Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


More on whales --

Reuters: Officials Stumped by Australia, NZ Whale Beachings.

"Bob Brown, leader of Australia's Greens party, said earlier Tuesday that ocean seismic tests for oil and gas should be stopped until the whale migration season ends.

"Brown, a senator in the Australian parliament, said ‘sound bombing’ of ocean floors to test for oil and gas had been carried out near the sites of the Tasmanian beachings recently."

> Moron.

The Mercury: Seismic storm.

"[Resources Minister Bryan Green said,] ‘The nearest recent seismic testing to the whale and dolphin strandings took place in South Australian waters more than 500km away from King Island last Saturday and Sunday. It is totally inconceivable that whale and dolphin strandings had anything to do with seismic testing that took place more than 500km away.’"

Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Whale strandings no surprise to climatologists.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: "The weather appears to be central to the stranding cycle. Every decade or so, atmospheric changes bring cooler sub-Antarctic waters further north. Those waters are rich in squid and fish -- the favoured prey of whales and dolphins -- so, naturally, the mammals follow their food source, meaning that a lot more of them are spotted around Australia's coastline."

PROFESSOR MARK HINDELL: "Tasmania is probably one of the stranding capitals of the world, if you like. Because it's poking down into the southern ocean, we get a lot more strandings here than anywhere else, so we're in a better position to pick up these patterns than a lot of other places."

The Australian: Cold-blooded slaughter.

"... a far more intriguing and potentially sinister line of inquiry has emerged from the latest strandings -- cold-blooded murder of long-finned pilot whales by bottle-nosed dolphins."

> That Australian article also has an outstanding quote from Aristotle in 350 BC --

"It is not known why they sometimes run aground on the seashore, for it is asserted that this happens rather frequently when the fancy takes them and without any apparent reason."


It's whale day down under --

ABC Austrailia: More whales stranded in Tas.

"Whale rescue resources are being stretched in Tasmania with 20 more whales now found stranded off the east coast of the island, a day after another 80 whales and dolphins died in a mass stranding off the west coast. Rescuers are already stationed at the Bass Strait stranding, trying to save the lives of 17 more whales lingering in shallow water offshore." ...

"... a zoologist from the University of Tasmania, Associate Professor Mark Hindell, believes he might have the answer.... [He has] studied strandings over 80 years and [has] formed a hypothesis about high nutrient values in water attracting the whales."

Sydney Morning Herald: Are people to blame?

"[Last] year surveys were under way in the same area when the 130 pilot whales and dolphins stranded at Hibbs Point, about 600 kilometres distant. Last weekend [one year ago] when the whales came ashore, surveys were under way west of Bass Strait, about 400 kilometres from Flinders Island, for 10 days to last Monday -- two days after the stranding.

"Such long distances between the seismic testing sites and the stranding sites raise doubts about any connection between the two. Blue whale scientist Peter Gill, who observed the Otway basin surveys, said such a link would be incredible."


One more shot at Seitel --

Associated Press: Former Seitel CEO says he's innocent.

"The former chief executive of Houston seismic data company Seitel Inc. pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges he wrongly used company money to resolve a non-work related lawsuit filed against him by a former girlfriend." ...

"The SEC complaint cited the $750,000 allegedly used to resolve the lawsuit, but also mentioned $179,000 used to buy a Ferrari Frame drove in a private racing club; $256,000 in race-related personal expenses; $148,000 for a security system in Frame's former Houston home, and $2 million in bonus advances."


PR Newswire: Seitel Announces Third Quarter Results.

"‘While we are surprised that the higher commodity prices have not yet stimulated more shelf data sales, we are confident that exploration spending will increase in the near term,’ stated Rob Monson, chief financial officer of Seitel."

Rhonda Duey, Hart's E&P: The missing link.

"Dr. Rob Simm runs a company called Rock Physics Associates in the United Kingdom.... ‘What appeals is that we never really knew how petrophysics tied in with seismic, and we now know the tie is rock physics. That's the bit in the middle.’"


Houston Chronicle: Crude oil price of $28 predicted.

"ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, said it expects U.S. crude prices to drop to an average of $28 a barrel in 2005, a 32 percent decline from this year."


AME Info: PGS awarded innovative multi-azimuth 3D survey by BP.

"Involving a total of 3150 square kilometres, the Raven Multi-Azimuth 3D survey will acquire 3D data in five different directions, or azimuths, using the MV Ramform Viking. This data will then be collectively processed by PGS to output a high-quality 3D dataset. The survey is located in the North Alexandria Concession over the recent Raven-1 discovery. This is located northwest of Rosetta, and 40 kilometres off the coast of Egypt."

Houston Chronicle: Former Seitel CEO faces charges.

"Paul A. Frame Jr., the former chief executive officer of Houston-based Seitel, has been indicted on criminal charges of defrauding the company of $750,000 to settle a lawsuit by a former fiancee."


Associated Press: Former Seitel CEO indicted.

"The former chief executive of Houston seismic data company Seitel has been indicted on charges of wrongly using company money." ...

"The 57-year-old businessman from White Plains, New York, was arrested November eleventh."

PR Newswire: Compagnie Generale de Geophysique: Third Quarter 2004 Results.

"For the first time after five consecutive quarters, Geophysical Services show a positive operating result. The increase in marine acquisition prices, a good productivity of the vessels and a high level of after-sales from our multi-client library contributed to this performance. This positive trend should further firm up during the coming quarters."

