Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


UK Guardian: Shell defies US pressure and signs £5bn Iranian gas deal.

"The United Nations has imposed limited sanctions on Iran to stop it enriching uranium and Washington is pushing for harsher sanctions against a programme it believes is aimed at building an atom bomb -- an accusation Tehran rejects."

Hart's E&P: Reservoir Imaging develops QC system for Statoil's 4-D seismic projects.

"RIL, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, has just completed an initial project to provide quality control (QC) and analyze all the 4-D seismic surveys commissioned by Statoil in 2006.... The 10 projects from the 2006 4-D campaign involved many different geological and environmental conditions and a variety of seismic acquisition methods."

Houston Business Journal: Cypress Energy sells seismic, leasing assets for $10M.

"Carencro, La.-based Omni bought the seismic drilling and employee leasing assets of the Houston-based drilling company, doing business as Cypress Energy."


Houston Chronicle: Seismic world rocks and rolls. High oil prices prompt expansion as demand soars.

"Companies that search for oil and natural gas using high-tech seismic surveys are seeing their businesses soar amid a global boom in energy exploration."

New Ratings: Schlumberger 4Q profits jump 71%.

"The company achieved 30% y/y revenue growth in oilfield services to $4.63 billion. Schlumberger's seismic division, WesternGeco, also posted a 55% rise in revenues to $721 million."

Petroleum News: Shell flags intent to test winter seismic in Beaufort.

"In a Jan. 12 letter to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Shell Exploration and Production Co. gave notice of its intent to carry out a research program, to investigate the feasibility of seismic data acquisition from floating ice in the Beaufort Sea. Shell plans to conduct the research between mid-March and mid-May 2007."

Reuters: Nine China oil workers believed abducted in Nigeria.

"There are now 38 foreign workers being held by different armed groups in Africa's top oil producer, where violent crime and militancy have surged in the past 12 months." ...

"CNPC was doing a seismic study in the Sagbama area of Bayelsa state under a contract for Shell when the raid occurred."

One of those financial press releases that I don't understand --

PR Newswire: Seitel Acquisition Corp. and Seitel, Inc. Announce Tender Offer and Consent Solicitation.

Washington Post: Iraq Struggles to Finish Oil Law.

"‘Exxon Mobil has more seismic data on Iraq than on Houston real estate,’ says Fadel Gheit, an oil analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. who used to work for Mobil. ‘If Exxon had security on the ground, the following day it would have crews there,’ Gheit said."


Houston Chronicle: Anadarko says 500 job cuts possible as it sells some assets.

"In a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission, Preston Johnson, a vice president of human resources for Anadarko, provided a list of 500 potential job cuts at the company's headquarters in The Woodlands as well as other sites in Houston."

WSJ (subscription): In Climate Controversy, Industry Cedes Ground.

"The oil industry itself is mobilizing -- including Exxon Mobil Corp., the Irving, Texas, oil giant that in the past has been outspoken in its questioning of global-warming theories. Scientific questions remain, says Kenneth Cohen, Exxon's vice president for public affairs, but ‘we know enough now -- or society knows enough now -- that the risk is serious and action should be taken.’ Exxon isn't calling for an emission constraint, but it's starting to talk about how it wants one structured if one is imposed.

"In November, Rex Tillerson, Exxon's chairman and chief executive, called in a speech for ‘steps now to reduce emissions in effective and meaningful ways.’ Then he listed two: boosting automotive fuel economy and cutting emissions from coal-fired power plants."


Associated Press: House Rolls Back Oil Company Subsidies.

"The legislation would impose a ‘conservation fee’ on oil and gas taken from deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico; scrap nearly $6 billion worth of oil industry tax breaks enacted by Congress in recent years; and seek to recoup royalties lost to the government because of an Interior Department error in leases issued in the late 1990s."

Houston Chronicle: Getting in step on global warming. Energy giants back program to 'cap and trade' carbon emissions.

"... at a carbon conference in Washington, D.C., officials with international oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell said the U.S. must develop a regulatory system that ties in with one now being developed in Europe and elsewhere under the Kyoto Protocol.

"Even Exxon Mobil, one of the most vocal skeptics of global warming, has softened its stance. The company cut off funding to a think tank that challenged the hazards of global warming and met with environmental groups last month to discuss how it might respond to climate change, according to Reuters."

Houston Chronicle: Anadarko sells $1 billion in assets to Apache.

"The $1 billion deal, slated to close at the end of the first quarter, is expected to allow Apache to boost Permian Basin oil production by nearly one-third and its natural gas production by nearly one-fourth.

"On Wednesday, Anadarko announced plans to sell its interests in Wyoming oil fields, a gas plant and a pipeline company to Encore Acquisition Co. for $400 million. Both of this week's deals bring Anadarko's post-acquisition asset sale tally to about $10.4 billion."


Press Release: Creation of CGGVeritas.

