Archive for October 27, 2009

ffA, OpenSpirit Add Interoperability to 3D Seismic Solutions

ffA and OpenSpirit Corp. have entered into a Business Partner Agreement to provide multi-vendor connectivity to users of ffA’s 3D seismic analysis products using the OpenSpirit Software Development Kit. ffA’s SVI Pro and SEA 3D Pro seismic analysis applications will be able to reach out to any OpenSpirit-enabled data store to access data and share interaction events with other geotechnical software.

            ffA software rapidly extracts 3D representations of subsurface geology directly from 3D seismic data sets. Applied within the interpretation workflow, ffA software significantly improves interpretation productivity and provides unprecedented levels of clarity and detail to seismic interpreters, delivering more complete and accurate interpretations, an improved understanding of uncertainty and risk, and better well placement in both exploration and production scenarios.

            “By providing direct access to data stores through an OpenSpirit-enabled data connector, data import and export to ffA applications will be simplified by eliminating manual SEGY file read/write steps,” said Steve Purves, ffA’s Technical Director. “By providing an OpenSpirit data connector, users will be able to maximize the productivity gain our software gives them by working seamlessly with their data management infrastructure. Getting data in and getting results back out will come down to a few familiar mouse clicks for OpenSpirit-enabled users.”

            “We appreciate that the ffA team sees the value of incorporating the OpenSpirit data interoperability framework as part of their solution foundation,” said Dan Piette, President and CEO of OpenSpirit. “ffA delivers a world-class 3D seismic analysis solution, and this enhanced level of integration will give geoscientists the flexibility to create more robust and value-added workflows using data from across their petro-technical environment.”

October 27, 2009 at 1:33 am Leave a comment

ION, BGP Team Up to Provide Global Seismic Products

ION and BGP have signed an agreement to create a joint venture that will provide land seismic products worldwide. The joint venture will align ION’s innovative land equipment business with BGP’s expertise and experience in land seismic operations to create a new enterprise with the resources, technology and experience required to provide state-of-the-art products and services on a global basis.

            ION will significantly enhance its financial position through total cash proceeds of $175 million from BGP. BGP will receive a 51% interest in the joint venture and a 16.66% interest in ION. Prior to the joint venture closing, ION will also receive up to $40 million of bridge financing arranged by BGP. At the transaction’s closing, ION will refinance and reduce its long-term debt and receive an expanded replacement revolving line of credit. Overall, after closing ION expects to have over $100 million in liquidity from cash and spare capacity on its revolving line of credit.

            ION CEO Bob Peebler commented: “Our Board of Directors and senior leadership team are delighted to be forging this transformative partnership with BGP. ION and BGP have been doing business together for more than two decades, with each company contributing to the other’s growth and success. This transaction will create not only a new global leader in land seismic equipment capable of seizing high-value opportunities in the fastest-growing geophysical markets, but also a financially stronger ION through a significant de-leveraging of the company.”

            Wang Tiejun, President of BGP, added: “As an ION customer for many years, BGP has always been impressed with ION’s vision and products, which have proven to be capable of improving the operational efficiency and the safety and environmental effectiveness of land seismic acquisition. By joining forces through our planned joint venture, we believe we can combine BGP’s operational knowledge and experience and emerging land seismic product portfolio with ION’s innovative products and culture to become the leading land seismic technology company of the 21st century. It is the intention of both ION and BGP that our joint venture will provide products and field support services to all land seismic contractors around the world, not just to BGP. The sale of products and the provision of field-support services to both in-house BGP crews and third-party land seismic contractors is a proven industry model that will benefit the broader land contractor community and the hundreds of seismic crews that operate around the world.”

            The transaction is subject to the completion of regulatory reviews and receipt of applicable approvals in the US and the People’s Republic of China, which are expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2010. Prior to closing, ION and BGP will file a joint voluntary notice of the transaction for review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a government inter-agency committee chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury.

            The terms of the agreement have been unanimously approved by BGP and by ION’s Board of Directors and is not subject to approval by ION’s shareholders. ION’s current bank group has amended ION’s credit facility to the extent necessary to allow the transactions to proceed.

            The joint venture will provide ION with preferred access to the world’s largest land seismic contractor, currently operating 110 seismic crews around the world. In addition to improved economies of scope and scale and enhanced supply-chain efficiencies, the joint venture will enable joint engineering teams to develop innovative, market-leading land recording systems, 3C (full-wave) sensors and vibroseis products.