Associated Press: Dawson Geophysical up; earnings beat Street view.

"Late Friday, the Midland, Texas, company which generates and processes seismic data reported fourth-quarter earnings per share of 72 cents. That included a 28-cent tax benefit. A year earlier earnings were 10 cents a share."

Oops --

PR Newswire: Kelman Announces Operating Results for Q3 2004.

"Despite a fairly healthy backlog going into the quarter we found new seismic work, particularly in Canada, was much slower to materialize than had been forecasted. While the summer is generally slower in Canadian seismic exploration than in the other three quarters, this year it was much slower than normal."


The Associated Press: Federal government expects Gulf of Mexico production to rise.

"New deep-water wells poised to start production in the next few years should boost oil production from 1.5 million barrels a day to 2 million a day by 2006, Minerals Management Service officials said. It could reach 2.25 million a day -- enough to heat 3.5 million new homes all winter -- by 2011, Rebecca Watson, head of MMS, announced Monday."


This was actually mentioned in a press release last month, but I guess when you have good news, you can't have too many press releases --

Business Wire: Petrobras Awards WesternGeco World's Largest 4D Seismic Project; Q-Marine 4D Survey to Image Marlim Complex.

"WesternGeco announced today that it was selected by Petrobras to acquire and process Q-Marine seismic data over the Marlim complex, offshore Brazil. The 1520-square-kilometer, five-month survey began in October."

Associated Press : Veritas DGC Is Upgraded; Shares Jump.

"Shares of Veritas DGC Inc. rose nearly 11 percent Friday morning, jumping on an upgrade by an investment bank as stock in other oil services companies rose only slightly."

PR Newswire: Seitel Reschedules Earnings Call for November 22.

"Contributing to the auditors' need for additional review time is Seitel's decision to revise the estimated useful life of its seismic data from five years to four years for marine data and from seven years to four years for onshore data."


WSJ (subscription): Nuclear-Power Industry Sees Signs of a U.S. Revival.

"Faced with skyrocketing natural-gas prices and uncertainty about the costs of containing carbon emissions from coal-fired plants, electric companies believe nuclear plants are becoming more economically competitive and safer."

Private Equity Week: PE Week Wire. (scroll down the page)

"Compagnie Generale de Geophysique (NYSE: GGY), a France-based provider of land and marine seismic services, has received an $85 million investment from Onex Partners, in the form of convertible subordinated notes."

Falkland Islands News Network: 3D Completed: Seismic Identifies Falklands Oil Prospects.

"The Board of Desire Petroleum has announced that the interpretation of both the fast track and final processed data 3D seismic survey over Tranches C and D has been completed."


AP: Renewable energy push in the wind. Costly oil means green alternatives are able to compete.

"At today's average wholesale prices, wind costs 4.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared with 4 cents for coal, 6.8 cents for natural gas, 9.1 cents for oil and 10 cents for nuclear power, according to Kyle Datta, managing director at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a research group focused on eco-friendly business."


O&GJ: Lukoil Overseas, Saudi Aramco plan seismic surveys in Saudi Arabia.

"WesternGeco is to start the work Nov. 25 on seismic surveys expected to continue through 2005. The exploration period covers 5 years."

PR Newswire: CGG Reconfirmed to Run Shell In-House Processing Centers.

"Shell have renewed a series of contracts with CGG to provide in-house seismic data processing services at three strategic sites in Europe.... CGG provides state-of-the-art 2D, 3D and 4D processing and pre-stack depth migration services for marine data sets at the Stavanger and Aberdeen centers and for both land and marine surveys at the Assen center."

The Ring, University of Victoria: Fire and ice. UVic researchers explore a potential energy source on -- and under -- British Columbia's seafloor.

"In fact, these are the first known thermogenic hydrates on the west coast, and are similar to hydrates in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico. That raises even more questions for Chapman." ...

"‘We know there's oil in the sediment near the Barkley Canyon hydrates,’ says Chapman ‘This is a strong indication that there's a deep reservoir down there that contains natural gas or oil. But where or how big it is, we don't know.’"


Loren Steffy, Houston Chronicle: Problems at Pemex flow deeper than management.

"Despite being one of the world's biggest producers, Pemex's reserves have been falling for 22 years. At current depletion rates, Mexico may have to start importing oil in a little more than decade.

"Sustaining production at the current level of 3.8 million barrels a day will require $100 billion in capital during the next decade, according to government estimates.

"Higher oil prices aren't likely to help. The Mexican government last year siphoned off 60 percent of Pemex's $56.3 billion in revenue to fund about a third of the federal budget."


Merco Press: Repsol YPF seismic surveying next to Falklands.

"‘Western Patriot’ belonging to a US-Norwegian company [WesternGeco] and contracted by the Spanish-Argentine consortium Repsol-YPF is seismic surveying an area extending between Falkland Islands and Tierra del Fuego reports the Argentine press."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Mexico: Oil problems loom.

"Mexico's crude oil reserves have declined from 50.8 billion barrels in 1995 to 12.6 billion barrels in 2003, according to U.S. government figures. At current production of about 3.4 million barrels per day, that's about a 10-year supply."

Walter Kessinger

Walter's Work Archive Walter's Home Page