Aug. 1, 1998
The Geco Sapphire collected a 4,000 sq km 3D survey for PTTEP. Namibia's Third Offshore Petroleum Exploration Licensing Round opens October 1. Over 8,000 km of new seismic data is available. [29,062 bytes]
Victor Schmidt
The Geco Sapphire collected a 4,000 sq km 3D survey for PTTEP.

Namibian data readyfor licensing round

The Ministry of Mines and Energy of Namibia announced the opening of its Third Offshore Petroleum Exploration Licensing Round, scheduled to begin October 1, 1998. All unlicensed areas of the Namibian Offshore will be open for bidding, including deepwater areas. The Namibian government has formulated an amendment to the Petroleum Acts to attract further investment. Changes for the third round include:
  • Reduction of royalty from 12.5% to 5%
  • Reduction of Petroleum Income Tax (PIT) from 42% to 35%
  • Enlargement of the ring-fence on exploration expenditure to include any license in Namibia for PIT purposes
  • Establishment of trust funds to cover decommissioning of facilities on cessation of production. Contributions to trust funds will be tax deductible.
New seismic data is available and includes: 1,000 km in the Luderitz Basin, 1,200 km in the Namibe Basin, 5,000 km off the Walvis and Luderitz Basins, and an additional 1,000 km around the Kudu gas field.

Promotional seminars are scheduled for Houston on September 22, 1998 and in London on September 29, 1998. For further information check the website: or contact Richard Bray, Exploration Consultants Ltd at Tel: +44-1491-415400 or Fax: +44-1491-415415.

CNOOC and CPC prospect jointly

Chinese National Offshore Oil Co (CNOOC) of the Peoples Republic of China and Chinese Petroleum Co (CPC) of Taiwan agreed to jointly prospect a 15,400 sq km block in the Tainan Basin and the Chaoshan Sag. Each company will contribute US$500,000 with a facility from the Overseas Petroleum and Investment Company (OPIC).

The concession block is located in the Pearl River Mouth ranging from longitude 116°30'E-118°30'E to latitude 20°55'N-22°50'N. A total of 1,600 km of 2D marine seismic will be acquired and 3,000 km of previous 2D data will be reprocessed. This is the first cooperative agreement between the two oil majors based on equality and mutual benefit. Data acquisition will be completed by September (see China article in this issue for more information).

Veritas sets towing record

Veritas DGC announced the successful deployment of a 12,000-meter streamer in the White Zone/Faroes area of the Atlantic Margin. The new flagship vessel, SRV Veritas Viking, set the record using a Syntron streamer. "This year's survey has been designed to record converted waves to image sediments below the high velocity basalts common in this area," said Elwyn Jones, Vice President of Business Development for Veritas.

Thailand 3D

Schlumberger Geco-Prakla shot an integrated 3D seismic project for PTTEP in the Gulf of Thailand. The survey covers 4,000 sq km over the Thai portion of Blocks 14, 15, & 16. Control of these blocks is disputed with Vietnam. The survey was gathered by the Geco Sapphire using six 3,000 meter streamers with dual sources. Initial processing was completed onboard the vessel.

New super-brain

Veritas DGC installed a NEC SX-4 supercomputer in its Singapore headquarters. This is the third NEC supercomputer installed by Veritas since 1997. Colin Murdoch, Vice President of Technology, stated, "Together with our existing supercomputer facilities in Houston and London, clients in all of our major markets can now take advantage of Veritas DGC's greatly enhanced processing capabilities."

The new computer includes eight 2-gigaflop processors, 16 gigabytes of memory, 3.2 terabytes of raided HIPPI disk storage and high-density tape subsystems. This makes it the most powerful geophysical processing center in the Asia-Pacific region.

Highlights from 1998 EAGE

This year's conference continued last year's emphasis on cooperation between the EAGE, SEG and AAPG thereby building and extendeding the relationship between the societies. The 60th annual meeting was held in Leipzig, Germany and featured the meeting of East and West which is Leipzig's traditional strength. The city was featured in order to focus on the developing relationships between Europe and Russia. Topics of major interest for offshore E&P included:
  • New data processing software: A new environment - the Internet - was introduced as a way to efficiently extend and use computer power. Sun Microsystems introduced JavaSeis as a tool to link computer resources and distribute seismic processing tasks over the Internet. With JavaSeis tasks can be divided and run in parallel on varying hardware and at multiple locations.
  • Time-lapse seismic: Several case studies were presented on this topic that highlighted the difficulty of repeatability. First, 4D seismic is generally justified and worth the price. Second, the most useful time interval for 4D seismic is one year - the turnaround time for processing, interpretation and evaluation. Significant adjustments and corrections to the datasets are required to produce signal consistency for comparison. Even with streamers or geophones fixed to the seabed, significant differences in statics and signal-to-noise ratios were found. Shifting current patterns, movement of mudline sediments, even temperature changes in the water column complicate the work of reservoir monitoring.
  • Bottom-coupling: Seabed sensors must have a long life and maintain a good connection to the sediments to get high signal-to-noise ratios and to gather shear wave information. Examples from many oil theaters were presented as well as the challenge of this evolving technique.

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