upbeat outlook prevalent among a number of players in the seismic
industry indicates the worst may be over.
perspective that's bolstered by current activity:
companies are forming.
stalwarts not only are thriving but expanding.
big folks appear determined to reinvent themselves in some form
always a new challenge of one kind or another, capable of causing
grief for some and opportunity for others.
instance, at the expanding community of Russian and Chinese boats
and crews, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico, which is garnering
increased attention domestically.
have access to state-of-the-art equipment and technology the same
as domestic contractors. Even so, there are naysayers who turn a
deaf ear, arguing that the equipment used is inferior and the crews
untrained, with the end result being sub-standard data.
according to some of the in-the-know crowd, including Steve Mitchell,
VP of operations at Fairfield.
crews absolutely are knowledgeable and capable," Mitchell said,
"and they do acquire good data."
in the market in a couple of ways:
for spec data companies without crews in the spec data realm.
directly for oil companies on straight heads-up proprietary jobs.
not all bad, according to Piers Gormly, VP marketing, GX Technology.
and Russians compete strongly in the marketplace, owing in large
part to their attractive cost structure," Gormly said. "However,
because the majority of survey cost is tied to moving cable, this
gives our industry a window of opportunity to use their acquisition
said he thinks these groups are more of a force to the proprietary
seen them putting capital into spec surveys for themselves," Mitchell
said, "but that's not to say they won't do it at some time."
their big thing at the moment.
and Chinese may be competition, but in a certain niche market,"
said Steve Ludlow, president at Veritas. "The Chinese are a big
threat in the land market," he said, noting that BGP is the largest
land acquisition company in the world.
as a wholly owned subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp.,
BGP Inc. (formerly the Bureau of Geophysical Prospecting) has 94
seismic crews and 17 non-seismic crews operating in China and internationally.
overall likely will be stiffer in parts of the world other than
the United States, according to Bob Peebler, president at Input/Output.
competing on the basis of logistics activities, where you're competing
more on the cost of crews, the feeding and moving around, it gets
more and more difficult," Peebler said, "especially when you consider
that more and more oil and gas activity is not in North America
and places where you have higher wages, but will be where the oil
of competition will be in Russia, Iraq, Iran, around the world,"
Peebler added. "So if a good part of the value you're delivering
is logistics which is people intensive, it's going to be tough to
a lot of folks are keeping a watchful eye on the Gulf of Mexico.
"If I were
a person doing proprietary work," Mitchell said, "I would stand
up and take note.
for a company that does not do a lot of proprietary work," he said,
"we have stood up and taken note."