Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


Press Release: Input/Output Reports First Quarter Results.

"Input/Output, Inc. today announced first quarter 2004 net income of $591 thousand ... on revenues of $36.3 million compared to a net loss of $5.3 million ... on revenues of $41.2 million for the same period a year ago."

Business Wire: I/O Sells First VectorSeis Ocean Seabed System; Demonstrates Benefits of Deploying VectorSeis in the Marine Environment.

"Input/Output, Inc. announced today that Terra Seismic Services A/S, a seismic contractor headquartered in Oslo, Norway, became the first customer to purchase I/O's VectorSeis Ocean redeployable seabed system. Capable of operating in up to 2000 meters of water, this VectorSeis Ocean system will initially be deployed in the Gulf of Mexico to acquire data for use by a major integrated oil and gas company. Revenues from the sale should approach $15 million over the next 12-18 months."

Business Wire: Hydro Selects WesternGeco for North Sea Q-Marine Survey.

"WesternGeco announced today that Hydro has awarded the company a contract to conduct acquisition and processing of two 3D surveys over the Oseberg field, offshore Norway."

Press Release: Core Laboratories Continuing Operations Post Record First Quarter Revenue.

"The discontinued operations, consisting of specialized geophysical and seismic-related services, were sold to a private company in April 2004. Core received approximately $18,433,000 in cash from the sale of the discontinued operations."


Associated Press: Greenspan Seeks to Grow Natural Gas Trade.

"While Greenspan said the rise in oil prices apparently reflected increased fears about supply disruptions in a more unstable Middle East, he attributed the increase in natural gas prices to the fact that there is more limited global trade in natural gas."

Petroleum News: Thunder Hawk prospect could hold up to 400 million barrels.

"After two years of planning, operator Dominion Exploration & Production and partners Spinnaker Exploration and Murphy Oil have commenced drilling on their Thunder Hawk prospect on Mississippi Canyon Block 734, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service.... Thunder Hawk is believed to overlap Thunder Horse's official borders, and is said to have a resource potential of 300 million to 400 million barrels of oil equivalent."

The Salt Lake Tribune: Lawsuit challenges Utah gas exploration project.

"... the project, proposed by the Colorado-based Bill Barrett Corp., will ‘damage centuries old rock art and other standing structures such as cliff dwellings and pit houses erected by ancient cultures,’ according to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C."

Press Release: Baker Hughes Announces First Quarter Results.

"WesternGeco is expected to contribute $20 to $25 million in equity in income of affiliates for the year 2004 (compared to a loss of $10.3 million in 2003) and $3 to $7 million for the second quarter 2004."

PR Newswire: Dawson Geophysical Reports Positive Results for Second Quarter.

"Dawson Geophysical Company today reported net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2004 of $1,999,000 ($0.36 per share) which represents the highest net income quarter since the third quarter of fiscal year 1998. The March 31, 2004 quarter is the third consecutive quarter for the Company to report positive earnings, a first since fiscal year 1998, a peak year for worldwide seismic services demand."

Press Release: 4th Wave Imaging Signs 4D Seismic Contract With Petrobras.


PR Newswire: Core Laboratories Sells Unit for $21 Million.

"Core Laboratories announced today that it has sold its specialized geophysical and seismic-related assets and business to a privately held company. The $21 million transaction includes certain assets and assumed liabilities in Calgary and Houston and a business entity in Mexico, all of which were a part of Core's Reservoir Management segment. The assets and business generated approximately $24 million in revenue for Core in 2003."

Press Release: Paradigm Acquires the Reservoir Technologies Division of Core Lab.

Reuters: Schlumberger Profit Up, Growth Moderating.

"Schlumberger Ltd., the world's largest oilfield services company, on Friday said quarterly earnings rose 48 percent as high oil prices and demand drove increased exploration and production activity." ...

"Revenue at the oilfield services unit rose 15 percent to $2.36 billion, while revenue at the WesternGeco seismic data unit rose 2 percent to $313 million."

Internation Herald Tribune: In Africa, oil explorers look to the other coast.

"Oil exploration companies have begun to take a fresh look at the Indian Ocean coast stretching from Madagascar to Kenya, hoping to defy the conventional wisdom that says Africa's eastern coast has some gas but little oil."


The Guardian: Trail of emails reveals depths of deceit at the heart of Shell.

"Van de Vijver to Sir Philip, November 9, 2003: ‘I am becoming sick and tired about lying about the extent of our reserves issues and the downward revisions that need to be done because of far too aggressive/ optimistic bookings.’"

Dow Jones: SEC approves technology check for Gulf proven reserves.

"The 1977 rule required oil companies to conduct a flow test to confirm discoveries before booking reserves, a requirement the industry argued is too expensive in water deeper than 8,000 feet. New technologies like 3-D seismic surveys provide sufficient confirmation of oil reserves and can make flow tests unnecessary, the industry argued."

O&GJ: Independents' cash flow chasing too few North American prospects, executive says.

"[Scott D. Scheffield, chairman, president, and CEO of Dallas-based Pioneer Natural Resources Co.] pointed to a ‘lack of opportunities to grow without a commitment to international’ projects. He estimated that $50 billion in surplus cash flow of independent producers plus private equity is available for North American prospects worth perhaps $2 billion."

Christian Science Monitor: Despite high gas prices, Americans keep on driving.

"Several reasons account for Americans' continued thirst at the pump. One has to do with the fact that gas prices still aren't anywhere near where they were at the height of the energy crisis in 1981 (which was about $3 a gallon adjusted for inflation)."

Times-Picayune: Seismic firm back exploring after busts.

