Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


Oil Online: Pickup expected in oil service sector.

"The Louisiana oil and gas industry will switch from exploration and production to more of an oilfield support/service marketplace, according to a report prepared by several area economists."

Business Wire: Veritas DGC Inc. and Seismic Micro-Technology, Inc. Announce Closing on Sale of Software Assets of RC2 and Hot Engineering.

The last of the dotcom hangovers --

Oil Online: Schlumberger to sell SchlumbergerSema businesses.

"Schlumberger plans to strengthen its focus on oilfield services and exploration and production process and information solutions."

The convoluted world of the financial analyst --

New Ratings: Schlumberger "outperform," target price raise.

"The analysts have reduced their EPS estimate for 2003 on account of higher-than-expected operating losses from WesternGeco in 3Q. The lower depreciation costs for the WesternGeco seismic library are likely to boost margins in 2004 and 2005, Robert W Baird believes."


Perry A. Fischer, World Oil: What's new in seismic sensor technology. Four remarkable seismic sensor packages point toward an exciting future of lower costs and higher quality data.

> Latest systems from I/O, Sabeus, Sercel, and Weatherford.


Business Wire: Veritas Chooses Thales SkyFix-XP Exclusively for Global Positioning and Navigation Services.

> Differential GPS.

Associated Press: GAO: Safeguards for ANWR Drilling Spotty.

"At some coastal refuges such as Sabine in Louisiana, oil and gas production has caused a loss of freshwater marshes because the changing hydrology allowed seawater to intrude. Elsewhere seismic studies, using heavy equipment, also has resulted in a decline in fresh water, changing the ecology, the GAO said."

All Africa: Pollution: Udu Communities Want Shell's Compensation.

"In a statement signed by Chief Simeon Iyede and Chief Evuanrherhen Vayevu the communities lamented that four years after the Seismic operations by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) communities affected by the untreated waste oil chemical and other effluents in the Local Government were yet to be paid their full compensations for the damage done to the land.... ‘It is most disturbing and disheartening that four years after the Seismic operations of SPDC in Udu Local Government Area, SPDC, NPDC are yet to make full and final payment to our people whose fishing materials, sacred buses, graves, roads, cut traces and buildings were damaged and disturbed by the seismic operations’, the statement added."


John S. Herold, Inc.: Upstream petroleum industry investment in North America drops as energy sector focuses elsewhere for growth and value creation.

"As an example, the Global Upstream Performance Review shows that the Asia-Pacific region, including Russia, has offered a broad and attractive combination of large-scale upstream investment opportunities and has experienced a trend of increasing investment. It will surprise some that, since 1998, this region has produced the most robust profitability while enjoying a steadily climbing production profile, an increasing reserves-to-production ratio and extremely competitive reserve replacement cost."


Reuters: Baker Hughes Sees 3rd-Quarter Loss.

"The Houston company said it would record an after-tax loss of $106 million due to WesternGeco, a joint venture with Schlumberger that creates and sells proprietary seismic data to oil exploration companies. Baker Hughes owns 30 percent of the venture, and Schlumberger the remainder."

> The numbers in the article don't add up. It's hard to see how they can blame a $100 million loss on WesternGeco.

NYT: Energy of Africa Draws the Eyes of Houston.

"Texas already leads the nation in trade and commerce with Africa. More than 1,000 Houston companies do business there, and 60 have significant subsidiaries on the continent, according to the city of Houston."

Houston Chronicle: Anadarko stock rises on sales talk.

"In a research note Monday, Fadel Gheit, an analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, said ... ‘We think Anadarko is in play, and the question on our mind is not if, but when the company will be sold and for how much.’ ..."

CNN: Statoil CEO quits in Iran scandal.

"The chief executive of Norway's biggest company resigned Tuesday over allegations the oil producer used bribery to try to expand into Iran. Olav Fjell, 52, was the third executive of the company to leave in a week in the controversy over whether Statoil made improper payments to Iranian-operated Horton Investment Ltd. in a $15 million consulting deal."

> Business ethics in Norway must be much more strict than here.

