Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


Houston Chronicle: ConocoPhillips plans to cut 4 percent of work force.

"ConocoPhillips spokesman Bill Tanner said Friday it was premature to speculate on what parts of the company would see layoffs. ‘Those decisions will be made in the coming weeks,’ he said."

Reuters: PGS says Q4 2008 fleet utilisation 77 pct.

"This compares to 80 percent in the third quarter of 2008 and 69 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007."

Press Release: TGS Announces New 3D Project in Central and Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

"TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company (TGS) announced ... that it is acquiring a new Multi-Client 3D survey in the DeSoto Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico. Named ‘Hernando’, the new survey covers a 300 OCS block (6,900 sq. km) area."

Bloomberg News: Anadarko wins Gulf royalty appeal against government.

"The case involved the interpretation of a 1995 law that gave oil companies royalty relief to promote oil and natural gas drilling in the gulf.... Anadarko obtained the offshore leases between 1996 and 2000 when the price of oil and natural gas was low. Royalties were waived during that time until a certain amount of oil and gas was produced and a price target was met."


Houston Business Journal: Schlumberger begins job cuts.

"Schlumberger spokesman Stephen Harris said ... that the company will eliminate about 1,000 administrative, operations and contractor positions across its total North American work force of 19,000."

AP: Ion Geophysical predicts 4Q miss, shares slide.

"Ion Geophysical Corp. on Thursday said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to drop up to 31 percent and its full-year results to miss analyst estimates, due to the rapid slowdown in North American and Russian energy markets and a pull back in year-end data library sales."

NYT: Chávez Allows West to Make Oil Bids as Prices Plunge.

"... faced with the plunge in prices and a decline in domestic production, senior officials have begun soliciting bids from some of the largest Western oil companies in recent weeks -- including Chevron, Royal Dutch/Shell and Total of France -- promising them access to some of the world's largest petroleum reserves, according to energy executives and industry consultants here. Their willingness to even consider investing in Venezuela reflects the scarcity of projects open to foreign companies in other top oil nations, particularly in the Middle East."


Associated Press: Kaine wants more time to study drilling.

"Gov. Timothy M. Kaine is asking the U.S. Department of the Interior for more time to gather information and public comment before leasing waters off Virginia's coast for oil and gas drilling.

"In a letter to Minerals Management Services Director Randall Luthi, Kaine asked that preparation for the lease sale be delayed to provide time for gathering seismic, biological and environmental data."

Top News, India: Indian ships intrude into Bangladesh territorial waters.

"Dhaka has alleged three Indian ships illegally entered Bangladesh's territorial waters to carry out hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Bay of Bengal, media reports said Friday." ...

"Bangladesh is yet to demarcate its maritime boundary in the mineral-rich Bay of Bengal with its neighbours - India and Myanmar - making it difficult to conduct oil and gas exploration."

The Daily Star, Bangladesh: Chevron to launch seismic survey in Block 7.

"The project will consist of 450km of two-dimensional seismic data acquisition fulfilling one of the work programme commitments by Chevron to the Bangladesh government."

AP: Ion Geophysical adopt poison pill, refinances debt.

"The company said the poison pill plan calls for shareholders as of Jan. 9 to receive a preferred stock right as a dividend distribution. They can exercise that right if a person or group acquires 20 percent of the company, or begins a tender offer to acquire that much. That would trigger a right of the shareholders to buy more shares at half-price, effectively raising the number of shares an acquirer would need to gain control."


AP: Crude ends extraordinarily volatile year below $45.

"Oil prices jumped 14 percent on New Year's Eve, capping a year that saw prices soar to unprecedented heights only to give up four years of gains in just five months. Energy prices began to collapse in July as the world's biggest economies begain to falter."

The Motley Fool: Is There Hope for Oilfield Services?

"In the shorter term, the precipitous slide in oil and gas prices just since midyear has already resulted in the shelving of a number of energy development projects around the world, and especially in the U.S. and Canada. The results can't be entirely positive for the service folks as they watch their business tail off. But that's the shorter term.

"Longer term, as these cancelled projects crimp supply and demand regains its steam, the badly beaten up services companies will be big beneficiaries of what likely will be a return to substantial commodities inflation."

Walter Kessinger

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