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USA: Dolphin Geophysical Buys OGI

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Dolphin Group ASA  announces that through their subsidiary Dolphin Geophysical Inc.(US) the company have purchased the entire stock of Open Geophysical Inc. (OGI).

OGI develop and sell seismic processing software and has an existing client base including both major oil companies and seismic contractors. The software is purpose built for modern computer architectures and has an industry leading graphical user interface. It thus provides users with an efficient, cost effective and easy to use seismic processing platform. The newly developed software is already being used on the Polar Duchess for real time Quality Control of acquired data with impressive performance and in Dolphin’s new processing centre established in London.

All Dolphin vessels will be upgraded to the OGI software over the coming months. It will be used for on-board fast track, proprietary processing on the Duchess in the near future and to produce a high-end, fast track product on all future multi-client projects.

R. Gareth Williams, Chief Geophysicist of Dolphin said; “We are extremely excited to be investing in OGI and to be using the Open CPS software for both our on board and onshore, marine processing package. This is a major step towards developing our processing and multi-client services and hence capturing the full value chain in those businesses. We carefully reviewed all the available software platforms and this is a rare opportunity to work with a system designed completely in the 21st century. In addition, we see significant opportunities to support and grow the existing software sales business of OGI and are fully committed to supporting their current customers.”

Roland Gunther and Eric Foley, co-founders of OGI stated “Working with Dolphin will provide us with the opportunity and financial strength to increase the pace of development of our software and to benefit from working closely with an experienced team. We look forward to providing increased levels of support and technology to our current and future customers who are working with both land and marine seismic data. We expect OGI to benefit from the increased global exposure for the software via Dolphin’s multi-client and proprietary projects”

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BOEM Seeks Public Opinion on Seismic Survey Activity Offshore Alaska

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The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced yesterday that it was seeking public input on issues that should be tackled by the bureau in preparing an Environmental Assessment for proposed seismic data acquisition activity in Arctic areas of the Alaska Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

ION Geophysical Corporation has applied to conduct an exploratory 2D marine seismic survey during the fall of 2012. The application proposes conducting operations throughout much of the Beaufort Sea Planning Area, with specific transect lines and segments within the Chukchi Sea Planning Area. Data obtained during this survey would be used by geologists and geophysicists to view and interpret large-scale subsurface geologic structural features and evaluate prospects for oil and gas reserves.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), an agency under the United States Department of the Interior that manages the exploration and development of the nation’s offshore resources, has also on its website announced ION’s permit application #12-01 and the associated area coverage map. BOEM has also explained the the procedures required for submission of comments, setting the deadline for April 30, 2012. More information can be found at BOEM’s official website.

Below you can see ION’s recent video: Case Study in Challenging

Environments: The Arctic Environment

Uploaded by IONGeophysical on Sep 14, 2011

Top of the world tactics at ION. See the ION approach in action as Joe Gagliardi, Director Arctic Technology & Solutions, tackles the punishing Arctic environment. By combining the capabilities across the company, ION delivers the answers and the technology that allows operators to acquire data further north than ever before and dramatically extends the short working season.

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Namibia: Spectrum Starts Seismic Survey in Luderitz Basin

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Spectrum, in partnership with the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), has commenced a new project in the Luderitz basin following the successful completion of an extended 2D Multi-Client seismic survey covering the deep water Orange Basin, offshore Namibia.

The Orange Basin program acquisition has been completed with additional lines now extending the program to over 8,000 km of long offset data. The vessel has now commenced a new regional program in the Luderitz Basin consisting of 4,400 km plus a potential infill of 1,200 km.

Seabird Exploration is providing the acquisition services through their Northern Explorer vessel which performed exceptionally well during January and February. Nearly 4,000 km of high quality data was acquired in February and the extended survey was completed ahead of schedule. Further prefunding has enabled Spectrum to add additional lines to the Orange Basin program and to commence the new Luderitz Basin survey.

There is considerable attention in the area at this time. The new survey is located immediately between the recently announced BP farm-in to the Serica 2513 A&B blocks and the potential in the Petrobras/BP/Chariot 2714A block. Very little seismic data is available over these blocks  and Spectrum’s survey will provide both Operators and potential Partners with a good quality regional dataset to evaluate this almost unexplored area.

The Orange Basin survey is now in processing with final deliverables expected to be available in June 2012. The Luderitz basin survey will be available in August.

Over 35,000 km of high-quality 2D multi-client data is now available through Spectrum from offshore Namibia in ten individual surveys. Each survey has been designed to target key plays within the offshore area. The data vintages range from the 1989 regional survey, through to detailed block specific surveys including the 2003 survey acquired around the Ondjou prospect in the northern Walvis Basin. There is also a comprehensive suite of surveys around the Kudu field, as well as covering the Orange and Luderitz Basins.

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Polarcus Receives LoI for 3D Seismic Project Offshore NW Europe

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Polarcus Limited announces that the Company has received a Letter of Intent from an undisclosed client for a 3D seismic acquisition project offshore NW Europe.

The program will commence imminently and is expected to run for approximately 75 days.

About Polarcus

Polarcus is a pure play marine geophysical company with a pioneering environmental agenda, specializing in high-end towed streamer data acquisition from Pole to Pole. Polarcus operates a fleet of high performance 3D seismic vessels incorporating an innovative design and advanced maritime technologies for improved safety and efficiency. Polarcus offers contract seismic surveys and multi-client projects worldwide and employs over 500 professionals. The Company’s principal office is in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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Polarcus Acquires 3D Seismic Data Offshore Ivory Coast

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Rialto Energy Limited reports that a block‐wide, full‐fold 3D seismic survey covering 891km2 has been completed over Block CI‐202 (Rialto 85% and Operator) with Dubai-based contractor Polarcus DMCC.