"Law enforcement agencies searching seismograph barges operated by Eagle arrested seven men on drug charges and found 10 Mexican nationals illegally in the United States, authorities said."

Business Wire: TGS-NOPEC Announces New Long-Offset Seismic Program in the North Sea.

Press Release: CGG Signs Exclusive Rights for Multi-Client Program Offshore Libya.

Petroleum News: BP managing decline at existing profit centers.

> BP has new "profit centers," too --

"[I]n the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the Holstein spar is on the Gulf Coast and is planned for installation in mid-year with startup before the end of the year. Major projects are scheduled to start up in 2005 and 2006: Mad Dog, Thunder Horse and Atlantis in the deepwater Gulf; Kizomba B and Dalia in Angola; Central Azeri and West Azeri in Azerbaijan, along with Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline; and Train 4 LNG in Trinidad."


Invester's Business Daily: Long Spurt For Oil Extractors.

"The oil-field services business comprises a range of subindustries relating to every phase of the extraction process. Analysts divide them into as many as 40 distinct areas." ...

"E&Ps' capital spending hasn't grown in proportion to their cash flow, suggesting they're saving for harder times. MacKenzie predicts this will drive a stable 12% annual increase in spending the next five to seven years."

Houston Business Journal: Visualization center technology benefiting companies of all sizes.

"‘Companies that asked how they could afford a 'viz' center have become more aware of how they could not afford to adopt the technology into their daily workflow,’ says Charles McFarland, consulting director of visualization technologies with Landmark Graphics."


World Oil: Valhall life of field seismic: Permanent, on-demand 4D -- a new era begins.

"Valhall field is at once the best and the worst place to carry out a grand experiment in time-lapse seismic.... The reservoir is undergoing considerable subsidence, and an upcoming waterflood project may dissolve, harden, fracture, solidify and otherwise have unpredictable effects on the reservoir's fragile chalk. Because a gas cloud all but prevents imaging with conventional seismic, multicomponent sensors become the only way to go...."

"PSDM appears to give the best overall image of the structure. Correcting for S-wave splitting has proven to enhance seismic resolution. Coherency processing, spectral decomposition and other techniques aimed at enhancing fault imprints are routinely used in evaluating the resulting stack volumes from P-wave and C-wave recordings."

World Oil: New Valhall seismic source?

"A viable seafloor seismic source has been proposed for at least the past 15 years.... The benefits include superior energy transfer to the subsurface, elimination of multiples and ghosts caused by reverberations between the seafloor and sea surface, and the generation of strong shear waves -- even polarized shear waves."

O&GJ: Kerr-McGee to acquire Westport Resources in $3.4 billion deal.

"Oklahoma City-based independent Kerr-McGee Corp. Wednesday reported it will acquire Westport Resources Corp. of Denver in a merger deal valued at about $3.4 billion, which will consist of about $2.4 billion in equity and Westport's debt of $981 million at yearend 2003."

Associated Press: Kerr-McGee buyout of Westport to create oil giant.

"The combined company will have proven reserves of about 1.3 billion barrels of oil, a measurement that includes natural gas. Of the total, 57 percent would be gas." ...

"Analysts raised concerns about the cost and debt level."


Press Release: GDC Appoints New President.

"Geokinetics Inc. announced today that Dr. M. Lee Bell has been appointed as President of Geophysical Development Corporation, (GDC), a wholly owned subsidiary.... Most recently Dr. Bell served as Global General Manager, Seismic Reservoir Services, of WesternGeco, leading efforts to promote the value of seismic data as a meaningful tool for hydrocarbon asset managers."

The Seattle Post Intelligencer: Navy says it will give orca researchers a little help.

"Five of the 18 Navy ships with home ports in the region have the capability to use the active midfrequency sonar that appeared to spook orcas and other marine mammals when the Shoup, a guided-missile destroyer, passed through Haro Strait May 5.... [T]he Navy's sonar is relatively loud: 230 decibels....

"[Navy Capt. Robert Schlesinger, chief of staff to the Navy Region Northwest admiral, said] ... an array of seismic air guns used for mapping the ocean bottom and to find undersea oil deposits can reach 255 decibels...."

> This is bogus. That 255 db number is the theoretical point source equivalent for the far-field signal generated by an *array* of seismic guns. In terms of potential damange to marine wildlife, there's a big difference between a theoretical far-field equivalent and an honest-to-god 255 db point source.

> So here we have a Navy spin-meister deflecting bad press for sonar systems that have been documented harming wildlife by promoting the myth that "the seismic industry is worse than we are."

> O.K., off my soapbox.


Fred O'Ferrall, Associate Field Manager of the BLM: Seismic project strikes the right balance.

"... the type of testing used in the side canyons, vibroseis, is one of the least invasive forms of gathering geophysical data. The statement that "thumping trucks" will pound the earth is unfortunate because it completely misleads the public. The truth is modern vibroseis equipment sends low-frequency vibrations into the ground that cannot even be felt by the average person 50 feet away." ...

"As work on the [Utah] Stone Cabin Seismic project begins this spring, we are confident archaeological resources will be protected, wilderness suitability will be preserved, and the measures determined with other entities will result in no significant impacts to this area."

Oil Online: MMS issues proposed notice of Western Gulf Lease Sale 192.

"The Minerals Management Service announced in the Federal Register the availability of the proposed notice of sale 192, an offshore oil and gas lease sale in the western Gulf of Mexico, scheduled for August 18, 2004."

Oil Online: CGG awarded 3-D seismic survey work in North Caspian Sea.

"The survey will begin in the second quarter of 2004 and cover a surface area of approximately 700 full fold square kilometres in very shallow waters of between 1-3 meters."

Walter Kessinger

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