Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

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


24/7 Wall St: Schlumberger Sort of Beats Low Expectations.

"Schlumberger pointed to a ‘precipitous drop’ in natural gas drilling in North America, a slowdown in Russia, and weak foreign currencies as the principle reasons for the lower numbers. The company also noted it does not expect ‘any significant recovery in North American gas drilling before 2010.’ Foreign prospects are not much better because customers ‘are actively seeking and are obtaining price relief to improve the economics of current projects.’"

Lloyd's List: WesternGeco to lay up vessels in bid to cut costs.

"According to Lloyd's Marine Intelligence Unit, WesternGeco operates 16 seismic survey vessels, one cargo vessel and an oil production barge." ...

"WesternGeco has five newbuilding vessels on order to expand its position in deepwater markets, with the first of these due for delivery this quarter. It took delivery of the WG Columbus from a Spanish shipyard late in the first quarter. The vessel has started operations in the US Gulf of Mexico."

BBC: Gray whales granted rare reprieve.

"WWF and Pacific Environment conservation groups praised the Sakhalin Energy consortium for its decision to abandon underwater seismic work scheduled to take place off Sakhalin Island in 2009.... Sakhalin Energy's decision came following the presentation of research revealing how seismic work disrupts the lifecycle of the gray whale."

> This seems like a more cynical take on the news --

Dow Jones: Sakhalin Energy Halts 09 Seismic To Protect Whales.

"Following the sharp decline in the price of oil and gas in the last nine months, energy companies all over the world are conserving cash by cutting back on expenditure on exploration and development, including activities like seismic surveys."

WSJ: Chesapeake Holders Denounce CEO's Pay.

"Chesapeake Energy Corp. and its directors are under fire from shareholders for paying Chairman and Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon $112 million last year even as the company's stock price tumbled."

Petroleumworld: ION Geophysical completed the first phase of its BrasilSPAN seismic data.

"BrasilSPAN is comprised of 12,000 km (7,456 miles) of seismic data that images the entire crustal section in Brazil's Santos, Campos and Espirito Santos hydrocarbon basins."

WSJ: Squeeze That Sponge.

"One company noted for its successful use of 4D is Norway's StatoilHydro ASA. At its Norne field under the North Sea it has carried out repeated seismic surveys to discover changes in subsurface structures and to monitor flow rates of water, gas and oil in real time. Such techniques have helped lift the recovery factor at Norne to 52% from 40% and extend the field's life past 2015."

Offshore Shipping Online: PGS rides GeoStreamer wave into North Sea.

"The GeoStreamer completely removes the receiver ghost. The related seismic data is easier to interpret, contains greater frequency bandwidth and has better signal-to-noise ratio than conventional streamer technology."


Houston Chronicle: Oil and gas drilling in U.S. sinks to a 5-year low.

"The U.S. rig count has been declining from last fall's high of 2,031 rigs and is now less than half that at 1,005, according to the most recent report by Houston-based oil field services company Baker Hughes. Of those, 790 are natural gas rigs.

"Many analysts expect the rig count to fall to about 800 as the industry adjusts to lower demand stemming from the recession and to a glut of natural gas from last year's boom in shale drilling."

AP: Appeals court cancels offshore drilling program.

"A three-judge panel in Washington found that the Bush-era Interior Department failed to consider the effect on the environment and marine life before it began the process in August 2005 to expand an oil and gas leasing program in the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi seas [off the Alaska coast]."


WSJ: Oil Industry Braces for Drop in U.S. Thirst for Gasoline.

"In the vast market for crude oil, American gasoline consumption matters. One of every 10 barrels of crude ends up in U.S. gasoline tanks, more than is used by the entire Chinese economy." ...

"Exxon believes U.S. fuel demand to keep cars, SUVs and pickups moving will shrink 22% between now and 2030. ‘We are probably at or very near a peak in terms of light-duty gasoline demand,’ says Scott Nauman, Exxon's head of energy forecasting."

Press Release: TGS Q1-2009 Update.

"Based on preliminary reporting from operating units, TGS management now expects net revenues for the 1st quarter of 2009 to be approximately USD 71 million, about 33% lower than revenues reported for the first quarter of 2008."

Dow Jones Newswires: Court Dismisses $70M CGG Veritas Claim Against PGS subsidiary Arrow.

Penn Energy: CGGVeritas awarded multi-year seismic data processing contract.

"StatoilHydro has awarded CGGVeritas a multi-year dedicated in-house processing contract to perform seismic data processing and imaging services in its Stavanger office, Norway. The dedicated processing center will enable CGGVeritas experts to deliver processing and imaging technology including 4D time-lapse and advanced subsurface imaging services to StatoilHydro."


WSJ: IEA Cuts 2009 Oil-Demand Forecast.

"The IEA said it expects drilling project investment this year to drop close to 20% compared with 2008 as small and medium-sized companies short on financing cut their budgets. Underlining that development, the agency thinks around 1 million barrels a day in gross oil pumping capacity previously expected to enter service this year and in 2010 has been delayed or canceled, with much of that in non-OPEC nations."


Exxon Mobil, King of the Majors --

AP: Exxon Mobil's chief says no cuts planned.

"‘Our business plans are developed with a very long view in mind,’ [chairman and CEO Rex] Tillerson said after the inauguration of a liquefied natural gas plant in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. ‘So the fact that we're in a temporary economic downturn -- and it will be temporary; it will turn -- really does not affect our business plans at all.’" ...

"‘In terms of our employment levels, no change,’ he said Monday. ‘We're still hiring.’"

> ... and anyone who critized the profits XOM made last year can shut up and sit down.


Offshore Magazine: Seismic vessel WG Columbus deploys in GoM for first assignment.

"WG Columbus is the first seismic vessel built with an ULSTEIN X-BOW..."

Press Release: Kelman Announces 2008 Operating Results.

"In commenting on the results Rene VandenBrand, President and CEO of KELMAN said, ‘We continue to make dramatic improvements in our Data Management business which partially offset declines in seismic processing revenue. Going forward we believe that revenues in our Seismic Processing business will be more susceptible to the slow down resulting from the current global economic downturn.’"

Walter Kessinger

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