Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


NYT: Oil Prospecting Under Kremlin Watch.

"As the Russian government moves to reassert its sway over the country's lucrative energy business, the British oil and gas giant BP would seem to be an obvious target. The company's 50-50 Russian venture, called TNK-BP, is posting record profits, and now pumps one of every five barrels of BP's worldwide oil supply."

NYT: Shell Warns of New Cuts in Reserves of Oil and Gas.

"The Royal Dutch/Shell Group warned Thursday that additional reductions in its proven reserves were possible, saying that about 900 million barrels of oil and gas, or about 6 percent of the total, were under review and could be reclassified."


WSJ (subscription): Royal Dutch and Shell Agree To Merge Holding Companies.

"Royal Dutch Shell, which will be incorporated in the United Kingdom and headquartered in the Netherlands, will have a single board of directors led by its current chairman, Jeroen Van Der Veer, who will become the company's first chief executive."

From yesterday's edition --

WSJ (subscription): Far Below Gulf's Surface, Ivan Wreaked Havoc on Oil Industry. Mudslides Damage Pipelines, Helping Fuel Price Increase; A Hunt for Missing Pieces.

"As the Mississippi River flows into the gulf, the current carries huge amounts of clay and silt that settle onto the seabed. This creates enormous ledges of sediment with the consistency of mayonnaise. From the shoreline, the sea bottom falls away gradually for several miles before dropping off sharply. Large waves from Hurricane Ivan acted as a suction pump, pulling and pushing the muddy ledges until they gave way and surged downhill -- possibly as fast as 50 miles an hour."


Reuters: OPEC to U.S. - Use Emergency Oil Reserves.

"OPEC took the unprecedented step of urging the United States to tap its emergency crude reserves to bring down world oil prices." ...

"In Washington, a White House spokesman said the Bush administration would not use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to influence market prices." ...

"Despite record high prices, the Bush administration has pressed ahead with filling the underground salt caverns that hold the reserves, planning to reach full capacity next April."


Here's a relevant link from /usr/bin/girl --

The Seattle Times: Whales have no standing to sue to stop sonar, court rules.

Houston Business Journal: Seismic testing takes urban turn. E&P company sees Fort Bend County area as land of opportunity.

"Houston-based OGM Land Co. is the project manager for a $7 million 3-D seismic study of 64 square miles of land that includes parts of the Pecan Grove and New Territory subdivisions in Richmond."

Business Wire: TGC Industries Reports 718% Increase in Third Quarter 2004 Profits on 227% Increase in Revenues.

"TGC, based in Plano, Texas, is a geophysical service company which primarily provides 3-D seismic services to oil and gas companies. It also maintains a geophysical gravity data bank."

From last Friday --

WSJ (subscription): As Planet Heats Up, Scientists Plot New Technologies.

"Governments and industry around the world are pursuing two technological tracks for fossil fuels. One is aimed at improving efficiency, reducing the amount of fossil fuel that has to be burned. The other is to find a way to safely dispose of the huge amounts of CO 2 that still will be produced, before those gases waft up into the atmosphere."


O&GJ: Strong energy demand creates challenges for industry.

"[Mark Urness, Merrill Lynch director of oil services and drilling research, said,] ‘The question everybody seems to be asking these days is: 'How long will the current up cycle last?'’ With oil demand the key to longevity of the current cycle, Urness said, ‘We see the up cycle lasting at least 4-5 years.’"

O&GJ: IFP: Global E&P outlays to reach $135 billion in 2005.

"These figures, which exclude the former Soviet Union and China, were reported Oct. 18 by Paris-based Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP) in its 2004 review of the world's oil services and equipment industry.... IFP Pres. Olivier Appert was careful to point out, however, that while these figures seemed favorable for industry, oil companies' share of E&P investments is waning."

As The Apple Turns: SX-8 -- NEC strikes back.

"To refresh your memory, the Earth Simulator has topped the performance list for years now, and by a ridiculously wide margin; on the current list, the Earth Simulator's 35.86 teraflops positively spanks the second-place finisher, Lawrence Livermore's 19.94 teraflops."


The Leading Edge (subscription): Interview -- Xu Wenrong, president of BGP.

"Since 1993-94 we've had many people involved in overseas operations; right now we have about 900 employees working outside China. And yet in the same period of time, only three employees have left BGP; and one of them has since come back. So that's a turnover of 2 in 10 years."


Time: China's Quest for Oil.

"If its oil demand keeps growing at an average rate of 7% a year, as it has since 1990, the country in less than 20 years will be consuming 21 million barrels a day -- matching the current consumption of the U.S."

O&GJ: Incoming SEG Pres. Beasley links energy demand, need for research.

"The trend among geophysical contractors is ‘to get closer to the reservoir’ and ‘play a larger role in solving the actual production problem.’"

AP: Reversing hurricane's toll on Gulf oil may take year.

