Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


The Conway Mountain Ear: Caribou: A necessary part of Arctic life.

"... I learned that living with a seismic crew was the worst contract a helicopter pilot could experience in the Alaskan Arctic." ...

"[T]hey never washed. Seismic camps were put up over tundra lakes and ponds, but the drillers were too lazy to go down through the eight-foot ice and pump up some more water to fill their tanks.

"One camp boss regarded me sternly as I finished my shower that first night, and swore at me. ‘Some of the men in this camp haven't had a shower in three weeks,’ he informed me."

Reuters: PGS to axe 250 office jobs.

"It said that the cuts would be made mainly in office-based staff in Houston, Texas, Walton, England and Oslo."

Business Wire: Input/Output Reports First Quarter Results.

> A loss, of course.

Business Wire: OYO Geospace Reports Fiscal 2003 Second Quarter Results.

"‘Poor market conditions and continued competitive pressures for our traditional seismic exploration products persist. Cost reduction efforts continued during the quarter, with further reductions and restructuring plans in progress as we adapt to the present market environment.’"

Dow Jones: Devon Energy, Ocean Energy Complete Merger.

"The spokesman said that the company will look at some issues of duplicate staffing and issues of overlap in terms of facilities. In 2002, Devon recorded revenue of $4.32 billion, while Ocean reported $1.16 billion."

Reuters: Three US independent oil explorers' earnings boom.

"Apache Corp. reported first-quarter earnings that quadrupled from last year, while competitor Burlington Resources Inc. said its first-quarter earnings rose fivefold over 2002. Unocal Corp. widely beat Wall Street estimates, also turning in a fivefold jump in year-over-year profits."

Oil & Gas Journal: Kerr-McGee confirms Constitution, Hornet deepwater GOM discoveries.

"Constitution lies in 5,000 ft of water on Green Canyon block 680, and Hornet, in 3,850 ft of water on Green Canyon block 379."


CBS Marketwatch: Schlumberger profit declines in Q1.

"By segment, WesternGeco -- the company's seismic joint venture with Baker Hughes -- broke even compared to a profit of $47 million a year ago."

Business Wire: Bolt Technology Corporation Reports Third Quarter Results.

"Raymond M. Soto, Bolt's chairman, president, and CEO, commented, ‘During the third quarter our company continued to be adversely affected by the industry wide slowdown in seismic exploration activity. We have not shipped any complete energy source systems during the first nine months of fiscal 2003 and our replacement parts business has also been weak.’ ...

"Bolt Technology Corporation develops, manufactures, and sells the world's leading seismic energy sources and underwater connectors used in the offshore seismic exploration for oil and gas."


BBC: New Russian bear enters oil market.

"Sibneft, which leapt up the rankings last year when it snapped up Russia's last major state-owned oil concern Slavneft, is being bought by Russian number two Yukos." ...

"Daily output from the two firms combined totals 2.3 million barrels a day, amounting to 29% of Russia's oil flow and equivalent to the output of Kuwait."

United Press International: Seven stranded whales die in Florida.

"Some theorize loud man-made noise in the ocean may disorient the whales because they use ‘sonar’ or, more correctly, bat-like echolocation, which enables them to ‘see’ with their ears by listening for echoes.

"U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn told a congressional inquiry in 2001 that the loudest non-explosive man-made noise in the ocean came from airguns with levels up to 255 decibels used in seismic exploration, the Web site the reports."

> What???! In the final sentence of the article, the reporter manages to imply that these whales beached themselves because of seismic exploration. Was a seismic survey taking place anywhere in the vicinity of these whales? I bet the author didn't even attempt to investigate.

Business Wire: BP Deploys HP Intel Itanium 2-Based Systems for Seismic Imaging Research.

"Based in Houston, BP's advanced seismic research center now includes a high-performance computing (HPC) cluster of 259 HP rx5670 systems with more than 1,000 Itanium 2 processors, providing a total of 4 teraflops and 8000 GB of memory, running under the Linux operating system."

Reuters: Silicon Graphics Reports Loss Vs. Profit.

"Following an ambitious but failed expansion into commodity computers, SGI has retrenched to focus on sophisticated computers and ‘visual area networks,’ which graphically represent seismic models and medical information, for example."

Oil Online: MMS acquires electronic access to seismic data.

"As part of its program of leasing offshore oil and gas tracts in Gulf of Mexico federal waters, MMS evaluates the bids received from each oil and gas lease sale. This evaluation requires the purchase of many sets of data from various seismic vendors."


Nature: Frozen fuel gas surfaces. Technology takes step towards mining oceans' natural gas.

"... last summer, research ships in the Pacific Ocean off Oregon raised unadulterated samples of gas hydrates for study for the first time...."


