Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


Forbes: Fugro to buy new seismic ship for 100 mln eur from Norway's BMV.

"The investment is part of Fugro's previously announced plan to increase and modernise its marine seismic capacity."

Reuters: China oilfield firm chief sentenced to death.

"China has sentenced to death the former president of a firm connected with the country's number-two oil field for taking bribes and embezzling nearly 37 million yuan ($4.62 million), a Beijing newspaper said on Monday."

San Francisco Chronicle: Fiscal crisis looms for Mexico as oil starts to dry up.

"At current extraction rates, the nation has only 10 years of proven oil reserves remaining. And as Mexico prepares to vote in Sunday's presidential election, the leading candidates disagree bitterly about what, if anything, can be done to halt the impending collapse of the industry that forms the backbone of the national economy."


Houston Chronicle: The thinking behind the Anadarko deals.

"‘If we thought gas was going to stay at $5 per decatherm and oil would go to $40 a barrel we would not have done these transactions,’ [James Hackett] said, adding that Anadarko is aggressively locking in prices for 75 percent of all production through 2008 to capture today's high prices just in case they take a near-term nose dive."


Houston Chronicle: As a buyer, CEO steps into new role.

"Many in the industry speculated [James] Hackett's arrival at Anadarko in December of 2003 meant he'd been hired by another struggling energy company to fix it up for sale. But an aggressive asset sales program that raised more than $2 billion to cut debt helped position the company to be the buyer rather than the seller."

WSJ (subscription): Wall Street Reactions to Anadarko's Double Deal.

"Analysts say that while the move, which more than doubles Anadarko's annual sales, is bold and gives it a bigger footprint in the Gulf of Mexico and Rocky Mountains, it could be too much for the company to swallow at once."

> Some analysts mention other potential targets -- Noble Energy, Forest Oil, Gasco Energy, Newfield Exploration, Ultra Petroleum, Quicksilver Resources, Southwestern Energy, EOG Resources and Devon Energy

AP: Schlumberger Shares Jump on Upgrade.

"Schlumberger deserves a bigger premium, [Calyon analyst Mark S. Urness] said, partially because it's the only big oilfield service company with large exposure to the hot seismic market. With demand surging for seismic data, Schlumberger should be able to separate itself from competitors through its stake in WesternGeco, Urness wrote in a research report."


WSJ (subscription): Anadarko to Buy Kerr-McGee, Western Gas for $21.1 Billion.

Houston Chronicle: Anadarko goes on a buying spree.

"Anadarko Petroleum Corp. announced two major acquisitions this morning totaling $21.1 billion in cash plus $2.2 billion in debt."

> Who's next? Marathon?


Associated Press: Japan, Allies Move Closer to Whale Hunts.

"Japan and its allies edged closer toward their goal of resuming commercial whale hunts as the International Whaling Commission's annual meeting drew to a close Tuesday with accusations of vote-buying from opponents."

> New IWC motto: Whaling doesn't kill whales. Seismic exploration kills whales! --

Associated Press: IWC -- Oil Exploration Could Harm Whales.

"Blasts from undersea airguns fired by boats searching for oil could harm whales and should be studied further, said a report unanimously endorsed Monday by the International Whaling Commission." ...

"The IWC's unanimous support of the report was one point of consensus among the 70-nation body, which is bitterly divided over allowing commercial whaling."

Reuters: Seismic air guns may harm whales.

"US oil major Exxon Mobil Corp ... is represented at the IWC as a non-governmental organization.... ‘We are not aware that these surveys have ever resulted in physical injury or adversely affected any marine mammal population,’ the company said in a statement distributed in St Kitts.

"But Exxon said that it and other energy companies had set up an $US8 million ($10.9 million) research program to investigate the impact of the air guns."

Houston Chronicle: Oil giants open to lease talks.

"Executives from Shell Oil Co., ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. told a House panel they would be open to talks about the terms of offshore deep-water leases signed in 1998 and 1999 that -- much to the federal government's chagrin -- failed to require the payment of royalties when oil and natural gas prices reached particular levels." ...

"The lone holdout Wednesday was Kerr-McGee Corp., which has filed suit claiming the price triggers are illegal."


WSJ (subscription): BP Replaces Its Top U.S. Executive.

"BP PLC replaced its top executive in the U.S., marking the latest management shuffle following a series of safety and environmental problems there. The company said Robert Malone will become chairman and president of BP America Inc., the company's main U.S. operating unit."

Houston Chronicle: Texas native will head BP America.

"BP has had several high-profile problems in the U.S. recently, including the March 2005 explosion at its Texas City refinery that killed 15 workers and injured scores, the near-toppling of the Thunderhorse platform in the Gulf of Mexico during last year's hurricane season and a severe oil spill from a BP-operated pipeline in Alaska this spring."


Houston Chronicle: WesternGeco agrees to $19.6 million fraud fine.