Processing and interpretation of the newly acquired data will commence shortly and will provide Rialto with a full suite of 3D data over the entirety of Block CI‐202.

This will allow Rialto to further refine existing interpretation and mapping of the exploration potential within Block CI‐202 through better definition and mapping of the multiple prospects and leads already identified. Further, this work will provide an even greater understanding of the 5 existing discoveries and  culminate in better definition of these existing resources.

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Block CI‐202, offshore Côte d’Ivoire comprises an area of 675km2 and contains four significant underappraised oil and gas discoveries; Gazelle, Hippo‐1, Bubale, and Addax, all located in water depths of 50 to 100 metres. These discoveries  are assessed to have mean contingent resources totalling 50 mmbbls of liquids and 396 Bcf of gas. Rialto is moving to develop and commercialise the Gazelle field later this year. In addition to the development opportunities which exist within  CI‐202, the Company has identified an exciting inventory of exploration prospects and leads which will be the subject of future drilling.

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Polarcus Samur En Route to West Africa

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Polarcus Limited, a pure play marine geophysical company with a pioneering environmental agenda, specializing in high-end towed streamer data acquisition from Pole to Pole announces, has signed a Letter of Intent with an undisclosed client for a 3D seismic acquisition project offshore West Africa.

The project, to be acquired by POLARCUS SAMUR, will commence in late January and is expected to run for approximately 40 days.

Delivered Q1 2011 Polarcus Samur is an ultra-modern and Arctic-ready 8 streamer 3D vessel capable of towing both conventional and wide tow spreads, including Polarcus’ First Pass™ 3D technique requiring lateral streamer separations of 200m. Built to the ULSTEIN SX133 design and incorporating the innovative ULSTEIN X-BOW® hull, this vessel combines the latest developments in maritime systems with the most advanced seismic and source technol-ogy commercially available. The vessel is also amongst the most environmentally sound seismic vessels in the market with diesel-electric propulsion, high specification catalytic convertors, a double hull and advanced ballast water treatment / bilge water cleaning systems. The vessel complies with the stringent DNV CLEAN DESIGN notation.

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UAE: TGS to Charter Seismic Vessel Polarcus Amani

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Polarcus Limited, a Dubai-based marine geophysical company, has signed a Letter of Intent with TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA (TGS) for the charter of the 12 – 14 streamer 3D seismic vessel POLARCUS AMANI. The charter, of minimum 5 months duration and subject to the execution of a service contract, will commence in April 2012 immediately after vessel delivery and shakedown.

POLARCUS AMANI is the first of two 12 – 14 streamer 3D seismic vessels ordered in November 2010 from Ulstein Verft AS of Norway. The vessels are being built to the ULSTEIN SX134 design and feature a high ice class (“ICE 1A super”), increased propulsion and other innovative efficiency enhancing features. The two newbuilds are scheduled for delivery end Q1 and end Q2 2012 respectively.

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CGGVeritas’ Results Rise on High Demand for Seismic Equipment

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CGGVeritas, the world’s largest seismic surveyor of oil fields, surged to a two-month high after reporting a profit in the third quarter and strong demand for equipment.

Net income was $41 million compared with a loss of $33 million a year earlier, the company said today in a statement. That beat the $23 million average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales climbed 21 percent to $797 million.

The French seismic company said it is “confident” in achieving its objectives this year.

CGGVeritas rose as much as 11 percent to 18.10 euros, the highest intraday price since Sept. 1, before paring gains to trade up 90 cents at 17.15 euros at 9:48 a.m. in Paris. The shares are down 25 percent since the start of the year.

Rates for surveying vessels are likely to rise in the second half of this year as oil companies plan to spend more on exploration and production, CGGVeritas, which conducts seismic studies and sells equipment to estimate the size of oil and natural-gas deposits, has forecast. President Barack Obama’s administration yesterday announced plans for 15 offshore oil- lease sales from 2012 to 2017 in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska’s coast.

‘Strong’ Demand

CGGVeritas’ “good set of results” combined with the U.S. offshore leasing plan is positive for the company, Bertrand Hodee, an analyst at Kepler Capital Markets, said in a note today. Kepler has a “buy” rating on the stock.

The company’s backlog at the end of the quarter fell to $1.24 billion compared with $1.31 billion the previous quarter.

CGGVeritas reported a group operating margin of 12 percent, compared with 4 percent a year earlier. The measure of profitability grew to 32 percent for its Sercel seismic equipment division from 30 percent a year earlier and was 9 percent for the service business from a negative 4 percent.

“We expect demand for seismic equipment to remain strong, activity to build globally in key basins and marine overcapacity to progressively be absorbed,” Chief Executive Officer Jean- Georges Malcor said in the statement. “Strong underlying oil and gas fundamentals” are expected to drive “high levels” of demand for seismic surveys.

The seismic company seeks to achieve a positive free cash flow this year and has forecast that a performance plan will help raise operating income by $75 million.

The French surveyor, created in 2006 when Massy, France- based Compagnie Generale de Geophysique SA bought Houston-based Veritas DGC Inc., has about 65 percent of the global market for seismic equipment and around a third of the market for services, executives have said.

By Tara Patel (Bloomberg)

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