Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


World Oil: Solution for seismic source registration. Statoil overcomes the seismic source deviation problem for 4D.

"By towing additional airguns, the baseline source position can be repeated, using those portions of the wider source array that best overlay the initial 3D survey's source position."

Oil & Gas Journal: Fugro gains in seismic market.

"Fugro currently deploys six seismic vessels, and the Polar King agreement is part of a plan to expand to an operation of eight ships, some owned and some chartered, by mid 2006."

Reuters: Norwegian seismic firm PGS Q3 beats consensus.

"Operating profit at the supplier of seismic surveys to the oil and gas industry rose to $56.6 million in July-September from a comparable $22.5 million, excluding a sold oil unit, in the same quarter a year earlier."

Press Release: TGC Industries Reports Third Quarter Results.


Houston Chronicle: Ex-Seitel chief gets five years.

"Prior to the sentencing announcement, Paul Frame Jr., 59, wept as he pleaded for leniency from the court."


O&GJ: Kerr-McGee to continue work off Morocco.

"Kerr-McGee Corp., Oklahoma City, has expressed its intention to continue geophysical reconnaissance off southern Morocco despite threats to its operations from the Polisario Front (PF), a Western Saharan independence movement."

Another whale beaching. This time it's a big one --

ABC Radio Australia: Humans may be responsible for mass whale strandings.

"A huge operation is now underway to bury the carcasses of 130 pilot whales which yesterday beached themselves on Tasmania's east coast. The Australian Greens say the Federal Government needs to investigate whether a nearby navy operation, or seismic testing by oil companies in Bass Strait, could have triggered the event.

"But the Navy says it was not in the area at the time of the strandings, and the Government says there's no evidence that seismic tests cause beachings."

Hobart Mercury, Australia: Whale warship riddle.

"Tests are under way to determine whether two naval vessels off Tasmania's southeast coast are responsible for a series of tragic whale strandings this week."

Hobart Mercury, Australia: Theories abound but none proven.

"The reasons behind whale and dolphin strandings have puzzled scientists for centuries."

Houston Chronicle: Services company bound for Houston.

"Schlumberger will move its U.S. headquarters from New York City to Houston in an effort to unite its corporate staff with some of its biggest operations."

World Oil: Operators' choices for 4C seafloor acquisition are growing.

"Although there have been OBC systems with a 2,000-m depth rating on the market for years, the cost and logistics of actually acquiring multicomponent data at that depth appeared to be a barrier, which meant that the 2,000-m rating was never commercially tested -- until now."


NYT: Going Where Oil Giants Fear to Tread.

"Mr. Horgan of Petrel Resources said security risks had substantially increased in Iraq. His company has been working there since before the war.... The company encountered its first real problems when it started doing exploration work in the Western desert early in 2004, Mr. Horgan said. Petrel received a letter in calligraphic Arabic that said, ‘Anyone who works with the oppressors will be decapitated and burnt,’ he said. The letter ended by apologizing for any inconvenience, he added."

"Petrel has since stopped sending executives to the western desert to do seismic or geologic evaluations, and does not hire employees from countries in the coalition that invaded in 2003."


NYT: Arctic Map Vanishes, and Oil Area Expands.

"Maps matter.... [I]t was natural for Republican Congressional aides, doing due diligence for what may be the last battle in the fight over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to ask for the legally binding 1978 map of the refuge and its coastal plain.

"It was gone. No map, no copies, no digitized version."

Houston Chronicle: Schlumberger's profit jumps.


Reuters: Schlumberger profit jumps, but storms take toll.

"‘The numbers look very good,’ said RBC Capital Markets analyst Kurt Hallead. ‘It was a phenomenal quarter for seismic, and I think that just underscores what Schlumberger has been saying all along..’

"WesternGeco, which provides oil and gas reservoir imaging and other services, posted a revenue jump of 45 percent from a year ago to $436 million, boosting operating income by 158 percent to $85 million."

China View: CNOOC teams up with US firm in oil exploration.

"China's largest offshore oil producer has entered into a production sharing contract and a geophysical agreement with the US Texas American Resources Company (TARC) for oil and gas exploration in south China."

O&GJ: Shell starts seismic survey in Libya.

Press Release: TGS-NOPEC Announces New 2D Seismic Survey in Celtic Sea Offshore Ireland.


Denis Mougenot, Sercel, World Oil: Pushing toward the low frequencies.

"Enrichment of the reflected signal by using lower frequencies is critical for converted-wave recording and post-stack amplitude inversion. The rationale and supporting theory for this is described, along with new acquisition equipment that makes it possible to enhance low-frequency (below 10 Hz) seismic acquisition on land and offshore."


Midland Reporter-Telegram: Top Pioneer Decker Dawson carries on family's love of oil industry.

"After the war, he joined Republic Exploration in 1946 as a seismic party chief active in Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, making his way to Midland in 1950 as a seismic supervisor. He founded Dawson Geophysical two years later and now serves as chairman of the board and chief executive officer."

Business News Americas: Oxy to buy Vintage for US$3.8bn.

"US-based Occidental Petroleum Corporation has agreed to acquire fellow US company Vintage Petroleum for about US$3.8bn, Oxy and Vintage said in separate statements."



Yesterday --

AP: Veritas Shares Plummet Following 4Q Miss.

