Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


Jamaica Observer: Onboard the oil exploration ship.

"Fugro surveyors [have begun] six weeks of data collection ... on the Akademik Shatskiy, the Russian vessel from which Fugro's team of scientists and engineers are conducting a seismic survey, collecting geophysical data in the hunt for oil some 8 to 10 kilometres offshore Jamaica's waters."

> I would bet that my brother, who's freezing on a platform in the Caspian Sea right now, would love to trade places with some of those Russkies in the Caribbean.

World Oil: ANWR spin.

"The spin from both sides has been very entertaining, or dismaying, depending on your level of cynicism. The environmental-devastation cohorts continue to say that ‘ANWR is just six months of US production,’ which is a ridiculous statement on many levels. If ‘just six months’ were the threshold criteria for exploration worthiness, all drilling in the world would stop."


Reuters: PGS Q4 profit leaps, says demand unparalleled.

"Norwegian seismic survey firm Petroleum Geo-Services reported an expected 57 percent jump in core earnings for the fourth quarter on Tuesday and said it saw ‘unparalleled strength’ in demand this year." ...

"PGS said it planned to invest $90 million to $100 million in 2006 mainly to expand or make replacements in the seismic streamer fleet, and double investment in the multi-client library from $46 million last year."

O&GJ: Fugro to conduct large 3D seismic survey in Asia-Pacific.

"Although details of the exact location and customer were not disclosed at the time, the survey will cover deepwater areas of approximately 5,000 sq km."

Moscow Times: A Tunnel That Almost Reached a Bank's Vault.

"Using seismic listening devices similar to those used by the U.S. military to detect Taliban caves in Afghanistan, Impexbank security officials discovered a 50-meter underground tunnel leading from garage No. 27 to the cement wall of the [bank] basement."


O&GJ: CGG wins 3D seismic contract for offshore India.

"Compagnie Générale de Géophysique (CGG) announces its fourth consecutive season of work in India with the award of a major 3D seismic offshore acquisition contract worth over $100 million."

Rigzone: Petrobras Wins Deepwater Exploration Blocks in the Black Sea.

"Petrobras entrance in Turkey is in line with the company's Strategic Plan to work as an integrated energy company with selective expansion of international activities."

O&GJ: Pioneer to sell deepwater GoM assets.

"Pioneer Natural Resources USA Inc. has entered into a purchase and sale agreement through which Marubeni Offshore Production (USA) Inc. ... will acquire certain deepwater GoM assets from Pioneer for cash proceeds of $1.3 billion." ...

"Scott D. Sheffield, Pioneer's chairman and CEO, states, ... ‘Approximately 92% of our production and 98% of our proved reserves will now be located in onshore oil and gas basins in North America.’"

Houston Business Journal: Noble Energy, Kerr-McGee deepwater project ahead of schedule despite hurricanes.


Houston Business Journal: Energy industry struggling to keep up with demand, study finds.

"Conducted by the Grant Thornton LLP, an accounting and consulting firm, the survey indicates that a shortage of equipment and manpower will take a toll this year on oil and gas independents."

MercoPress: Falkland basins seismic to be completed in March.

"Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd., the oil and gas exploration company operating in the undrilled South and East Falkland basins, says a 15,000-km 2D seismic survey is nearing completion with just 3,500 km left to record."

Missed this one last month --

Press Release: GGS Extends West Florida Multi Client Survey.

"GGS has decided to extend its West Florida Escarpment Multi Client Survey known as ‘Big Wave’.... The decision to extend the survey by adding a second phase has been stimulated by the growing level of oil company interest. This increased interest and excitement has been generated by a combination of early results from the data processing coupled with the belief that this region of the Gulf of Mexico could well be available for licensing in the near future."

BBC: Rocks 'could store all Europe's CO2'.

"Gas and oil firm Statoil said the undersea aquifer beneath its Sleipner platforms in the North Sea, 200 miles off the Norwegian coast, is capable of permanently holding carbon dioxide (CO2).... ‘There are calculations which say it could handle all of Europe's CO2 emissions for several hundreds of years,’ Statoil's Senior Vice President for the Environment Tor Fraeren told BBC World Service's One Planet programme."


AFP: OPEC predicts 1.89 percent rise in oil demand this year.

"Deepwater production is expected to make up over half of the total estimated increase in supply by non-OPEC members and ‘has potential to reach 5.4 mbd by 2008... underpinned by projects in Angola, Australia, Brazil, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Malaysia, Mauritania, and US GoM (Gulf of Mexico),’ the cartel said."

CGG: Non-audited 2005 revenues.

"Commenting on the figures, CGG CEO Robert Brunck said, ‘The fourth quarter was strong as anticipated, driven by continuing improved market conditions.’"

O&GJ: MMS issues final notice for OCS Sale 198.

"... Mar. 15 in New Orleans."

Press Release: Chevron Updates Status on Arthur Kill Oil Spill Cleanup. (Off New Jersey)

"The total volume of the crude oil spilled is estimated to be approximately 31,000 gallons."


BBC: Research needed on marine sound.

"Research into the effect of sound in the oceans on marine mammals should be commissioned by the UK Government, a report recommends."

NYT: U.S. Has Royalty Plan to Give Windfall to Oil Companies.

"‘I don't think there is a single member of Congress who thinks you should get royalty relief at $70 a barrel’ for oil, said Representative Richard W. Pombo, Republican of California and chairman of the House Resources Committee."