"About a third of the Gulf of Mexico's daily oil production that was knocked off the market by storm damage should be restored by Nov. 1, but it could take a year for pre-Hurricane Ivan levels to be restored, a federal agency said today."

O&GJ: Nexen, partners plan four deep shelf test wells in GOM by yearend.

"Newfield Exploration Co., Houston, operator of Main Pass Block 240, will resume drilling a deep shelf test well this month with a new rig. The well was approaching target depth when Hurricane Ivan damaged the first rig last month."

Apple Computer: Seitel gets more bytes per buck with Xserve RAID.

"Seitel, based in Houston, Texas, is a leading provider of seismic data to the petroleum industry. With over a petabyte (1 million gigabytes) of seismic data in its collection, Seitel maintains one of the largest libraries of seismic data in North America."


Today, at the SEG meeting in Denver, I presented my paper on illumination angle compensation in Kirchhoff depth migration. Pretty exciting, eh?

Because this presentation was a relic of my last job, I had a really hard time getting excited about it myself, and my delivery was a little rough. Which is a shame, because it is some really neat material, and this was my last opportunity to show it.

After I finished, though, I got to meet Uwa Kästner, the former Ensign R&D guru who was responsible for developing and implementing the method I was talking about. If I had known he was going to be in the audience, I would have done a much better job with my presentation.

I knew from reading his reports that he was brilliant; he's also an incredibly nice guy. Very cool.

Another cool thing about this week has been attending a convention with a team representing a dynamic, leading edge company.


Oil and Gas Journal: SEG speakers see looming world shortfall in transportation fuels.

"The peak of world oil production is ‘probably at hand,’ said [Matt Simmons, chairman and CEO of Simmons & Co. International, Houston], although no one may know for sure when the peak occurred except in hindsight. What's worse, he said, the world has no formal ‘Plan B’ to deal with the period following the peak."

PR Newswire: CGG Sets Pace in Wave Equation Market.

"Compagnie Generale de Geophysique set a new trend at today's SEG 2004 Annual Meeting in Denver by officially announcing its decision to offer its WaveVista Advanced Wave Equation Migration for the same economic conditions and turnaround as the Kirchhoff method."

Press Release: TGS-NOPEC Expands Gulf of Mexico Multi-Client 3D Project.

"TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ... will expand again its ongoing Gulf of Mexico multi-client 3D seismic survey referred to as Deep Resolve. Located in the heart of the deep gas exploration trend, the enlarged project will now cover over 350 OCS blocks (7400 square kilometers) in the Ship Shoal, South Timbalier, Grand Isle and Ewing Bank areas of offshore Louisiana."

Houston Business Journal: Schlumberger purchases AOA Geomarine.

"AGO provides pioneering marine controlled-source electromagnetic and marine magnetotelluric services for use in offshore exploration activities."

> Aside from the above, there haven't been a lot of very interesting press releases out of SEG.


Business Wire: WesternGeco to Launch Fifth Q-Marine Seismic Vessel.

"All four Q-Marine vessels are currently working on exclusive contracts for clients, necessitating the addition of the Regent to the fleet. Recent Q-Marine contracts include a three-year commitment for the Western Neptune offshore Mexico, an agreement to acquire and process Q-Marine seismic data over the massive Marlim complex offshore Brazil, and two Q surveys offshore India."


WSJ (subscription): Crude-Oil Price Extends Rise, Hitting 6th High in Two Weeks.

PR Newswire: CGG Withdraws Offer for Petroleum Geo-Services Geophysical Business.

Forbes: Restless giants.

"The Big Five control 77 million barrels of proven reserves, enough to satisfy the world for only 2.5 years."


Houston Chronicle: Storm gone but not forgotten. Damaged platforms and rigs pressure supply of natural gas and oil.

"As of Tuesday, daily production [of natural gas?] is still off by more than 14 percent in the Gulf, which accounts for a fourth of the nation's supply, because of lingering damage from the hurricane, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service office in New Orleans." ...

"The amount of crude oil being pumped out of wells in the Gulf of Mexico is still off by 27 percent, the U.S. Minerals Management Service said. The storm has shaved nearly 15.3 million barrels from production thus far, it said."

Forbes: Finding Oil Under Salt.

"‘The things that we find today are barely visible today. We are always operating at the edge of what we can see,’ says Rich Sears, vice president, deepwater and exploration, Royal Dutch/Shell. ‘The most striking thing is how exploration continues to advance. There may be 10 to 20 billion barrels in the Gulf, but they won't be found using the techniques available today.’"

The Halifax Herald Limited: Seismic tests harmful to snow crab - study.

"Scientists say female snow crabs showed short- and long-term damage after a 12-day government-led seismic experiment off Cheticamp in December."


CBS Marketwatch: Input/Output says Q3 earns to be lower than forecast.

"Higher margin land systems and data library sales were delayed...."

Walter Kessinger

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