Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


WSJ: Slide show -- An Oasis of Oil in Kurdistan.

"Sizable natural seeps of oil are uncommon anywhere in the world these days. In Iraq, however, they have often tipped off explorers to large pockets of oil underground.... But the hubbub in the north stands in sharp contrast to the stasis in the rest of Iraq, which hasn't drilled an exploratory well in 15 years."


WSJ: Valero, Its Earnings Crimped, Takes Fire at Capitol Hill.

"... Valero's frustration points to the industry's fundamental problem: Crude oil prices have risen a lot more than gasoline prices have. That means refining crude into gasoline and other products is a miserable business."

Reuters: PGS Q2 profit misses forecast, outlook strong.

"Earnings before interest and tax rose to $144 million in April-June from $131 million a year ago, PGS said in a statement on Friday -- lagging an average forecast of $150 million in a Reuters survey of 12 analysts."

Business Wire: BHP Billiton's Neptune Project Reaches Full Oil Capacity.

"BHP Billiton announced today that its Neptune Tension Leg Platform (TLP) in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, which began production on July 6, has five of six wells on line and has already ramped up the oil production to full design capacity of 50,000 barrels of oil per day. Natural gas production continues to ramp up."


NYT: Louisianians Cash In on Gas Rush.

"Nobody knows for certain how big an area the Haynesville Shale covers -- no government entity has mapped it. But energy companies and experts say it is large, possibly the largest in the lower 48 states, with an estimated 250 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas. (Last year, the United States consumed 23 trillion feet.)" ...

"The hotels and bars in Shreveport, a long-suffering city near the Texas line, with its semiabandoned downtown and tomblike quiet after 5 p.m., are now filled with the oil company landmen, whose numbers have blossomed overnight from the low hundreds into the thousands, by some accounts."

Washington Post: China's Cars, Accelerating A Global Demand for Fuel.

"China alone accounts for about 40 percent of the world's recent increase in demand for oil, burning through twice as much now as it did a decade ago. Fifteen years ago, there were almost no private cars in the country. By the end of last year, the number had reached 15.2 million." ...

"Yet despite this dizzying increase in passenger cars, less than 4 percent of the country's 1.3 billion people have already bought one. That's where the United States was in 1915."


LA Times: Why the oil crunch may grow worse.

"Forecasting is a perilous business. Earlier peak oil predictions, including some from the 1970s supply crisis, missed the mark. Non-peakists have erred in production estimates. And nearly everyone failed to predict the leap in oil prices over the last year."

WSJ: Cold Comfort: Arctic Is Oil Hot Spot.

"A report by the U.S. Geological Survey found that the area north of the Arctic Circle has an estimated 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas -- nearly two-thirds the proved gas reserves of the entire Middle East -- and 90 billion barrels of oil." ...

"Climate change is opening the region. The Northwest Passage, home to deadly ice floes that can crush ships, was ice-free last summer. Some predict it will turn into a new trade route between Europe and Asia, and a channel that oil companies can use to ferry workers, equipment and supplies around more freely."

Press Release: VGS Announces Management Changes.

"VGS Seismic Canada Inc. announces the resignation of Mr. Steven Vasey, President and CEO, and Mr. Vasey has also resigned from the Board of Directors.... VGS also announces the departure of Mr. Dale Harger, Chief Operating Officer, and Ms. Christine St. Clair, Vice President of Operations."

Myrtle Beach Online, South Carolina: Company conducting seismic surveys along beach.

"Businesses and residences within 200 feet of sites where beach renourishment will take place later this summer are going to be the subject of seismic surveys before and after the sand-dredging project."


Engineer Live: Norway's geophysical sector is a lively place.

"Norway's offshore geophysical sector is a lively place and for long a source of significant innovation, both in terms of techniques developed and applied, radical new vessels and associated systems, plus innovative processing and interpretation of data. Adding extra spice of course is the ongoing game of corporate chess by which we mean merger and acquisitions activity."