"The announcement said the Justice department uncovered 421 instances of visa fraud perpetrated by WesternGeco, a seismic imaging company, between January 2000 and the end of 2004."

Houston Business Journal: WesternGeco to pay visa fraud fine.

"WesternGeco will also avoid prosecution if it continues to comply with federal law, pays its fines, and keep cooperating with authorities."

Another Brilliant Investment Advisor: Lots Of Energy Left In Oilfield Services.

"The oilfield equipment and services industry has enjoyed a tremendous run, with stocks averaging a return of 79% over the last 12 months and 48% annualized over the last three years."

Press Release: Acquisition of new vessel.

"SeaBird Exploration ... has acquired M/V Sentinel. A DP (Dynamically Positioned) vessel, built in 1979. The vessel will be converted to a Source/Ocean Bottom Seismic ship."


AP: U.S. accepts $581 million in offshore bids.

"This year's sale figure far exceeded last year's auction when $342 million in winning bids were accepted for 403 tracts."

MMS: Central Gulf of Mexico Sale 198 -- Summary of Results.

MarketWire: 4D Seismic (FDSM) Awarded Contract for Humble Oil Field.

"The Humble Oil fields are still active and have produced over 138,835,590 barrels of oil. Humble Oil started in these fields, changing its name to Exxon in a mid 1960s restructuring, and merging with Mobil in 1998 to form ExxonMobil."

Houston Chronicle: People in Business.

"Geotrace has promoted Denby Auble to chief operating officer. Patrick Ng has joined the firm as vice president of reservoir imaging, and Gary Fair as general manager, production enhancement reservoir seismic operations."


AP: Oil prices tumble after world oil forecast.

"Crude-oil futures tumbled on Tuesday after the International Energy Agency said this year's world demand will be lower than previously expected. Moreover, inventories in the U.S. and Asia are at a 20-year high."


It's time to re-start our hurricane coverage --

WSJ (subscription): In Katrina's Wake, U.S. Oil Crossroads Remains Vulnerable.

"As the hurricane season starts this month, a little-understood episode from last summer -- the shutdown of a massive gasoline conduit run by Colonial Pipeline Co. -- underscores how vulnerable the U.S. energy network remains.... [T]he Colonial pipeline's shut-down brought the U.S. much closer to large-scale gasoline shortages than the public realizes, according to interviews with industry executives and government officials." ...

"The Colonial network is owned by a consortium including some of the country's biggest oil companies.... By far the biggest fuel pipeline in America, it is the source of 30% of the refined petroleum products sold east of the Mississippi, according to the company."

Petroleum News: Chevron to begin North Slope exploration in 2007.

Christian Science Monitor: Renewables: 25% of energy use in '25?.

"Oil still accounts for more than 96 percent of transportation fuel use, but biofuel production has doubled since 2001 and it is poised for even stronger growth as the industry responds to higher fuel prices and supportive government policies, Worldwatch reported."

> In the past, critical examinations have shown that the environmental impacts of "biofuels" make the strip-mining of tar sands look enviro-friendly.


Reuters: Canada wrests oil from sands, but at what cost?

"Mining the earth for molasses-like bitumen that can be turned to oil involves clearing vast swaths of land, stripping off layers of soil and digging out lake-sized holes with giant shovels that scoop up to 56 cubic yards (meters) of material a swing."

O&GJ: Cretaceous gas-condensate gauged off India.


Reuters: Oil demand growth holding up to high prices.

"Soaring energy prices may not undercut world oil demand growth as much as some experts had feared, as consumers become accustomed to the higher costs, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday."

AP: Veritas DGC Fiscal 3Q Profit Surges .

"Veritas DGC Inc., a provider of seismic data services to the oil industry, on Tuesday posted sharply higher fiscal third-quarter profit as high oil prices created a robust market for exploration data."

Casper Star-Tribune: Seismic project gets go-ahead.

"A federal judge has ruled that a controversial oil and gas seismic survey project will be allowed to proceed in the Adobe Town area of southwest Wyoming's scenic Red Desert."


MarketWire: Veritas DGC Inc. Announces Letter of Intent to Sell Land Seismic Acquisition Business.

"Veritas DGC Inc. announced today that it has entered into a letter of intent with Matco Capital Ltd. to sell its land seismic acquisition business for an undisclosed consideration. In fiscal year 2005 the land seismic acquisition business of Veritas generated approximately US $140 million of revenue, or approximately 22 percent of the consolidated revenue of Veritas."

MarketWire: IBM Supercomputer to Help Compagnie Générale de Géophysique (CGG) Boost Computing and Processing Capacity.

"These new clusters, based on the dual-core IBM BladeCenter(R) JS21, will also allow CGG to boost its worldwide computing capacity to a maximum of 113 teraflops (RPeak).... The new system is being deployed at the company's premises in Massy (France), London, Kuala Lumpur and Houston, Texas."

Walter Kessinger

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