Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


The Christian Science Monitor: Kremlin reasserts control of oil, gas.

"Call it PetroKremlin. A vast state-run energy conglomerate has been assembled over the past year, some experts say, to fuel Russia's bid to revive Soviet-style great power status. To date, the Kremlin has effectively renationalized almost a third of the formerly private oil-and-gas sector."


O&GJ: Statoil steps up seismic activity.

"Last year, Statoil acquired over 3,000 sq km of seismic across its Norwegian shelf exploration acreage. The company has secured two survey vessels for its 2006 program, which will be spread over the North, Norwegian and Barents Seas."

PR Newswire: GX Technology Releases a New Reverse Time Migration Technology.

"In the last four weeks, GXT has been awarded their first commercial contracts to implement RTM, and is currently imaging the projects at the main advanced imaging center in Houston, Texas."


Khaleej Times: Professor of Indian origin is selected 'Sexiest Man Alive'.

"A geophysicist of Indian origin has been selected the 'Sexiest Man Alive' by People magazine along with Hollywood superstars Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt." ...

"Manga's wife ‘laughed for an hour’ when her husband told her he was going to be in America's favourite celebrity rag."

Bloomberg: OPEC, Russia to meet yearly.

"Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, is using the country's position as a major oil producer to help secure a greater role in international politics."


Bloomberg News: Venture hits oil with deepest well in Gulf. Chevron joins 3 others to drill to 34,189 feet.

"Canada's Nexen, the field operator; Chevron; Anadarko; and Australia's BHP Billiton each has a 25 percent stake in the project."

WSJ (subscription): BP, Exxon Hit With Antitrust Suit.

"The [Alaska Gasline Port Authority], created in 1999 to build a gas pipeline, says it has $18 billion in federal guarantees and the permits to build a pipeline from the North Slope to Valdez in the southern part of the state, where gas would be liquefied and loaded onto tankers. But BP and Exxon favor an alternative, longer pipeline through Canada, a pipeline over which they would have more control, the authority charges." ...

"BP and Exxon Mobil argue a pipeline through Canada to the Midwest would increase the value of the gas by delivering it directly to gas-hungry markets."

Business Wire: Seismic Sciences Appoints M/s Rotax Marine Pvt Ltd. to Offer Electro-Magnetic Surveys for India.


Associated Press: Foes, Backers of ANWR Oil Cite Uncertainty.

"A 1998 U.S. Geological Survey assessment still used today concluded it's almost certain there are at least 5.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil and possibly as much as 16 billion barrels (a 5 percent likelihood) beneath the refuge's 1.5 million-acre coastal plain."

> Even on the low end, that's a lot of oil.

"Drilling supporters in Congress also are fond of saying the refuge will produce 1 million barrels or more a day, equal to the oil received from Saudi Arabia. In fact, U.S. imports of Saudi oil have averaged 1.6 million barrels a day over the last five years, according to the Energy Information Administration."

> Still, 1 million barrels a day is a lot of oil.

Resource Investor: Latin American Oil & Gas Without the Drama?

"The significance of the oil & gas endowments of many countries in Latin America is well known, but equally well known are the pitfalls that can in places await those who try to develop these endowments; Venezuela and the heinous spectacle of Hugo Chavez spring most immediately to mind, but Bolivia may to be heading in a similar direction, and various other states on the continent also have their political drawbacks.

"However, Colombia and Paraguay seem to be among the better Latin American investment destinations...."


Houston Chronicle: Departing [Burlington] CEO says deal proves company's value.

"The firm has specialized in drilling for natural gas in some of the more difficult geographic formations in North America, bringing so-called unconventional gas to market at a time when the continent's easy-to-reach resources are in decline." ...

"‘Working in these kinds of conditions is going to become much more of the norm than what we were doing 20 to 25 years ago. There have been more than 3 million wells drilled in this country, and there's not that much white space left on the map. We have to take what's left.’"

AP: North Slope oil decline leaves Alaskans somber.

"For Alaskans, Prudhoe's decline in particular, and the North Slope's in general, transcends politics and raises fiscal and emotional issues. Each year, state residents receive a substantial dividend from an investment account built over the year by a portion of oil tax revenues.

"Those dividends, based on market investment performance, have ranged from a record $1,964 per resident in 2000 to $845.76 in 2005."

The UK Times: Hopes of Western Isles bonanza as Shell starts searching for oil.

"Shell has applied for a licence to drill a deep-water exploration well 58 miles northwest of [Lewis] island and executives are optimistic that it will be followed quickly by commercial extraction."

BBC: Shell cuts North Sea exploration.


Press Release: PGS Extends Expiration Date of Tender Offer for 10 Percent Senior Notes Due 2010.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune: LSU expert defends piling tests.

"A leader of a state team investigating New Orleans area levee failures Wednesday defended sonar and seismic tests conducted by a state contractor that indicated some sheet piles installed along the 17th Street Canal were sunk to only 10 feet below sea level."


AP: Shell details plans for return to New Orleans.

"Shell Exploration & Production Co. plans to move 1,000 employees back into New Orleans next year in a two-phase move, the company has announced."

