Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


Houston Chronicle: Shell swears off World Heritage sites.

"[Royal Dutch/Shell Chairman Philip] Watts acknowledged the policy covered only a small number of well-defined sites, such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon, where ‘clearly Shell wouldn't be going anyway.’"

> Never say never.


O&GJ: MMS reports $148.7 million in apparent high bids in GOM Lease Sale 187.

"MMS statistics released shortly after the sale revealed that both major oil and gas companies and independent exploration and production firms were equally active participants in the sale."

Press Release: GDC Establishes New Subsidiary and Announces Management Changes.

"Ken Ratcliff, John Makin and Peter Northmore, founders of Ensign Geophysics Limited, will manage GDC UK Limited and assist in the overall management of GDC.... Additionally, Stuart Reynolds has been appointed President of GDC."

Ex-GTRI workmate Jim Allen in the news --

Texarkana Gazette: Oil seekers experiencing setbacks.

"... Arkus Energy General Manager Jim Allen said Friday that rainy weather, coupled with some paperwork delays, has forced the company to put off any seismic testing until later this month, if not until early next month."

O&GJ: Oil companies join environmentalists to propose biodiversity guidelines.

"Four major international oil companies joined with five conservation groups to form the Energy and Biodiversity Initiative (EBI), a collaborative group that has developed industry guidelines for integrating biodiversity conservation into all upstream oil and gas operations from initial site selection through final decommissioning."


Houston Chronicle: Vast drilling depths may yield giant new gulf discoveries.

"The plan is to drill within a range starting at 25,000 feet and possibly all the way to 35,000 feet within one of the most heavily-explored places on earth, ‘the heart of the Gulf play as we know it today,’ said [Steve Campbell, spokesman for Newfield Exploration]. But they are looking, mostly for natural gas, some two miles deeper than the existing production." ...

"British energy giant BP has agreed to drill the initial test well in what is called the Treasure Island exploration concept, a joint exploration agreement with Newfield, in Louisiana's Eugene Island area in about 250 feet of water.... They will be looking below a thick layer of salt that typically starts at 18,000 feet, but can start as deep as 22,200 feet."

Nigel Wilson: BHPP's biggest drill in decade.

"The extensive exploration program in Bass Strait and on the North West Shelf is designed to find replacement reserves for production that is declining in two of the company's most important revenue sources."


Joel Eskovitz, Scripps Howard News Service: Gulf oil and gas inventory stripped from energy bill.

"They were also concerned about the environmental impact of using 3-D seismic technology -- which could kill fish and beach whales -- to determine how much oil is in the eastern portion of the Gulf and off both coasts."

> I've been watching this issue for a couple of years, so I've been able to see the "beached whale hypothosis" go from idle speculation to gospel fact in the press without citing any real studies. Someone should look up the reports from this project and see if it produced any definitive conclusions. (Send me a pointer if you do.)

Business Wire: Romona Geosolutions Wins First Major Geoscience Survey off Sakhalin for Rosneft And BP Alliance.

"Worth approximately US $ 3 million, the contract covers a range of geophysical, geotechnical and geochemical surveys to be completed by mid October this year."


Press Release: WesternGeco performs Q-Marine 4D baseline survey for Statoil.

"It was previously considered that the low porosity and depth of the reservoir would make the field unsuitable for 4D mapping. However, petrophysical and geophysical modeling indicated that, although fluid changes were probably not detectable at this depth, pressure changes resulting from oil production might be visible, and so identify which segments of the faulted reservoir are being successfully drained."

Associated Press: Seismic firm's earnings up 36 percent.

"For the three months ending June 30, Omni earned $1.5 million, or 18 cents per share, on revenue of $10.4 million."

Houston Business Journal: Anadarko seeks bidders for buyout.

"Anadarko has already kicked off the process, sharing key financial data with potential bidders -- all major oil companies -- and is considering dealing away the company in a two-part auction process, the banking sources told Reuters."

Associated Press: Iraq Begins Pumping Crude Oil to Turkey.

"Last month, Iraq began exporting fresh crude oil from its southern oil fields for the first time since the war.

"Iraq's U.S. occupiers are counting on oil exports to largely fund reconstruction of the country and have been working since Saddam Hussein's fall in April to restore the flow of oil. But rebuilding has been delayed in part by looting and sabotage blamed on insurgents leading a guerrilla campaign against the Americans."

O&GJ: White House taps Utah governor for EPA administrator.

