Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


Energy Current: Petrobras, Schlumberger sign pre-salt agreement.

"Four research projects were negotiated, including electromagnetic and seismic data analyses technologies to improve deep reservoir characterization; nuclear magnetic resonance technologies to characterize complex reservoirs; and H2S electrochemical sensors." ...

"The project portfolio established will lead to the deployment of the Schlumberger research center in Rio de Janeiro, on Fundão Island in 2010."

Reuters: PGS upbeat on seismic demand despite Q4 hit.

"Norwegian seismic surveyor Petroleum Geo-Services said it saw signs of growing demand for its scans from oil and gas companies, as it posted a fourth-quarter operating loss due to heavy impairments." ...

"‘It looks like oil companies took a big pause around November ... and now we see interesting surveys coming up,’ Chief Executive Jon Erik Reinhardsen told a news conference."

Your Oil and Gas News (glorified PR): GeoStreamer Cracks the Weather Window.

"On January 12th, PGS completed a MultiClient 2D GeoStreamer survey in the Southern North Sea. Despite the climate and the weather, data quality is first class and bodes well for future winter acquisition using this technology."

Marketwire: Vast Exploration Inc.-Announces Commencement of Seismic Acquisition.

"Vast Exploration Inc. is pleased to announce that Niko Resources as operator of the Qara Dagh Block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq has commenced the seismic acquisition program. A Canadian seismic contractor has been mobilized to acquire a minimum of 350 km of 2D seismic using a combination of vibrator and dynamite sources."

The Daily Star, Bangladesh: Seismic survey had no impact on wildlife.

Reuters: Total discovers gas in sea off Bangladesh.

"The European oil giant Total spent nearly $20 million to conduct the three dimensional survey in those structures in the sea near the Myanmar border covering 18,367 square kilometres."

> The article quotes a government official announcing that gas has been discovered based on the results of the seismic survey. Did Total actually drill a well, or is the government over-interpreting the seismic data?


Oil Voice: TGS Begins 2D Regional Multi-Client Project in West Sumatra.

"TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company Pty Ltd (TGS) announced ... that it began acquisition of a new 9,550 kilometer multi-client 2D survey offshore West Sumatra, Indonesia."

Bloomberg News: Analysts skeptical of plan to hike Venezuela oil output.

"‘Even if there wasn't a credit crunch on, raising $10 billion to $20 billion for Venezuela wouldn't be the easiest.’ Given past nationalization moves by Chavez, a self-avowed revolutionary socialist, Thomson said, ‘Banks aren't going to touch it with a bargepole.’"

Houston Chronicle: Noble's Israel strategy is poised to pay off.

"Last month the Houston energy outfit and its Israeli partners announced a massive natural gas find 55 miles off the coast of the northern port city of Haifa in 5,500 feet of water. Noble drilled the Tamar well to 16,000 feet and initial estimates that three reservoirs held 3 trillion cubic feet of gas made big headlines in Israel, which has long been considered devoid of significant fossil fuels.

"After crunching more data, Noble now estimates there are 5 trillion cubic feet of gas in the ground from the one field, enough to power Israel for 15 years...."

WSJ: Dudley Is Appointed to BP Board as an Executive Director.

"Robert Dudley, the former head of BP PLC's Russian venture who fled Moscow last July complaining of harassment by the Russian authorities, has been appointed to the BP board as an executive director, boosting his status in the company."


AP: Salazar rejects Bush drilling plan.

"[Interior Secretary] Salazar did not rule out expanded offshore drilling, but criticized ‘the enormous sweep’ of the Bush proposal, which envisioned energy development from New England to Alaska including lease sales in areas off California and in the North Atlantic that have been off-limits for a quarter century."

NT News, Australia: Asbestos fear on ship.

"The seismic exploration ship Ocean Endeavour was forced to dock in Darwin [last month] over safety concerns about asbestos. A crew, believed to be of about 40, met with Gardline Shipping Limited officials and union representatives at Fort Hill Wharf over their concerns throughout yesterday." ...

"Offshore Marine Services said a survey of the ship in December found low levels of asbestos on board, and even though a management plan was put in place to prevent any exposure, the crew raised concerns and the ship was brought in."

Reuters: TGS-Nopec Q4 beats forecast, eyes 2009 revenue fall.