"Even as shares lost footing, Deutsche Bank analyst Michael Urban upgraded the stock, ... saying that the weak quarter masks improving fundamentals in the industry."

> Update --

AP: Veritas Shares Advance, Reversing Losses.

O&GJ: Small changes mask big swings for US reserves.

"The onshore performance more than made up for an unusually large 15% drop in Gulf of Mexico proved [gas] reserves." ...

"Oil reserves additions in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and Texas edged Lower 48 reserves to a 0.1% increase, but Gulf of Mexico oil reserves fell 9%."

Houston Chronicle: BP to double gas output in Wyoming.

"In 2003, Rocky Mountain production was 27 percent of total onshore production in the lower 48 states, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. By 2025, it is expected to increase to 38 percent and may overtake the Gulf of Mexico as the country's largest natural gas producing region."

AP: South America Goes Nationalist With Oil, Gas.


Time to check in on hurricane damage --

Reuters: Storms take U.S. oil production to lowest since WWII.

"About 70 percent, or just over 1 million bpd, in [GOM] offshore oil production was still off line as of Wednesday, the Interior Department said." ...

"The EIA did not expect Gulf oil production to return to normal until the end of March."

Houston Business Journal: Apache, Amerada Hess swap assets.

"Apache Corp. and Amerada Hess Corp. on Thursday agreed to $817 million in deals between them involving acquisitions and sales of assets in the Mediterranean Sea and the Permian Basin."

Sunday Business, London: Drilling for Oil Starts to Pay as Price Soars.

"A study by oil consultants Wood Mackenzie has modelled the effect of oil prices on the profitability of exploration. Assuming they could sell the oil they have discovered for $40 a barrel, the best explorers would have made returns of more than 20 percent on every dollar they have ploughed into finding new oil supplies over the past 10 years. Even the worst performers out of the 28 top international oil firms surveyed would have made a 12 percent return."


Associated Press: Veritas DGC Fourth-Quarter Profit Surges.

"The latest results included a $37.3 million tax benefit, as well as a $9.9 million gain on the conversion of assets. The company posted an operating loss of $1.8 million versus an operating profit of $7.3 million in the year-ago period."

Business Wire: Veritas DGC Inc. Announces Five-Year Extension of Time Charter on SR/V 'Veritas Viking'.


FWN Financial News: IEA Lowers 05 Global Oil Demand, But Eyes 06 Rebound.

"The International Energy Agency Tuesday revised down 2005 global oil demand growth by 90,000 barrels a day to 1.26 million b/d mostly due to damage wreaked on key U.S. oil infrastructure by two massive hurricanes."

Marketwatch: Gulf oil field carries $900 mln price tag.

"Chevron Corp., undeterred by the occasional hurricane, said on Monday it plans to push ahead with plans to develop Blind Faith, a deepwater oil field about 160 miles southeast of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico."


NYT: As Polar Ice Turns to Water, Dreams of Treasure Abound.

"... the Arctic is undergoing nothing less than a great rush for virgin territory and natural resources worth hundreds of billions of dollars." ...

"If the melting continues, as many Arctic experts expect, the mass of floating ice that has crowned the planet for millions of years may largely disappear for entire summers this century."

O&GJ: Arctic melt brings new E&P promise.


An interesting selection of photos in this slide show --

Yahoo: Oil Industry News Photos.

"An Iraqi girl takes a break from searching a garbage dump in Baghdad, Iraq, for useful items, Monday Oct 3 2005. The economy is not helped by Iraq's oil industry which has the world's third largest known reserves, but it has been crippled by war, sanctions and the insurgency with Oil production remaining limited, curbed by decaying infrastructure and frequent attacks on pipelines and refineries by militants."

Houston Chronicle: The oil industry likes west best.

"While major oil and gas companies like Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips, Shell Oil Co. and Citgo are the big names in the Energy Corridor -- a stretch of land not far away along Interstate 10 beyond Beltway 8 -- many firms that service them are clustered in nearby Westchase [at the intersection of Westheimer and the West Belt]."

WSJ (subscription): BP to Sell Innovene Petrochemical Unit To Ineos for $9 Billion.


Houston Chronicle: Rita's damage to sites severe.

"Hurricane Rita inflicted substantially more damage to offshore oil and gas facilities in the Gulf of Mexico than Katrina, the Interior Department said Tuesday."


Associated Press: BP says hurricanes will cost it $700 million.

"[BP] added that it incurred another $100 million in costs to secure and repair its Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico."

Press Release: TGS Announces New Seismic Survey in Morondava Basin, Madagascar.

Business Wire: Vanco Announces PSC's Signed Covering Blocks CI-401 and CI-101, Cote d'Ivoire.

"Vanco has already conducted a new 2D seismic survey over the blocks and is currently processing and interpreting the data. "


WSJ: That '70s Show.

"Admit it. If you are old enough to remember the 1970s, the past week has brought bad flashbacks."

NYT: Texas Tea From a Russian Sea.

"Just north of Japan and across the Pacific from California, a long-forbidden Siberian island is about to join the global energy map."

PR Newswire: OMNI Awarded $4.5 Million Seismic Drilling Contract.

Dow Jones: Global Geo Services Expands Cooperation With China's BGP.

Walter Kessinger

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