WSJ: MMS -- Moderate Improvement In US Gulf Oil,Gas Output.

"About 426,282 barrels of oil a day, or 28.4% of daily oil production in the Gulf, remained off-line.... Shut-in gas production stood at 2.23 billion cubic feet a day, or 22.3% of total gas output in the region..."


Houston Chronicle: Energy deal tops movies as blockbuster.

"ConocoPhillips Chairman James Mulva has defended the deal, saying that gas prices could fall from the over-$15- a-thousand-cubic-foot high reached Tuesday to just $5 and the Burlington deal would still be profitable.

"ConocoPhillips is paying about $3 for every thousand cubic feet of gas in the ground."

Associated Press: CNOOC to Explore for Oil With Newfield.

"CNOOC Ltd., China's largest offshore oil producer, said Monday that its parent company will explore oil and gas reserves in Chinese waters with Texas-based energy company Newfield Exploration Co."

Stone Energy Corporation: Stone Energy Delays Filing Financial Statements.

"As previously announced, Stone has concluded that because of its downward revision of proved reserves, a restatement of the financial statements will be required for the periods from 2001 to 2004 and for the first six months of 2005."


O&GJ: Seismic survey starts on Hassi Mouina block [Algeria].


Houston Chronicle: ConocoPhillips to buy Burlington for $35.6 billion.

"ConocoPhillips, which employs 35,000 people around the world, is expected to close the Burlington Resources deal in the second quarter of 2006. Burlington, which employs 2,200 people, is based in downtown Houston. Houston employees who receive jobs with ConocoPhillips' are expected to move to the company's west Houston campus in the energy corridor."

WSJ (subscription): Conoco Nears $30 Billion Deal For Gas Producer.

"ConocoPhillips is in advanced talks to purchase oil and gas producer Burlington Resources Inc. for more than $30 billion, people familiar with the matter say, in what would be a major bet that supplies of natural gas will remain tight and prices high for years to come."

O&GJ: ConocoPhillips pegs 63% of 2006 capex to E&P.

"E&P's 2006 cash capital expenditures budget is approximately $6.3 billion."

Houston Chronicle: Energy companies swarm the Rockies.


Dow Jones: Veritas up; profit tops forecast as backlog rises.

Smart Money: Seismic Survey Says...

"Shares of Veritas DGC climbed 9% to $37.28 Thursday after the Houston company beat Wall Street's fiscal first-quarter earnings estimate by 77% thanks to soaring sales and an insurance settlement."

Whether or not it's true, I don't think anyone in the oil industry is willing to bet their company on this sentiment --

O&GJ: Deloitte analysts expect oil, gas prices to stay high.

"‘We won't see $40/bbl oil again in our lifetimes,’ on the New York Mercantile Exchange, Richard S. Woodward, a principal of Deloitte Consulting LLP, told reporters at the accounting firm's annual energy conference in Houston on Dec. 7."

Canadian Press: Husky Energy & CNOOC Enter Deepwater Exploration JV in South China Sea.

"CNOOC previously signed a production sharing contract with Calgary-based Husky, an integrated oil and gas producer, to jointly explore and develop two deep water blocs in the South China Sea."

"CNOOC jointly owns two other deep-water blocs in the South China Sea with U.S.-based Kerr-McGee Corp. and Devon Energy Corp. but exploration hasn't started yet."

O&GJ: Seismic surveys begin over Browse Basin (Offshore NW Australia).

TGS: TGS Acquires Exclusive Sales Rights to Reprocessed Seismic Data.

"... approximately 131,000 kilometers of reprocessed 2D seismic in the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea, offshore Norway."

Houston Chronicle: Name comes off downtown tower.

"Formerly known as Calpine Center, the building at 717 Texas Ave. is now referred to by its address, according to Hines, the real estate firm that developed the building and continues to manage it."


NYT: With Oil Prices Off Their Peak, Are Supplies Assured?

"In a recent speech in Singapore, Lord Browne, BP's chief executive, spoke of a possible sharp drop in prices and called current levels ‘unsustainably high.’ John Hofmeister, head of the Shell Oil Company in the United States, said in an interview, ‘This high price cycle is artificially inflated.’"

Reuters: Oilfield services firm PGS repeats aims to split.

"PGS also said in material prepared for a capital markets day for investors that it expected margins from contracted seismic surveys to be higher in 2006 than 2005, but multiclient seismic data sales would be lower."

PR Newswire: Geokinetics Announces $25,150,000 Private Placement of Common Stock and Completion of Acquisition of Trace Energy Services, Ltd..

"The Company used substantially all of the net proceeds from the private placement to fund the previously announced acquisition of 100% of the common shares of Trace Energy Services Ltd. (headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada) ..."


Houston Chronicle: Former president of Unocal sets up company.

"Former Unocal President Joseph Bryant has started a Houston-based exploration and production company -- dubbed Cobalt International Energy -- funded by $500 million from private equity partnership Carlyle/Riverstone and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners."

Associated Press: Oil executives admit government contacts, deny role in task force. They insist they told the truth at a recent hearing in the Senate.

Walter Kessinger

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