Dow Jones: Forest Oil Confirms Plans To Purchase Unocal Properties.

"Unocal Corp. agreed to sell 70 properties in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore Louisiana to Forest Oil Corp. (FST) for $295 million."


More on the Nine Mile Canyon controversy in Utah --

KSL News: Critics Say BLM 's Expert Ordered Off Nine Mile Project.

"For months controversy has been boiling in Central Utah over two proposed natural-gas exploration projects.... Fleets of thumper trucks will fan out on the plateau just outside the canyon. Helicopters will fly in equipment. Ten or 20 pound explosive charges will be set off inside thousands of drill holes. All of it's designed to shake the ground adjacent to the canyon, making seismic waves to map the underground geology. "

Business Wire: Schlumberger and Shell International Exploration and Production Sign Multi-Year Global Software Master Agreement.

"The agreement includes information management, geoscience, reservoir simulation, well and production engineering, and economics solutions."


Reuters: Gulf of Mexico's deep shelf gas hot but risks high.

"El Paso is far and away the biggest operator in the deep shelf, having drilled 70 percent of the deep water wells in recent years. Supermajor ChevronTexaco Inc. is El Paso's closest competitor in the deep shelf, with large and medium-sized independents like Spinnaker, Newfield and Anadarko Petroleum filling out the rest of the field."

Scripps Howard News Service: Petrol industry an untapped job market.

"Geophysicists normally require at least a bachelor's degree. The average income according to the Department of Labor is around $60,000."

> For what it's worth, the SEG salary survey shows that SEG members have a much higher average income.

Houston Chronicle: Anadarko taciturn on sales talk.


Associated Press: Oil giants expected to bid on Yukos share.

"Exxon Mobil and ChevronTexaco are expected to soon make rival offers for a 25 percent interest in a large Russian oil company, according to a published report."

WSJ: Royal Dutch/Shell Approves Plan for Siberian Oil Project.

"In another sign of the global oil industry's mounting interest in Russia, Royal Dutch/Shell Group said it had approved a $1 billion development plan for a midsize Siberian oil project that it had spent years postponing out of concern that Russia's investment climate was too shaky."

Oil Online: Texas plugs wells in Houston park

"The Railroad Commission of Texas said it will end its fiscal year 2003 by plugging four wells in the George Bush Park in West Houston. These wells are examples of wells that were abandoned by the operator and posed a threat to ground water...."


4D seismic news --

Business Wire: OYO Geospace Announces Completion of the Industry's Largest Permanent Seismic Reservoir Characterization & Monitoring System.

"OYO Geospace today announced the successful installation of the industry's largest permanent subsea seismic system. The system consists of 2,504 multi-component stations with a total of 10,016 channels. The system is installed in the Valhall Field located in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea in 70 meters of water."

O&GJ: Statoil executive resigns amid state's corruption charges against the company.

"... charges against Statoil involve a controversial 11-year, $115 million business development agreement between Statoil and Iranian consultancy firm Horton Investment. Statoil made the agreement, which was concluded June 12, 2002, ‘to strengthen Statoil's insight into financial, industrial, legal, and social issues associated with business development in Iran,’ Statoil said in a statement. Norwegian analysts, meanwhile, viewed the deal as ‘illegally influencing foreign officials....’"


O&GJ: Total sees oil field future based on technology.

"French company Total AS holds a positive view of the future of oil resources because it knows that nonconventional oil can be extracted at economically sustainable prices and that new technological breakthroughs will enable oil companies to increase reserves in existing fields and discover and develop reserves that today are inaccessible."


Houston Chronicle: Veritas is looking for new chief executive.

Austin American-Statesman: Dell wins $2.5M deal with French company.

"France-based Compagnie Generale de Geophysique SA [CGG] has added 1,125 servers in a $2.5 million deal with Round Rock-based Dell Inc., Dell announced Wednesday."

The Salt Lake Tribune: Canyon may get thumped.

"Sometime this fall or next spring, helicopters, vibrating ‘thumper’ trucks and giant bubble-tired tractors could be traveling throughout 57,500 acres of federal land atop Nine Mile Canyon."