World Oil: How recent trends are affecting global energy resources.

"In the mid-19th century, 90% of [U.S.] fuel energy came from wood combustion. In the early 20th century, coal became the major source (77%), Fig. 1.

"By 1960, about 72% of [U.S.] energy consumed came from petroleum and natural gas combined, and coal's dominance was reduced to 22%. By the end of the 20th century, combined petroleum and natural gas energy consumption declined to 62%, while coal provided 23%."

> More statistics than you ever wanted to see.

Press Release: PGS Completes Next Stage of World's Largest Merged Survey.

"PGS Geophysical announces the completion of the latest phases of its Central and Southern North Sea Mega Surveys...."

Press Release: Geotrace awarded two major 4D processing contracts by Norsk Hydro.

"These datasets cover a full fold area of 540 square kilometers (3 vintages) and 260 square kilometers (2 vintages) respectively and are located in quadrant 31 of the Norwegian Sea."

Oil Online: Fugro-Geoteam wins North Sea projects.

Vancouver Sun: TI founder never forgot B.C. roots. Cecil Green worked as hard at giving away fortune as he did making it.

"It is estimated Green and his wife Ida donated the equivalent of over $300 million [Canadian dollars] to various causes and institutions around the world. For his good works he was knighted by the Queen, but Sir Cecil Howard Green came from humble beginnings."


New York Times: Cecil H. Green, 102, Dies; Texas Instruments Founder.

"On Dec. 6, 1941, Mr. Green joined with Eugene McDermott, J. Erik Jonsson and H. Bates Peacock to buy a Dallas company called Geophysical Service Inc., which was working on seismic explorations for oil but moved into electronics during World War II, making submarine detection devices and radars. In 1951, the company changed its name to Texas Instruments, retaining the Geophysical Service name for a subsidiary." ....

"In 1958, the company developed the integrated circuit that made possible a vast new range of electrically controlled machines."

Follow-up to this item --

Naples Daily News: Amendment to inventory coastal oil and gas defeated.

"The inventory would use seismic technology, which an Interior Department study showed could harm or even kill fish in the area, to pinpoint the location of the reserves."

> Oh man, that make it sound like we pour barrels of toxic waste in the open ocean!

Business Wire: A2D Technologies Names ... Experienced Executive to Head up Data Access and Integration Efforts.

"A2D Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company, pioneered the delivery of digital well log data over the Internet...."

Press Release: Norex Exploration Services Provides Update Respecting Conquest Seismic Services.

"Norex Exploration Services Inc. today announced that the parties have amicably determined that the proposed acquisition of Conquest Seismic Services Ltd. by Norex will not proceed as contemplated in Norex's press release of February 5, 2003."


SEG: "Cecil Green, pioneer geophysicist and world-reknowned philanthropist, died April 12 of pneumonia. He was 102."

In memoriam -- Cecil Green.


Associated Press: Congress Eyes Coastal Waters Oil Review.

"Environmentalists complained that even if the studies don't lead to a lifting of the drilling moratoria, the seismic tests themselves -- which use high decibel noise generated by firing an air gun underwater -- are harmful to fish and other sea life.

"‘Even the smallest seismic airgun array can significantly injure fish at substantial distances,’ said Lisa Speer, a marine biologist at the Natural Resources Defense Council."

Press Release: Cauley Geller Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Core Laboratories, N.V. On Behalf of Investors.

"On March 31, 2003, after the markets had closed trading for the day, the Company shocked the market by announcing that it would be restating its financial results for prior 2002 quarterly operating results because of: (a) the issuance of duplicate invoices in the Company's Mexico operations; (b) the need for higher provisions for doubtful accounts receivables; (c) the need for timely booking of expenses and foreign exchange translation losses from certain field locations; (d) changes in the estimated life of certain assets; and (e) and consolidation costs of two Nigerian offices."

The Daily Advertiser: Omni gets $25M contracts for seismic work.

"James C. Eckert, Omni chairman and CEO, said the company was awarded contracts to perform seismic drilling, surveying and permitting work for Seismic Exchange Inc. of New Orleans." ...

"Eckert said Omni is involved in an aggressive program to expand its aviation division. The company has previously started a program to replace its single-purpose helicopters with multi-purpose aircraft to support its seismic drilling and offshore transportation services."

Press Release: Grant Geophysical, Inc. and Hocol S.A. Complete Successful 3D Seismic Data Acquisition Project.

"The project covered 539 square kilometers in the east foothills of Colombia."

Press Release: Seitel Noteholders Agree to Extend Date By Which Restructuring Documents Are To Be Completed, Until May 15, 2003.

