Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


The Economist: Whodunnit? A strange theft of oil and gas secrets.

"Anyone able to make winning bets on equities on the basis of a container-load of seismic data should probably be congratulated. But a company bidding for the right to explore near to the newly-discovered fields might find the data very useful."

Thomson Financial: PGS Q4 in line, sees bullish 2008, 70 pct marine contract revenue growth.

"In terms of fourth-quarter performance, PGS had already warned the market that its numbers were going to be weaker than expected, largely due to problems related to crew continuity at its Libyan operations."

Energy Current: PGS appoint new CEO.

"Petroleum Geo-Services has appointed a successor to Svein Rennemo. Jon Erik Reinhardsen will be the new president and CEO from April 1."

Press Release: ION Reports Record Fourth Quarter 2007 Results.

"Bob Peebler, ION's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, ‘We are very pleased to have generated our best quarterly results. As expected, the fourth quarter was 2007's strongest as we achieved several key successes, including the delivery of the fourth VectorSeis(R) Ocean (VSO) system to Reservoir Exploration Technology (RXT), the continued commercialization of DigiFIN(TM), and the sale of a 10,000 station, full-wave Scorpion(R) system to the geophysical services affiliate of an oil & gas company operating in China. Each of our segments showed significant improvement over last year, with our Marine Imaging Systems and our Data Management Solutions segments showing the greatest improvements.‚

"’As the majority of ION's business is increasingly international, we have initiated the expansion of our international presence through the establishment of an International Headquarters in Dubai in 2008. In addition to being closer geographically to our customers, we expect this expansion to have the added benefit of maintaining a low effective tax rate in future years.’"


Thomson Financial: TGS NOPEC says starts new survey in Gulf of Mexico.

"The survey, known as Orion 3D, is predominantly located within the '181 South' area, an area that has been off-limits to exploration until the most recent 5-year leasing plan, TGS said in a statement."

AFX News Limited: TGS-Nopec hikes stake in stalled merger partner Wavefield Inseis to 10.16 pct.

Penn Energy: BP awards Shetlands seismic project.

"BP has contracted a source vessel from Wavefield Inseis for its "life of field seismic" project at Clair field west of the Shetland Islands. The project uses permanent seabed sensors buried in 2006 to acquire 4D data over the life of the field."

Energy Current: Wavefield fixes finances for flagship vessel.

"Wavefield Inseis' has agreed to a drawing lease facility for seismic equipment for purpose built 3-D seismic vessel M/V Geowave Endeavour.... The vessel will have a maximum 16-streamer capacity and will be Wavefield's flagship when it is delivered in the second quarter of 2008."


Houston Chronicle: Boom and bust may be a relic of city's past.

"It used to be said that Houston was ‘counter-cyclical.’ When things were going bad elsewhere (a state of affairs that often included high energy prices), Houston would thrive. Today, not so much." ...

"In 1982, more than 80 percent of the ‘base economy’ of the Houston metropolitan area was energy-related, Klineberg said. Today it's about half."

WSJ (subscription): As Oil Prices Soar, Prospectors Return To Pennsylvania.

"Mr. [Augie] Holtz serves as caretaker to the world's oldest operating well, the famed McClintock No. 1, on behalf of the Drake Well Museum. Drilled in 1861 just north of Oil City, the well these days churns out mainly salt water.... But give the well enough time, he says proudly, ‘and it comes up with oil, too.’ About 38 barrels last year, to be exact."


Dow Jones: Pemex Rejects $1 Billion Petrobras JV Technology Deal.

"Samir Awad, executive manager for the Americas, Africa and Eurasia, wrote in an email, ‘Pemex could not accept the offer in the near term, for internal reasons, but was to evaluate its interest in joining Petrobras in the medium and long terms.’" ...

"On Thursday, Mexican Energy Secretary Giorgina Kessel said the country should consider setting up joint ventures with other oil companies to develop deepwater fields in Mexican territory, where it is normal practice for oil firms to divide up capital costs and share the risk of expensive exploration projects."

Emirates Business 24/7: Saudi Aramco to invest $90bn over five years.

"[Saudi Aramco CEO Abdallah Jumah] said these projects would add about three million bpd to be used in raising the country's production capacity and at the same time offsetting the natural decline in some oil fields.

"By 2009, Saudi Arabia's sustainable oil production capacity will grow to around 12 million bpd from 11 million bpd, he added."

Brunei Direct: 3D Seismic Exploration Project.

"Loon Energy Inc announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Loon Brunei Limited, and Nations Petroleum Brunei Limited have been awarded the contract for the acquisition of a planned 350 square kilometre 3D seismic survey on the onshore block."

