ION Completes ArgentineSPAN, Starts Phase II of ArcticSPAN

July 10, 2009 at 8:59 pm Leave a comment

ION Geophysical has completed the data processing and interpretation for ArgentineSPAN, a basin-scale seismic program offshore Argentina. ArgentineSPAN contains nearly 11,800 km of new data off the Argentine coast from Uruguay border to the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego. The program provides high-resolution images of prospective targets in all of the basins offshore Argentina and offers a new understanding of the petroleum systems and prospectivity of offshore Argentina, one of the most under-explored petroleum regimes in the world.

The program was sanctioned following an agreement signed at the end of 2007 between ENARSA (Energia Nacional de Argentina SA) and ION’s subsidiary, GX Technology (GXT). Exequiel Espinosa, President of ENARSA, said: “ArgentineSPAN is a key component to increasing investment in the offshore industry in Argentina, and we are pleased that this data will be available to Latin American and international companies who are looking to invest in Argentina over the long term.”

Ken Williamson, Sr. VP of ION’s Integrated Seismic Solutions group, commented: “ArgentineSPAN is providing new insights that are prompting both public and private organizations to rethink the potential of Argentina’s resource base. We continue to develop further exploration opportunities in Latin America by providing a strategic framework for international and domestic oil and gas exploration companies and by working very closely with governments and state controlled agencies within the whole region.”

ION has also initiated the next phase of its ArcticSPAN seismic data program. The US Geological Survey estimates the Arctic region could contain nearly 25% of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas resources. Therefore several of the world’s largest energy companies have agreed to underwrite a new, basin-scale imaging project to study the deep crustal architecture offshore Greenland. Acquisition of this phase of the ArcticSPAN program will be undertaken by the Octio Group, a subsidiary of Norway’s GC Rieber Shipping, utilizing ION’s Intelligent Acquisition (IA) streamer technologies.

Williamson commented: “ION has been actively acquiring seismic data in the Arctic since 2006, when we acquired the initial phase of our ArcticSPAN regional program offshore Alaska and northern Canada. Based on our success with this program, several of our BasinSPAN customers asked us to undertake a deep crustal study in a region offshore Greenland that is largely unexplored and potentially prospective. Given the harsh operating conditions in this area and the short weather window for acquisition, we needed to design a highly customized seismic program that allows operations to proceed in a highly efficient manner and with the utmost environmental sensitivity.”

Bjarte Fageras, CEO of the Octio Group, added: “The GC Rieber Shipping Group has a long history of building and operating special-purpose vessels in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. While a seismic program in this area poses a unique set of challenges, I am confident that we will be able to acquire the data in a highly productive and environmentally aware manner to meet the demanding criteria set forth by ION and its program underwriters. For this project, ION’s IA streamer portfolio was the only suitable technology solution. We purchased DigiSTREAMER due to its unique continuous recording capability and environmentally friendly, low-noise solid cable that enables operations in a wider weather window. We’ll also be deploying DigiFIN, DigiBIRD and the Orca command and control system to actively steer around and beneath any ice we encounter.”

Acquisition for this phase of ArcticSPAN is expected to be conducted during an extended seasonal window with operations beginning in July 2009 and ending by October 2009.

www.iongeo.com

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