Email from Doug McCowan --

"Headline seen on a tabloid while waiting in a supermarket checkout line:

‘Oil Discovered on Moon -- Will make Arab Oil obsolete as gas prices plunge to 10c per gallon.’

Time to get out of dis business!!!"


Casper Star Tribune: Utah judge hears challenge to oil-and-gas survey.

"The work by Veritas DGC Land Inc. of Houston is driving away wildlife and leaving tire ruts that will attract more traffic from all-terrain vehicles, lawyers for Earthjustice and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance said." ...

"Veritas attorney Brett Sumner said Veritas has used helicopters to deliver some portable drills. And the company has spent more time raking soil and planting seeds to repair tire ruts than drilling shot holes for the seismic survey, he said."

Oil Online: Magic Earth releases Geoprobe 2.7.

"This release delivers innovative integration for 3D well planning and advanced autotracking...."


Excellent! I just noticed that Geotrace finally posted on their website my O&GJ paper from last fall on curved-ray prestack Kirchhoff time migration. About time!

If you are interested, it's a PDF file, and it should open with Adobe Acrobat. On my mac, though, the downloaded file is saved without the '.pdf' extension, so I have to rename it (by adding the extension) before I can open it.

BGP International from China expands Seismic operations into the Sultanate of Oman.

"BGP, one of the land's leading geophysical contractors in the world today, started its international operations in early 1990's, and currently has 26 crews available outside of China providing cost-effective geophysical services to oil and gas companies worldwide."

Paradigm Inaugurates its State-of-the-Art Visionarium in Houston. With VoxelGeo, Offers a Real Production Environment for Integration And Visualization.


Youssef M. Ibrahim, Newsday: Yes, Oil Plays Big Role As Motive for Iraq War.

"What matters most is that this war, as far as we, the French, the Russians and the Chinese are concerned, is indeed about oil, not about any democracy. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should come clean with the American people. We are not really interested in democracy in the Mideast."

Business Week: Iraq's Oil: Good News And Bad.

"With the right planning, analysts reckon that Iraq's capacity could rise to 6 million barrels per day by 2009. Production at that level would make Iraq the second-largest producer, after the Saudis, in OPEC."

Washington Post: Closing In on Baghdad Will Push War Underground.

"Over the past 20 years, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is believed to have constructed an elaborate series of underground tunnels and bunkers around Baghdad...."

"A batch of technological innovations is allowing the U.S. government to better understand what's below the surface.... Among them are seismic devices akin to big hammers that pound the ground and bounce back a signature like radar. Experts also use gravimeters, which measure the variations in the gravitational field between two or more points to help pinpoint underground installations."


Oil Online: Statoil contracts WesternGeco for 4D Q-Reservoir survey.

"WesternGeco performed the baseline Q-Reservoir survey for Statoil on the Norne field in 2001, and the new survey, scheduled to begin in June, will enable the industry's first "Q-on-Q" data comparison. Q-Reservoir is the WesternGeco proprietary suite of seismic technologies with marine, land, and seabed applications."

Oil & Gas Journal: Newfield Announces OCS Lease Sale 185 Results; Company Provides Update On Ultra-Deep Shelf Activities.

"Newfield Exploration Company today announced that it was the apparent high bidder on 51 of 62 bids in OCS Sale #185 in the Central Gulf of Mexico held last Wednesday by the Minerals Management Service (MMS).... More than half of the apparent high bids were on ‘ultra-deep’ shelf opportunities and were bid on under an exploration agreement with BHP Billiton."

San Jose Mercury News: Sorry, but there's no gasoline price conspiracy -- again.

" Sorry, conspiracy buffs. The normal course of business, and not funny business, pushed up gas prices from $1.58 a gallon in January to $2.15 mid-March, the California Energy Commission reports."


Oil & Gas Journal: US MMS issues proposed notice of Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 187.

"... scheduled for Aug. 20 in New Orleans."

A couple of weeks old --

PGS Press Release: The Rise of the Mega Survey.

"This is the blueprint of things to come. All prolific, producing basins can benefit from the big picture that Mega Surveys project. The North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Offshore Brasil, and Gulf of Guinea are all candidates. 2003 will be the year of the Mega Survey."

Houston Chronicle: Seitel puts loss at $136 million. Seismic firm changed value of library, how it reports income.

"The company reported a 30 percent improvement in revenues, however, up from $115 million in 2001 to $149 million in 2002."

BBC: India unveils huge supercomputer. India has launched an advanced supercomputer known as Param Padma.

"The Param Padma has 1 teraflop of power, which means it can make 1 trillion processes per second.... India began developing a supercomputer after being denied a Cray supercomputer by the United States in 1987."

Walter Kessinger

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