Alabama Press-Register: Oil company seeks permit for seismic tests off coast.

"An oil exploration company [GX Technology Corp.] has applied for permission to conduct a 400-square-mile undersea seismic survey in Gulf waters from Gulf Shores to the west end of Dauphin Island."

"‘The air guns, we've seen relatively low impact, if not no impact, from those,’ said Vernon Minton, director of Alabama's Marine Resources Division. ‘Back when they were using primer cord, we were seeing some minimal mortality, small fishes in the immediate area. But with the air cannons we haven't seen problems. We'll monitor our waters for effects during the saltwater testing.’"


Houston Chronicle: Energy leader sees clouds.

"The world's oil companies must raise spending significantly to meet rising demand for oil and natural gas or a supply crisis will erupt in the next decade, the CEO of Hess Corp. told industry executives in Houston on Tuesday." ...

"The world is consuming about 86 million barrels a day, and analysts expect demand to grow by about 1.5 million barrels a day each year, the International Energy Agency said."

BBC: IEA cuts forecast for oil demand.

"The IEA, which advises wealthy countries on energy policy, reduced its estimate for demand this year by 200,000 barrels per day. It said an economic slowdown in the US, the world's biggest oil user, would take pressure off the market."


PR Newswire: Dawson Geophysical Reports Record First Quarter Results.

"Dawson Geophysical Company today reported revenues of $77,599,000 for the quarter ending December 31, 2007 ... compared to $53,654,000 for the same quarter in fiscal 2007, an increase of 45 percent. Revenue growth in the quarter was primarily due to the expanded capabilities of existing crews which resulted in improved efficiencies and pricing as well as the fielding of two additional seismic data acquisition crews in April and September of 2007, the Company's 14th and 15th crews." ...

"Revenues in the first quarter of fiscal 2008 continued to include high third-party charges related to the use of helicopter support services, specialized survey technologies, and dynamite energy sources."

Reuters: Dawson Q1 profit misses Street view; shares fall.

"Dawson Geophysical Co, a provider of seismic data services to oil and gas companies, reported quarterly earnings that missed analysts' view due to higher operating costs, sending its shares down nearly 14 percent."

RTT News: OYO Geospace Q1 Earnings Drop.

"In the year-ago first quarter, OYO Geospace recognized a sale of a $16.2 million seabed reservoir monitoring system to BP Plc for installation in the Caspian Sea. Such type of large sale does not occur in every quarter or even in every fiscal year, the company noted."

Reuters: Wavefield posts Q4 earnings up, activity high.

"Norwegian seismic group Wavefield Inseis ASA reported on Tuesday a more than doubling of operating profits for the fourth quarter and said tender activity for surveys in 2008 remains very high."


Rigzone: TGS Reports New Gulf of Mexico Multiclient 3D Survey.

"TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA (TGS) reported that it will acquire a new multi-client 3D seismic survey in the South Additions of the West Cameron and East Cameron areas of offshore Louisiana. The company has again contracted Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA (RXT) to perform the acquisition of the 2000 square kilometer Cameron SaD Phase 1 survey utilizing a Vector-Seis Ocean Bottom Cable recording system."

UK Times: BP to cut 5,000 jobs as profits fall by a fifth.

"Tony Hayward, chief executive, said the company's performance had been ‘very poor’, particularly in refining and marketing. He blamed the lack of reliability of some of BP's US refineries, which had resulted in production outages and higher costs."


The North Scotland Press and Journal: Aberdeen Firm Sees Shares' Value Dive By More Than 40%.

"OHM, which has its headquarters at the Offshore Technology Park at Bridge of Don, said the business was being affected by an uneven flow of orders for its controlled source electromagnetic imaging (CSEM) technology.

"The same had happened in the early stages of 3D seismic equipment going to the market, added the firm."

Energy Current: Pemex tenders 3-D seismic survey.

"BNamericas reported that Pemex's exploration and production subsidiary, PEP, launched an international tender for a 3-D seismic survey on Tabasco state's coast"

PR Newswire: ION Completes Acquisition of Northeast AtlanticSPAN.

"The program covers less-explored areas offshore Northwest Europe that are believed to have significant hydrocarbon potential below thick basalts that diminish the quality of seismic images acquired via traditional methods. "

Marketwire: VGS Expands 3-D Seismic Database by More Than 30%.

"VGS Seismic Canada Inc. is pleased to report significant progress in its data library growth program with the addition of 1,243 square kilometres of seismic data to date in Q1 2008."

Walter Kessinger

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