Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


The Globe and Mail: Banking on yield not a wise move. Choosing trust units that promise the biggest income bang is a strategy that is bound to backfire.

"The track record for small trusts contains some car wrecks. Request Seismic Surveys Ltd. was a small oil services play that became a trust, and didn't have the resources to withstand an oil patch downturn. Ms. Lundquist says: ‘Buying Request was the worst investing decision I've ever made.’"

> Conversation between two money managers --

> 1st manager: ‘You wouldn't believe how much money I lost in telcomm stocks during the dotcom boom.’

> 2nd manager: ‘Oh yeah? Well let me tell you about the time I invested in a seismic exploration company!’

Geoffrey Scotton, Calgary Herald : Changes urged to smooth patch.

"At issue are seasonal and oil and gas pricing cycle pressures that see the bulk of exploration and development work conducted during the first three or four months of the year, leading to sharp swings in requirements for staff and equipment." ...

"Ironically, although seismic costs are higher in the winter, that is when the bulk of seismic work -- and overall drilling -- takes place." ...

"... oilpatch workers, who often have been trained and become experienced at considerable expense to the industry, quickly realize there is steadier and more stable work in other sectors and quickly gravitate towards it."

Press Release: Kelman Annual General Meeting.

"Mr. David Richard, President and CEO ... indicated that the results achieved in the first quarter of 2003 were not reflective of his expectations for the balance of 2003. He speculated that general activity levels in the seismic industry are expected to increase for the balance of 2003."


Reuters: S&P says Petroleum Geo-Services rating unchanged.

"Standard & Poor's also said that it will lower its ratings on PGO to 'D' upon the filing of the bankruptcy petition, which is expected in July 2003, and assign new ratings to PGO upon its emergence from bankruptcy."


San Diego Union Tribune: Senate backs study of coastal oil reserves.

"In a move that California lawmakers said would undermine a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling off the state's coast, the Senate voted Thursday to survey fuel reserves beneath ocean waters, even those now off limits to drilling." ...

"[Senators] Boxer and Feinstein also said the inventory itself would harm marine life through the use of high-decibel seismic technology to measure oil and gas reserves. Environmental groups raised similar concerns." ...

"The oil and gas industry, which backs the inventory, has called those concerns overblown, saying the effects on fish and other sea life can be minimized."

All Africa: Weekly News.

"Oil companies Total and Kerr-McGee announced their intention of undertaking a second deepwater seismic survey the length of Western Sahara. The first study by Norwegian company TGS-NOPEC was recently completed. The latter company ruled ought any further involvement, on ethical grounds. A campaign organised by the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara has denounced the illegal character of prospection in the Moroccan-occupied territories."

Reuters: Arcis stock jumps 26 pct as company put in play.

"Shares in Arcis Corp. jumped by 26 percent on Wednesday after the Canadian company, which specializes in seismic services for energy firms, said it might put itself up for sale."

Houston Chronicle: Copter crashes in Harris County rice field.

"Investigators said the pair were conducting a seismic survey for possible oil-and-gas exploration when the helicopter went down, apparently because of engine trouble."

CFCN: Making his way the only way he knows how.

"He's a transplanted Martimer. A seismic worker waiting for his crew to head out for the oil fields. He's broke. He doesn't like panhandling, doesn't like bottle picking."

> Maybe that should be the tagline for my blog.


Houston Chronicle: Anadarko buys leases in the Gulf.

"Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has bought the majority of Amerada Hess' shallow-water properties in the Gulf of Mexico, paying about $225 million as the larger corporation shifts its emphasis to the deep water."

Houston Chronicle: Seitel wants own plan for bankruptcy case.

"The involuntary bankruptcy petitions were filed in U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware [last Friday] by the holders of about $103 million in unsecured notes, out of $255 million outstanding."


Associated Press: Two cities move on after oil merger.

"Ponca City doesn't seem like it has been hit by tough economic times, but the northern Oklahoma town has lost about 550 jobs since its largest employer, Conoco, merged with Phillips Petroleum Co. last year." ...

"In Bartlesville, where ConocoPhillips still employs roughly 2,400 workers, officials say the economy will get a boost despite top-echelon executives and their million-dollar salaries moving to Texas."

Houston Chronicle: SEC says Seitel a 'piggy bank' for ex-CEO.

"The government wants Frame to give all of the money back, said Spencer Barasch, associate director for the SEC's Fort Worth office. It also wants back the salary that Frame earned during that period."

> Here's a more positive slant --

CBS Marketwatch: Seitel says settles SEC charges.

I should mention that this story also got a mention in the Washington Post. The Post went with the ‘personal piggy bank’ angle.

Houston Chronicle: People in Business.

"Fusion Petroleum Technologies has hired Lih Kuo as vice president of seismic analysis."


Barron's: E&P Stocks Could Get Gassed Up.

"When Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan laments high natural gas prices, it's got to be good news for the stocks of companies that find and extract the airy commodity."

From down under --

Victoria Spectator Observer: Nelson enjoying a mini-boom.

"An influx of between 40 and 60 workers involved in a seismic survey for oil and gas centred on Nelson has resulted in a mini-economic boom for the small coastal community." ...

"‘They have their breakfast at the roadhouse, we prepare their lunches here and they have their dinner here at night, and they are great for the bar trade.’"

> A heart-warming story about a town willing to entertain a gang of ex-con's.


O&GJ: Improved economy and growing demand pushes oil futures prices past $30/bbl.

> Or maybe it's just the heat.

A bunch of press releasees --

Business Wire: Input/Output Introduces Cable Version of VectorSeis System Four.

Business Wire: Landmark Releases Integrated Presgraf and DepthTeam Express Solution.

"DepthTeam Express, a velocity modeling and depth conversion application, provides tools for quick analysis, velocity modeling and depth conversion. Velocity models are key components in predicting pore pressure below the drill bit and between wells."

Business Wire: TGS-NOPEC Begins Acquisition on Offshore Eastern Canada Seismic Surveys.

"TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company today announced it has received all federal and provincial authorizations necessary to initiate acquisition of its 2003 season multi-client 2D seismic survey campaign located offshore Newfoundland and Nova Scotia."

Silicon Valley Biz Ink: Rock Solid Images Announces Norwegian Expansion.

Walter Kessinger

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