"Environmental groups focusing on land use issues were the most critical about President Bush's choice.... But industry officials were enthusiastic about the White House's decision, although few associations offered on the record comment."


Associated Press: Plane lost in 1964 found in Canadian Arctic.

"Torp's work on three-dimensional geology maps caught the attention of Everett's mining company, which paid his tuition at graduate school before flying him and Kunes to the Northwest Territories to look for gold."

The whale noise myth strikes again --

Nature: Toxic algae suspected in whale death. Red tide's poison may have killed a dozen humpbacks in North Atlantic.

"There is a slim chance that the animals died after acoustic damage caused by navy sonar, says Michael Moore of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, who is involved in the investigation."


AScribe: Geological Tool Helps Scientists Map the Interior of the Ocean.

"The study reports on a new adaptation of seismic reflection profiling -- sending sound unto the water and analyzing the return echoes -- to create detailed pictures of eddies, internal waves, and other oceanic features that affect climate, fisheries and the spread of pollution." ...

"‘Until now, the water column signal has been regarded as just noise to the seismologists,’ Schmitt said. ‘New insights into ocean mixing processes open up to us if we think about that 'noise' as indeed containing useful signals.’"

WSJ (subscription): Major Oil Find For BHP Billiton In Gulf Of Mexico.

"The Neptune prospect lies some 135 miles offshore of Louisiana in the same Atwater Foldbelt geographic area of the Gulf that hosts the Mad Dog and Atlantis developments. It is also host to BHP Billiton's 44%-owned Shenzi discovery where further drilling is scheduled for later in the year."

Business Edge: Zero-impact seismic tested.

"WesternGeco Canada Ltd. will have foot access only to Saskatoon Mountain Natural Area to hand-string geophones in the area.... The project aims to strike a balance between industrial development and environmental protection."

Press Release: Jason changes name to Fugro-Jason.

KUHF: Public Newsroom.

"The former president and CEO of Anadarko Petroleum has been elected to Input/Output's board of directors."


BBC: Chevron eyes $4bn Yukos stake.

"Chevron Texaco is in talks to take a 25% stake in Yukos, the Russian oil giant at the centre of an official probe, the Sunday Times reports."

Moscow Times: Yukos Denies Report of Chevron Bid.

Petroleum News: B.C. delegation visits Cook Inlet.

"People think of what they've seen in the past, such as old photos of seismic work in the Mackenzie Valley -- ‘whole areas would seem to be exploding with the seismic.’"


This is London: Shell may bid £6bn for rival.

"It is understood Anadarko has retained investment bank CSFB to try to put a deal together. The unusual choice of adviser for a US company suggests it has its sights on a European oil major." ...

"Apart from Shell it is believed Agip, the exploration and production division of Italy's Eni, could also be interested in acquiring Anadarko while US major Exxon Mobil has also been mentioned."

Reuters: Anadarko keeps bid rumors afloat,but who will buy?

"Anadarko's shares ended the week at $42.68 on the New York Stock Exchange, valuing its equity at around $10.6 billion. The company has little over $5 billion in debt. The total cost of buying Anadarko thus will be at least $17 billion."

Hi Pakistan: One killed in rocket attack on OGDC camp.

"An employee of Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC) was killed and three others were wounded when unknown armed men attacked and fired five mortars and rockets on the base camp of the OGDC at Barkhan district.... Officials of the OGDC from Barkhan told The News by telephone that unidentified armed men attacked from different directions of Barkhan at around 5:00am and fired over five mortars and rockets on the Seismic-II base camp. The officials and employees of the company were busy in their fieldwork when they were attacked, sources added."

LinuxWorld Australia: Vendors ready for LinuxWorld.

"Petroleum firm Amerada Hess, for example, traded in IBM Unix systems for Linux on Intel-based boxes. Jeff Davis, technical lead at the firm in Houston, says the company is saving "several million dollars" by running its supercomputing applications for seismic analysis and reservoir simulation on Red Hat Linux."


Houston Chronicle: Seismic firm warns fourth quarter net loss.

"‘While customer interest remains high, we are becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of spending among major exploration and production companies for exploration projects,’ said [Veritas DGC] Chief Executive Dave Robson."

Houston Chronicle: Anadarko to jettison 400 jobs. Senior managers also departing.

"The company has been the subject of intense speculation recently about a possible buyout. Possible buyers mentioned have included most of the major oil companies, as well as large independents such as Devon Energy Corp."

Walter Kessinger

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