"The company will officially launch its new corporate identity on January 23rd 2007, to celebrate the creation of CGGVeritas."

Dow Jones Newswires: Venezuela -- No More Orinoco Negotiations.

"Venezuela's government will no longer negotiate with foreign oil companies operating four heavy crude upgraders located along the Orinoco river and will seize majority control of those operations, the oil minister said Monday."


NYT: BP Names Its Next Chief; Succession Pace Stepped Up.

"The decision to name a successor now was Mr. Browne's, Mr. Sutherland said, but he described Lord Browne's early departure as a corporate choice. The board ‘came to the conclusion that a six-month handover would be more appropriate than 18 months,’ he said."

Washington Post: BP's Problems Cost CEO His Job. Browne to Retire Early After Leading Growth of 'Supermajor' Oil Company.

"For a time Hayward was one of the two executive assistants -- known to company insiders as "turtles" -- that Browne kept close. The job is a rite of passage for many top BP managers, who do such chores as managing Browne's appointment schedule, guarding the bachelor chief executive's personal privacy and carrying his briefcase while gaining a glimpse into day-to-day goings-on at the company's top echelon."


Houston Chronicle: After tough year, BP CEO to retire earlier in July.

"Tony Hayward, CEO of the company's exploration and production segment, will succeed Browne on Aug. 1."

Houston Business Journal: Cash portion of Veritas merger oversubscribed.

"The deal, expected to close Friday, values Veritas stock at $75 per share and includes about $1.5 billion in cash and about 47 million depository shares."

Press Release: TGS Charters Additional 2D Vessel Capacity.

"TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA (TGS) announced today that it has signed a two-year charter agreement with BGP for a 2D seismic vessel to be named the M/V BGP Atlas." ...

"With this agreement TGS has now secured access to three 3D crews and six 2D vessels for all or parts of 2007...."

Press Release: Foothills Begins Grizzly Bluff Seismic.

"... a 3D seismic survey ... in the Eel River Basin, Humboldt County, California. Data acquisition ... is expected to be completed in approximately ten days. An area of about 13 square miles is being imaged...."

O&GJ: US foreign policy must consider changing energy world.

"US policymakers also should acknowledge the growing influence of national oil companies.... "The reality today is that [NOCs] control some three quarters of the world's proven reserves. ExxonMobil ranks 14th among the world's reserves holders," said (former deputy US energy secretary Linda) Stuntz."

WSJ (subscription): China's Thirst for Oil Grows.

"China imported 14.5% more crude oil last year than in 2005, and imports are likely to continue growing in the double-digits in 2007 as the country's economy shows no sign of slowing down and more of its strategic petroleum-reserve tanks become ready for use."


Houston Chronicle: Burlington buy boosts ConocoPhillips reserves.

"Reserves would have risen by about 100 million barrels excluding acquisitions, or less than the 880 million barrels the company estimates it produced."

Houston Chronicle: Quantum sails to goal.

"Quantum's $10 million investment in Aspect Energy in January 1999 helped it get hold of a huge collection of 3-D seismic data along the Gulf Coast back before the value of such information was apparent. That investment was sold to Noble Energy in 2001 for $125 million."


Houston Chronicle: Oil's continued fall may be inevitable.

"Worldwide, temperatures reduced demand in developed countries by 350,000 barrels a day in November, 300,000 in December and will likely trim January demand by 700,000 barrels a day, the report said. In total, that demand could fall by nearly 38 million barrels relative to normal seasonal needs."


Associated Press: The Year in Review -- Schlumberger.

"Shares of oilfield service provider Schlumberger Ltd. bounced through a volatile 2006, as investors fretted about potential downturns in drilling efforts. Still, the company's shares are up about 31 percent since the end of last year, adjusted for an April 2-for-1 stock split."

Press Release: TGC to Buy New Vibrator Vehicles, Rig Equipment.

Midland Reporter-Telegram: One company's refusal to expand spurred creation of Dawson Geophysical.

"Decker Dawson is one of the true gentlemen in the oil field. At 86, he goes to the office every day.

"‘I am excited about the oil industry in general and geophysics in particular,’ says Decker, who continuously looks at new technology to make his services more accurate and affordable."


This is an old one from a couple of years ago, but it's still funny --

The Onion: Bush Vows To Eliminate U.S. Dependence On Oil By 4920.

"Exxon Mobil CEO Lee Raymond said the petroleum-producing company shares Bush's hopes for a cleaner environment ‘well before the sun turns into a red giant and dies.’"

> Lee Raymond is gone by not forgotten...


Houston Chronicle: Democrats aim to cut breaks for oil industry.

"Impatient with the scores of oil companies that have refused to renegotiate flawed lease agreements signed with the Interior Department back in 1998 and 1999, Democrats are pondering proposals that would either bar those producers from leasing new acreage in the Gulf or slap them with a special "conservation of resources" fee or -- perhaps -- both."

Walter Kessinger

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