China's only offshore seismic acquisition organization, China Offshore Geophysical Company (COGC), has recently launched a program of upgrading and refitting of its fleet of bluewater and shallow water vessels. The intent is not only providing the preponderance of surveys in Chinese waters, but of capturing a share of the seismic acquisition projects offshore India, in Southeast Asia, and in the Pacific Far East, including Russian and Korean shoots.
With the enormous growth in exploration and development activity centered on Southeast Asia, seismic vessels are at a premium in the region. 2D and 3D seismic surveys are currently underway in several locations offshore India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, China, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and South Korea, and others are scheduled off Russia's Sakhalin Island, Japan, and Taiwan. As a consequence, there is a premium on seismic vessels in the area, and those there are, for the most part, fully booked.
COGC now has a fleet of five bluewater vessels and three shallow water vessels. Its Bin Hai 502 and Bin Hai 511 are multi-streamer vessels capable of high tech surveys. They have each been recently outfitted with SeisNet integrated navigation systems from Polaris International (UK) to calculate positions of the vessels and their streamers and display navigational data and real-time 3D binning. The Bin Hai 512 was previously outfitted.
Most of COGC's vessels were built between 1979 and 1986, but the company's latest vessel, the newbuild Orient Pearl, has just been delivered and undergone ocean trials.
Mr. Cheng Guoqing, vice general manager of COGC, has been touring Western seismic equipment manufacturers over the past six months to see what is available.
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