Key Aspects of the Joint Venture

  • ION will contribute its Land Imaging Systems assets and intellectual property to the joint venture, including its ARAM, Aries®, Scorpion®, and FireFly® product lines as well as its VectorSeis® land sensor and vibroseis businesses, but excluding ION’s Sensor geophone business. All other ION businesses – including ION’s Marine Imaging Systems, Concept Systems, Data Management Solutions, GXT Imaging Solutions, Integrated Seismic Solutions (ISS) and BasinSPANTM seismic data libraries – will be retained by ION and will not become part of the land joint venture.
  • BGP will contribute land seismic equipment assets and intellectual property to the joint venture, including an innovative land recording system currently under development, its vibroseis business, and various complementary land seismic equipment businesses. BGP’s geophone business, including associated BGP geophone joint ventures with other parties, will be excluded.
  • The joint venture will be governed by a board of directors consisting of representatives from both owners. The joint venture’s board will appoint management, approve strategic and operating plans, and govern the direction and performance of the company.
  • After taking into account the value of tangible and intangible assets contributed to the joint venture by both parties, BGP’s cash investment to be paid to ION with respect to the joint venture will be $108.5 million.

October 27, 2009 at 1:31 am Leave a comment

PGS Steps Up Plans to Roll Out GeoStreamer Technology

PGS plans to accelerate the roll out of its flagship GeoStreamer technology earlier than originally planned. The successful results of the new streamer have resulted in a decision to convert half of the 3D fleet to GeoStreamer by the end of 2010.

            This step is prompted by the positive response of customers to the significant increase in data quality provided by the new technology. Improved data quality, broader bandwidth, reduced noise, wider weather window and greater operational efficiency around the world, in more than 20 different countries so far, cement the business case for this new product.

            During 2010, three Ramform vessels will be operational with GeoStreamer, bringing the 3D GeoStreamer fleet to four vessels and adding to the current four 2D vessels. Another 3D vessel will be upgraded in 2011. The first Ramform is due for upgrade in November this year. By the end of next year, nearly half of all PGS’ 3D capacity will be GeoStreamer.

            “The GeoStreamer will change the game in our industry,” said Jon Erik Reinhardsen, President and CEO of PGS. “In the future all towed seismic acquisition will use dual sensors. Oil is getting harder to find. For our clients it means more and better information from the reservoir.”

            So far, 80,000 km of 2D GeoStreamer data and 8,500 sq km of 3D data have been recorded in many different basins and geological settings around the world. All results have shown distinct uplift in data quality. Operational reliability has also been improved significantly.

            The GeoStreamer contains two sets of sensors; in addition to conventional hydrophones, it also contains velocity sensors. By combining the two sensors, the sea surface reflection can be removed, thus allowing the streamers to be towed at any depth without compromising the low or the high frequencies in the reflected signals.

            The GeoStreamers are towed significantly deeper than conventional streamers, yielding data with higher quality and less noise, as the effects of the sea surface waves become negligible. The deeper towing also means that the weather window can be extended. Furthermore, since the sea-surface reflection is removed, the broader bandwidth yields data with much higher resolution, enabling geoscientists to see considerably deeper into the earth than normal.

October 27, 2009 at 1:27 am Leave a comment

TerraSpark Geosciences Debuts New Well Path Solution

TerraSpark Geosciences announced the launch of Insight Earth® Well Path™, an innovative new tool that will help oil and gas exploration companies improve exploration efficiency, reduce strategic risks associated with directional well path drilling, and further reduce planning cycle times for exploration and development.

            “Insight Earth Well Path was designed with the industry’s most robust visualization and interpretation capabilities to make it an ideal strategic and development platform for virtually all directional well path planning and geosteering applications,” said Geoffrey Dorn, PhD, President of TerraSpark. “It allows an integrated, planning-oriented point of access for diverse exploration teams including geoscientists, reservoir engineers and drilling engineers, and enables each of them to intuitively understand the impact of well path conditions as they relate to a particular project.”

            Insight Earth Well Path is an applied solution that leverages Insight Earth’s advanced interpretation and visualization capabilities to provide optimized directional well path planning in an environment that fully and intuitively integrates all relevant factors that can affect the well path plan. Insight Earth Well Path draws from Insight Earth’s ability to interpret both structure and stratigraphy, allowing comprehensive 3D interpretation of well path drilling environments, as opposed to conventional “one slice” views. This improvement in interpretation allows superior visibility and understanding of well path factors, thus enabling superior business decision making.

            TerraSpark’s Insight Earth is the company’s flagship 3D interpretation platform that provides revolutionary interpretation technologies to companies engaged in hydrocarbon exploration and development. Insight Earth is the core element of TerraSpark’s True Volume platform, through which TerraSpark enables users to achieve “true volume interpretation” of seismic data (all-at-once interpretation of complete 3D surfaces) at every stage of the interpretation workflow.

October 27, 2009 at 12:22 am Leave a comment

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