Houston Business Journal: ION Geophysical to buy Canada's ARAM Systems for $346M.

"ION President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Peebler describes ARAM as a major player in the analog segment of the global market for cable-based land seismic recording systems."

Press Release: Spectrum signs 12 month offshore acquisition contract with GX Technology (GXT).

"The GGS-Atlantic will acquire long offset 2D seismic data for ION GXT's BasinSPAN program, a portfolio of global, ultra-deep seismic data libraries that enable geoscientists to better understand petroleum systems, from source rocks to the reservoir traps. "

Paul Farmer and Ian F. Jones, Oil and Gas Eurasia: Application of Reverse Time Migration to Complex Imaging Problems in the North Sea.

"Complex bodies such as salt domes are illuminated by many wave paths that cannot be imaged by conventional one-way wave equation techniques. Significant improvement can be achieved both in the model building and final migration by employing the two-way Reverse Time Migration technique."


Reuters: Bush lifts offshore drilling ban in symbolic move.

"With an eye to the November election, Bush accused Democrats of having ‘done nothing’ as gas prices have gone up and urged them to pass a law for ‘responsible offshore exploration’ and to give states a say in the decisions."

WSJ: Bush, in New Tactic, Lifts Ban on Offshore Drilling.

"Mr. Bush's move to lift the executive moratorium on offshore drilling, in place since 1992, won't have any effect until a separate congressional prohibition expires or is overturned.... The congressional ban expires Sept. 30, but record oil prices make it politically difficult to extend the ban."


Tony Hayward CEO, BP, The Onion: We're Investing So Much In Alternative Fuels, Sometimes We Almost Forget To Pump Oil!

"Oh sure, oil used to be a big thing with us from 1901 until after the new millennium, but these days I'm so busy with all the green-themed advertising campaigns and making a lasting commitment to our children's future--well, I just haven't thought about our worldwide system of oil fields in months! Funny how things just slip your mind when your multinational energy corporation vows to make obsolete the very product that brought it an unstoppable cash flow for over a century."


Reuters: PGS rejects CGGVeritas lawsuit as unfounded.

"Norwegian seismic surveyor Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) said on Monday that its French-U.S. rival CGGVeritas had brought a $70 million claim against a PGS subsidiry and called the suit unfounded."

Thompson Financil: PGS says Q2 seismic vessel utilisation rate 84 pct vs 88 pct last year.

"The lower utilisation rate, which is in line with previous guidance, is a result of higher steaming during the quarter, with a 'record number of vessels moving to the North Sea and two vessels moving from India to East Asia,' PGS said."

Reuters: EMGS shares tumble after warns on revenue.

"EMGS said it expected to report revenues in the range of $22-24 million in the second quarter this year, down from $37.8 million in the second quarter last year. Revenues in the first quarter of 2008 were at $43.5 million."

Subsea World: Spectrum ASA lists on Oslo Axess Stock Exchange.

PR Newswire: Geokinetics Inc. Announces Increase to Capital Expenditure Budget.

"In response to robust customer demand for the Company's seismic data acquisition and processing services, Geokinetics plans to increase total recording capacity in its shallow water seabed operations, both transition zone and OBC as well as expand its presence in other international markets."

Houston Chronicle: Shell outgrows Bellaire hub. West Houston campus to expand to replace old research center.

"... the 72-year-old facility, which opened as a geophysical processing center in 1936, can't handle the high-tech needs of exploration and production research anymore. Also, two-thirds of the 5-acre facility is built on leased land. That lease will expire in 2010, which added to the decision to close the operation there."


WSJ: Energy Watchdog Expects Oil Markets to Stay Tight.

"Global oil markets will remain tight over the next five years, the International Energy Agency warned Tuesday, in a gloomy assessment that offered little respite for consumers battered by record-high oil prices."

Walter Kessinger

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