AP: Oil Prices Drop Below $60 Per Barrel.

"[IFR Energy Services analyst Tim Evans] sees technical support at $55.40 a barrel, but says if that level is breached, crude futures could potentially fall to $40 a barrel."

> Huh? Is this boom over already?


AP: New Orleans to get back all of its Chevron employees.

"Chevron Corp. said Friday that all 750 members of its New Orleans-based staff will return to the city by the end of March."


O&GJ: Draft OCS leasing plan would expand accessible area.

AP: Interior Dept. Proposes Drilling in Gulf.

"The government plans to open a large area of the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas leasing despite strong opposition from Florida officials."

Houston Chronicle: No insult intended by Bush, deputy says. Oil remarks not an attack on Saudi Arabia.

"... the Saudis were not amused."

Midland Reporter-Telegram: Longtime Unocal coworkers team up to explore Basin.

"Bill Mueller and Don Page, partners in Antlers Exploration, agree that their focus is on exploration.

"‘That's what we do,’ Mueller said. ‘We're both geophysicists.’"


The Sunday Times, UK: Oil giants can't drill fast enough.

"The support-services sector -- from contractors who carry out seismic surveys to consultants and rig providers -- is making hay as the oil giants' profits trickle down the industry."

WSJ (subscription): Oil Firms Want SEC To Loosen Reserves Rules.

"A new industry-backed report proposes to let the companies be the best judge of their own stores of oil and gas rather than use a strict formula imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The companies argue that the SEC's method -- intended to provide investors with apples-to-apples comparisons -- is archaic and arbitrary, and undercounts the amount of energy on tap for the future."

Midland Reporter-Telegram: Dawson Geophysical revenues leap 65%.

"The company operated 11 seismic data acquisition crews in the first quarter of fiscal 2006 as compared to nine crews in the first quarter of fiscal 2005."


O&GJ: US drilling activity hits 20-year high.

"Land operations accounted for all of this week's gain, up by 26 units with 1,421 rigs drilling."

O&GJ: CEOs discuss top issues impacting oil industry in 2006.

"John Sherwood, CEO of Anglo-Suisse: A common concern for most companies right now is the availability of equipment and people in the service sector, which has been exacerbated by Rita and Katrina." ...

"David Trice, CEO of Newfield Exploration: ... The major financial challenges today are rising service costs and how to control them in this kind of environment." ...

"Doug Foshee, CEO of El Paso Corp.: ... We are in a constant battle to keep our finding and development costs down, so we can keep our economics good and not lose the advantage of high commodity prices by having our cost structure blow up."

Houston Chronicle: Cuba's oil bid angers U.S..

"After Friday's meetings between Cuban energy officials and members of the American energy sector at the Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel, the U.S. government informed the hotel's parent company, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, that its Mexican subsidiary was not allowed to have the Cubans as guests."

Reuters: Cuba, Mexico upset by US move to halt energy meeting.

Xinhua Financial News: Madagascar to Auction Offshore Areas for Oil Exploration.

"The west coast of Madagascar has been the scene of oil exploration for the last 40 years, but no viable deposits have been found."

NYT: What if Exxon Mobil Went on a Little Shopping Spree?

"... suppose Exxon Mobil went on a shopping spree today with that $36.13 billion in annual profit in its wallet (the highest corporate profit ever, but who's counting?). Why, after it had bought both Ford and General Motors -- it may not want to, but it does owe them for making all those big, thirsty vehicles -- it would have a mere $7.7 billion left over."


Reuters: Shell profit hits UK company record.

"Shares in the world's third-biggest listed oil company by market value fell, however, as investors focused on its weak performance upstream in finding oil and gas."

LA Times: Don't gouge Exxon.

"The windfall profit tax of 1980, which followed the messy and failed attempts of the 1970s to control gas prices, was an utter failure. Because the tax only applied to U.S. companies, its effect was essentially to single them out for punishment while rewarding overseas competitors. It increased oil imports by up to 16% and reduced domestic production, thus boosting the power of OPEC and worsening the nation's reliance on foreign oil."

Telegraph: Will oil giants be over a barrel when 'bubble' bursts?

"Mr Gore quoted a senior Bush-supporting CEO at one of America's biggest companies saying: ‘Let's face it, 15 minutes after President Bush leaves office the United States will have a new policy on climate change and carbon emissions.’"

Knight Ridder: Administration Backs Off Bush's Vow to Reduce Mideast Oil Imports.

"One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally."


NYT: Bush Warns Against Shrinking Global Role.

"Just as he has in every State of the Union address, Bush said the nation must reduce its reliance on foreign oil." ...

"Since Bush took office, net imports have risen from 53 percent to 60 percent. But by focusing on his goal of reducing the use of oil from the Middle East by 75 percent, he singled out the share that is not rising. Oil from the Persian Gulf now represents 11 percent of U.S. oil consumption, less than when Bush became president."

NYT: Call to Cut Foreign Oil Is a Refrain 35 Years Old.

AP: High tech has low return finding tunnels.

"‘The problem is the technology picks up some kind of anomaly or variation of soil,’ said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ‘We go in with big backhoes and bulldozers, we spend all day doing it, and all we hit is rock or water tables.’" ...

"Radar rarely penetrates deeper than 15 metres. Seismic waves can probe deeper, but the technology is less precise."

PR Newswire: Dawson Geophysical Company Reports First Quarter Results.

Walter Kessinger

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