"Norwegian seismic surveyor TGS-Nopec posted a smaller-than-expected fall in fourth-quarter operating profit on Thursday and said revenues could decline by around 14 percent in 2009."

PR Newswire: ION Delivers Initial Commercial Version of FireFly Land Seismic System.

"ION Geophysical Corporation ... announced that it has delivered a multi-thousand station FireFly system equipped with digital, full-wave VectorSeis(R) sensors to one of the world's largest seismic contractors."

Energy Current: CGGVeritas completes seismic survey.

"CGGVeritas completed on Jan. 10 its acquisition of 186 miles (300 km) of 2D seismic data on the WA352P permit offshore northwest Australia."

PR Newswire: SEG Advanced Modeling Corporation Announces Simulation Award.

"The SEG Advanced Modeling (SEAM) Corporation announced ... that the Phase I simulation contract has been awarded to Tierra Geophysical LLC for computation of an acoustic variable- density seismic dataset.... Results will be delivered to participating companies by year-end."


AP: Schlumberger 4Q tumbles; sees rough year ahead.

"Oilfield services giant Schlumberger said Friday [Jan. 23] its fourth-quarter earnings fell nearly 17 percent as the energy industry pulled back on spending, and the company warned of a rough year ahead." ...

"The company said its seismic arm, WesternGeco, took a big hit in the most-recent quarter, with revenue down 25 percent from a year ago.

"Schlumberger, whose principal offices are in Houston, Paris and The Hague, already had signaled how badly crude's collapse was rattling the industry, announcing last week it was eliminating up to 1,000 jobs in North America, or about 5 percent of its work force, and looking at cuts elsewhere."

AP: S&P downgrades Ion Geophysical outlook to negative.

"Saha-Yannopoulos also affirmed the company's junk grade corporate credit rating of ‘BB-’ due to the company's ‘vulnerable business risk profile,’ which is based on the volatile seismic market and the company's small scale compared with competitors. The company also faces tight liquidity and a stringent covenant package associated with its bank facilities. These drawbacks are somewhat offset by low debt leverage and limited capital requirements, Saha-Yannopoulos added."

Houston Chronicle: Natural gas glut could hit U.S..

"As many as seven massive natural gas export terminals are expected to start up overseas this year, expanding worldwide capacity by 20 percent and flooding markets with new supplies of the key power plant and heating fuel. Dozens of new tankers capable of carrying natural gas in a liquefied form are slated to hit the seas." ...

"The wave of imports might even be strong enough to challenge growing domestic natural gas production from various shale formations, including the Barnett Shale near Fort Worth and Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas."

Business Wire: CGGVeritas Provides Update on Recently Awarded Contracts.

"CGGVeritas announced today that it has been awarded two long-term seismic acquisition contracts by BP to undertake multiple high-end marine 3D, wide-azimuth and 4D seismic surveys. CGGVeritas has also received a letter of cancelation from PDVSA relating to the previously announced six month land 3D seismic survey in Venezuela."

Houston Chronicle: Hess will lease entire downtown tower.

"In one of downtown's biggest corporate moves in the last few years, independent energy company Hess Corp. has leased the entire Discovery Tower office building, a property being developed on the eastern edge of the central business district. Construction on the 844,763-square-foot building, which will be 29 stories, should be finished in the summer of 2010. Hess will move in sometime the following year after the interior work is complete."

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."

Press Release: Mandatory Notification Of Trade.

"The total of six primary insiders of Wavefield Inseis ASA ("Wavefield") have accepted to sell shares in Wavefield to Compagnie Generale de Geophysique-Veritas SA ("CGG") under the terms of the mandatory offer document, published on December 30th 2008."

Energy Current: MMS issues proposal for new five-year program.

"The current OCS five-year program proposes 21 lease sales in eight of the 26 OCS planning areas in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and the Atlantic between July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2012."

Houston Chronicle: Noble Energy reports big gas find off Israel's coast.

"Exploratory drilling shows the Tamar prospect off the coast of Haifa appears to hold 3 trillion cubic feet of gas--roughly the same amount as the company's existing gas reserves. In a written statement, Noble Chairman and Chief Executive Charles D. Davidson said additional data could prove the find even bigger."

Walter Kessinger

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