News from the hometown --

The Advertiser: Analyst: Lafayette is 'bright spot' in economy.

"He predicted that 2,000 jobs will be gained by the oil and gas industry [in the Lafayette area] between 2004 and 2005." ...

"From 1982 to 1987, he said, Louisiana lost 547,000 jobs because of the oil bust -- with about 24 percent of that number coming from Acadiana."


O&GJ: Worldwide gas, LNG projects set stage to surpass oil in energy-equivalent consumption.

"Charles Watson, Shell Gas & Power director, Middle East, Africa, and South Asia ... said gas will overtake oil in energy-equivalent consumption as early as 2025."

The Leading Edge: IAGC Report -- Geophysical operations and marine life: A current policy perspective.

"This issue will ultimately boil down to a battle for public opinion, and our industry brings a significant handicap to the field.... The press significantly influences public opinion, and we need to present our case to the major media outlets around the world to achieve accurate and balanced reporting on the subject...."

Warrnambool Standard, Australia: Seismic test plans anger.

"Angry south-west fishing industry representatives last night challenged gas exploration experts at a heated meeting in Port Campbell to prove seismic testing would not jeopardise marine life."

SpaceWar: Pentagon funding whale song study off Australia.

"The study, funded by the US Office of Naval Research, hopes to determine if man-made noise like sonar, seismic testing for oil and shipping could mask whale songs and upset breeding or other whale activities...."


Business Wire: Schlumberger Information Solutions Announces Acquisition of VoxelVision. Technology Adds Powerful Turbo Engine to SIS Software.

"The powerful visualization engine and seismic functionality developed by VoxelVision are specifically designed to manage, visualize and interpret massive 3D volumes in a PC environment, leveraging a Linux cluster in the most cost-effective way."


Houston Chronicle: Marathon Oil to lay off 265 workers.

"Marathon is the latest large oil company to announce it will shed jobs to lower its operating costs, even though oil prices have been consistently near $30 per barrel and higher for most of this year."

Oil Online: Investment in Leadership is key for the next round of North Sea Mergers & Acquisitions.

"An upsurge in investment in the North Sea by independent operators is set to boost service companies and could kick start a new round of mergers and acquisitions, according to Ernst & Young."

Finanz Nachrichten: CGG 2nd Quarter Results.

"In a predominantly US$ denominated market affected by a negative exchange impact versus the Euro of 21% in one year, total revenues for the first half 2003 were Euros 318.9 million (US$ 351.5 million) up 17% in US$ and down 5% in Euros compared to the same period last year (Euros 336.3 million, US$ 300.6 million). Total revenues for the second quarter 2003 were Euros 162.2 million (US$ 183.9 million) up 13% in US$ and down 9% in Euros compared to the same period last year (Euros 178.5 million, US$ 163.4 million)."

Press Release: Goodrich Petroleum Announces the Acquisition of and Planned 3-D Seismic Survey Over the Plumb Bob Field.

"Goodrich Petroleum Corporation today announced that it has acquired certain rights from a private company covering the Plumb Bob Field in St. Martin Parish of southern Louisiana and plans to shoot an approximate thirty-five (35) square mile 3-D seismic survey over the Field."


Houston Chronicle: Veritas DGC Earnings.

"Veritas has begun a shift toward more contract work, which has lower margins that multi-client work but improves cash flow."

Rhonda Duey, Hart's E&P: The beginning of the beginning.

"Gone are the days when oil companies clamored for 3-D seismic data and helped fund multiclient surveys to get it. Gone are the days when the Gulf of Mexico looked like a marina as seismic vessels jockeyed for position to shoot the sweet spots."

The Financial Express: ONGC Floats Biggest Tender For Seismic Data Collection.

"Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has received over 15 responses to its tender for seismic data collection on the east and west coast of India."

Houston Chronicle: Anadarko to press cost cuts.

"The company will cut more expenses and continue to hold down drilling costs to help reduce debt and boost profits...."

Walter Kessinger

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