Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


WSJ (subscription): Big Worries for Big Oil.

"U.S.-benchmark oil hit a record of nearly $80 a barrel this summer.... Since July, though, crude prices have fallen about 25%, sapping the momentum from short-term profit-growth potential at a time of rising costs and higher taxes." ...

"Even before the steep drop-off in prices, earnings had been blunted by side effects of the commodities boom. Oil-field costs have skyrocketed for many projects because of higher demand for everything from steel to software among energy [service] companies eager to cash in on the boom."

The UK Independent: BP warns boom times over for oil.


O&GJ: Louisiana, MMS negotiate settlement in lease sale lawsuit.

"Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said attorneys for the state have negotiated a settlement in a lawsuit against the US Minerals Management Service, and the settlement would delay Lease Sale 201." ...

"Blanco has pushed for what she calls ‘Louisiana's fair share of revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling.’ She wants to secure a share of federal offshore oil revenues to mitigate the state's loss of coastline."

AP: Input/Output Unit President to Retire.

"The seismic services provider said Mick Lambert will continue to head the GX Subsidiary until Dec. 31... Input/Output also announced the promotion of Jim Hollis to executive vice president and chief operating officer of its I/O Solutions division effective 2007."

Motley Fool: Schlumberger -- Punished for Performance.

"In addition to its sheer size, Schlumberger is also the most technologically advanced of the service companies, owing at least in part to its expenditures -- more than $500 million last year alone -- on research and development. But despite perceptions of a difficult-to-comprehend array of products and services, Schlumberger's operations are divided into just two units."

AP: Shell wants to own all of its Canadian affiliate. Oil giant makes offer to purchase the 22% it lacks

"Royal Dutch Shell offered $6.8 billion on Monday to buy the 22 percent stake it doesn't own of its Shell Canada subsidiary, aiming to simplify its corporate structure and increase its ownership of Canadian oil sands."


The Gulf News: Job fairs fetch applications for Calgary company.

"With fall now here it is the time for seasonal seismic workers to make plans for winter work."

AP: Occidental Petroleum Profit Falls.

"The company said higher drilling and seismic activity, mostly in its operations in Libya, will cause exploration expense for the fourth quarter to rise to about $100 million."

Christian Science Monitor: Eco-Kremlin: Russia targets energy giants.

"The Russian side, supported by environmental groups, insists that the ecological concerns are real. But experts say the government is leveraging those concerns to give a state-run company control over the projects."

Dow Jones: Shell manager warned of Sakhalin faults in e-mails.

"A Royal Dutch Shell manager sent e-mails in 2002 expressing concern that the designs for oil and gas wells on Russia's Sakhalin Island didn't properly address seismic risks."


Houston Chronicle: Profit doubles, but with a caveat. Schlumberger warns of possible drilling downturn.

"In what was otherwise a spectacular period for the oil-field giant, Schlumberger said high gas inventories in North America and falling gas prices had begun to hurt business in parts of Canada, and may be a harbinger for a broader slowdown in this part of the world."


MosNews: Russian Government Considers Major Sanctions Against Sakhalin-2 Operator Shell.

"Russiašs Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev said on Monday, Oct. 16, that major sanctions may be imposed against the operator of Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project Royal Dutch/Shell due to environmental violations."

O&GJ: Nido lets contract for Philippines seismic work.

"Nido Petroleum Ltd., Perth, operator of the SC54 joint venture off the Philippines, has signed a contract with Veritas Geophysical Ltd. to acquire and process a 3D seismic survey off Palawan Island."


BNamericas: IMF -- Sustainability of Pemex Output 'Potential Concern'.

"... proven oil reserves have declined to 14Bb in 2005 from about 17Bb in 2002, the report said."

Press Release: Primeline Completes 3D Seismic Survey.

"Primeline Energy Holdings has completed its 2006 3D seismic survey of Block 25/34 in the East China Sea."


Dow Jones: Petrobras confident of oil, gas finds in Colombia sea.

"Like Petrobras, oil majors have been lured to Colombia by new investment incentives approved by the government. Until 2004, multinationals were tied to association contracts with Ecopetrol, whose take was 70%. But for the past two years, the government has been granting oil licenses directly to private companies."

Reuters: Veritas quarterly net profit falls.

"Last year's figures were inflated by a net tax benefit of $37.3 million."

The Belize Reporter: Supreme Court tells U.S.Capital Energy no seismic testing in nat'l park before an Environmental Impact Assessment.


Postscript on the SEG meeting: Fun, saw a lot of people, etc. I don't know that I gained any great epiphany about the state of the geophysics industry, however. (For me, a major motivation for going to SEG is that often I experience at least minor epiphanies.)


Business Week: Schlumberger's Savvy Oil Strategies.

"In 2005, Schlumberger generated a higher percentage of its oilfield-services revenues from the Eastern Hemisphere (52%) than did either of its two largest competitors, Halliburton (HAL) (39%), or Baker Hughes (48%)."

PR Newswire: 4th Wave Imaging and Fugro Join Forces in 4D Seismic Processing.

> or "4th Wave Imaging not aquired by Fugro Seismic Imaging."


The SEG press releases have been a little underwhelming --

Oil Online: Landmark to Introduce affordable and scalable volume visualization and interpretation solution.

> GeoProbe on dedicated hardware.

PR Newswire: I/O Announces Release and First Sale of Scorpion.

"... system for cable-based, land seismic data acquisition."

PR Newswire: Paradigm Unveils Rock & Fluid Canvas 2007 at the SEG.

"... a next-generation integrated software suite of ten applications for seismic processing and imaging, seismic interpretation, subsurface modeling, and reservoir characterization."

> I guess that's pretty much all their stuff ... which you can still buy separately, of course.

PR Newswire: TGC Industries Announces Fielding of Eighth Seismic Acquisition Crew.

Dow Jones: Trinidad, Venezuela Check Oil Installations After Quake.

"The earthquake, which registered a 6.0 magnitude, rattled both countries."


The Annual SEG Meeting starts today, in New Orleans. I'll see you at the Icebreaker tonight.

Walter Kessinger

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