its multi-component 3-D seismic pilot program on the Company's 250,000 acre Bolivar Association Contract block in Colombia. The study was initiated by the Company to facilitate understanding the block's complicated fault and fracture channel structure."


Oil and Gas Online: Core Labs buys Coherence Cube from BP Amoco.

"Paddy Keenan, Vice President of Core Lab [said], `Until now we have been limited to providing Coherence Cube processing as a service through our Scott Pickford division. Now we will also have the option of licensing the software on a standalone basis throughout the industry. This should help us disseminate this powerful tool for detecting and imaging faults and stratigraphy in 3D and 4D seismic data and, at the same time, curtail the activities of those whom we believe are currently infringing the patents' claims.'"


CNN: Shell to use Linux supercomputer for oil quest.

"Shell's Exploration & Production unit will use the supercomputer, consisting of 1,024 IBM X-Series servers, to run seismic and other geophysical applications in its search for more oil and gas."

Also mentioned in the Houston Chronicle.


Houston Chronicle: Seitel to offer seismic data online.

"Seitel currently keeps its data on magnetic tape and hard drives in Houston and Calgary, Alberta. It mails the data to customers when they request it."


"The amount of information the company will make available in the database will be equal to 1.1 quadrillion bytes, or 1 million gigabytes. To offer the information online, Seitel's data storage network will use hundreds of IBM's largest data storage servers."

Houston Chronicle: State accepts Houston smog plan. Eight-county plan `spreads the pain.'

"As expected, the smog plan orders sweeping cuts in industrial emissions, lowered speed limits, expanded tailpipe testing, morning bans on the use of certain equipment, plus many other measures."


WSJ (subscription required): U.S. Hopes to Spur Gas Drilling By Creating Royalty Incentives.

"Coming as natural-gas prices hover at historic highs, the incentives are aimed at encouraging producers to attack the bigger and more prolific deposits thought to be buried deeper underneath the floor of the relatively shallow Gulf shelf. The gas is needed to satisfy an expected boom in demand during the next decade.

"Similar incentives started in 1995 are widely credited with spurring a flurry of exploration for oil in the Gulf's deeper waters. But analysts and oil companies say the new incentives -- which, unlike the deepwater measures, are triggered only when gas prices fall below a certain level -- may not be comprehensive enough to spur such risky developments in underwater gas fields."


Oil Online: Baker Hughes, Schlumberger complete seismic venture.

"Baker Hughes Inc. announced the formation of its Western GECO seismic venture with Schlumberger Limited."

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