Veritas DGC Inc. Launches Flagship Vessel

Veritas DGC Inc. recently announced the launch of its new flagship seismic acquisition vessel, the SRV Veritas Viking, in Bergen, Norway. Following a christening ceremony on May 30th, the vessel is currently undergoing sea trials prior to beginning data production in the North Sea.

As the newest multi-element vessel in the Veritas fleet, the Viking is designed to be able to deploy in excess of twelve streamers, although initially the vessel will be configured with dual sources and eight, 24-bit RDA streamers. The Viking also addresses the latest geophysical requirements for extra-long recording offsets by being able to handle and tow several 12,000-meter streamers. The vessel is equipped with the latest SYNTRAK data acquisition systems, SPECTRA integrated navigation, advanced onboard data processing systems, and full quality assurance capabilities.

The Viking was built by Mjellem & Karlssen in Bergen, Norway and is owned by Eidesvik A/S. The vessel was christened by Val Robson, wife of Veritas DGC Chairman and CEO Dave Robson.

Veritas DGC Inc. (NYSE:VTS), headquartered in Houston, is a provider of land, transition zone and marine-based seismic data acquisition, seismic data processing, and multi-client data sales to the petroleum industry. Veritas DGC operates seven divisions in selected markets worldwide and, based on revenue, is the fifth largest geophysical services provider.

Scott Pickford Boosts Processing Power

Scott Pickford has upgraded its computer hardware by installing a multi-CPU Silicon Graphics Origin 2000 along with 1 Tbyte of RAID disk in its Orpington data processing centre.

Scott Pickford's current 3D projects include the processing of a 1100 sq. km. 3D (and not an 11 sq. km 3D survey) in Algeria's Ghadames Basin, which is one of the largest surveys undertaken onshore North Africa.

Since this announcement, the original 1100 sq. km.3D survey has been increased to 2000 sq. km. which will make it the largest ever processing of a land 3D, done anywhere. Scott Pickford is now the preferred processor in the Ghadames Basin and the processor of choice for most large projects in Algeria. Scott Pickford was selected because of its proprietary software tailored specially for the area and for their ability to provide an on time, on budget product.

Opportunities in Nigeria

Spectrum recently announced significant updates to the company's "Register of Indigenous Nigerian Oil Companies". The updated edition gives details of all the recent developments of the Indigenous Companies including new seismic surveys, recent wells and additional discoveries since the "Nigerian Register" was originally launched in 1996.

There are 46 Nigerian Indigenous Oil Companies involved in 55 permits onshore and offshore Nigeria. A number of these companies have already entered into partnership agreements with overseas based companies, but many more are still seeking technical and financial partners in order to fulfill their exploration commitments. The first license to an Indigenous company was awarded in the mid eighties. However, it was only in the early nineties that the Nigerian Government's privatization initiative for the oil industry gathered momentum. In 1991 and 1992 a number of discretionary awards of acreage from various sedimentary basins in Nigeria were made to Nigerian Indigenous companies. Many of these companies had little or no previous experience of hydrocarbon exploration.

The Register gives details of all 46 Indigenous companies grouped by the geological provinces in which they operate, and includes brief details of the Terms and Conditions of the licenses. These licenses are different from both the traditional Participation Joint Venture Contracts between NNPC and the six significant multinational players who have operated these licenses since the early sixties and also from the subsequent Deep Water Production Sharing Contracts.

Eight of the Indigenous Companies have reported discoveries in various parts of the delta, either in partnerships with foreign companies or independently. Three of the discoveries are already producing hydrocarbons with a further two planned to enter production later this year. In order to increase their involvement in the Delta, some of the indigenous companies are actively discussing participation in the Marginal Fields programme announced by the Government in 1996.

Former Calgary Man Charged with Fraud for Using Illegally Obtained Engineering Stamp

There is a Canada-wide warrant for the arrest of John Henry O'Connor on three counts of uttering a forged document. The action against him was taken by the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (APPEGA), which is responsible for regulating the engineering and geoscience professions in Alberta.

Mr. O'Connor is charged for misrepresentation and fraudulent use of an illegally obtained stamp under Section 368(1)(b) of the Crimina l Code. During his employment with an Alberta engineering firm, Mr. O'Connor was not registered with APPEGA, provided false academic credentials, and illegally signed documents with a professional engineer's stamp.

Arbitration Decision in Favor of Amoco

An arbitration panel recently found that Landmark Graphics Corporation, a division of Halliburton, has no rights under Amoco Corporation's 1996 Coherency Cube patent for analyzing seismic data using coherency techniques. The patented technology's ability to highlight underground geologic discontinuities has proven very effective in oil and gas exploration.

In July 1997, Amoco sued Landmark in U.S, District Court for infringement of the Coherency Cube patent, U.S. Pat. No. 5,563,949. Under court-approved arbitration, a three-member panel of legal experts was asked to determine if, based on a two page 1991 contract-programming agreement, Landmark has any rights under the Coherency Cube patent. The technology covered by the 1991 agreement differs significantly from the technology disclosed in the 1996 coherency patent.

Amoco said the arbitrators' decision confirms its position that under the 1991 agreement Landmark and its customers do not have any rights under Amoco's Coherency Cube Patent.

SEG Expands Continuing Education Courses

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists' Continuing Education (CE) Committee approved plans for an expanded course curriculum, development of interactive Internet courses and increased enrollment goals in 1998.

Plans include expanding course offerings to 35, from the present 28. Hew courses will include Time-Lapse Seismics and Converted Wave Interpretation. In addition, selected other course subjects will be expanded into basic and advanced two-level courses. In 1997, SEG's CE department introduced its new Distinguished Instructor Short Course (DISC). The first DISC, a one-day course on time-lapse seismic (4-D) reservoir management, will be presented on four continents.

Electronic interactive education of selected courses is also being planned. SEG is already contributing funding to AGI/CSM's existing cross-disciplinary education program. No target date has been set for the completion of the new SEG Internet curriculum.

SERCEL's Radio System

The SERCEL system is presently the only 24-bit Radio seismic acquisition system that can be mixed with cable telemetry to be used in production. After the 3 radio systems sold and already in operation in the USA, the National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad of India (NGRI) have purchased their first SU6-R Radio System.

State-of-the-art technology, the new generation of 6-channel RF Station Unit Remote (SU6-R) combines the real-time RF telemetry with SERCEL standard product reliability. Requiring only cable connections to the receiver groups, deployment, testing and troubleshooting are minimized, giving an operational advantage in though terrain leading for more productivity.

An International Conference on Managing the Effects of Oil and Gas Activity in Frontier Regions

Come and learn real-world oil and gas lessons from many of the world's foremost frontier experts. Workshop and Plenary topics include: economic benefits planning; employment and training opportunities; offshore oil and gas law; oceans policy; environmental and social effects; corporate ethics; and business opportunities. Conference is held in St. John's, Newfoundland October 25-28, 1998.

Norwegian Facies Knowledgebase Phase 2

Scott Pickford is pleased to announce the commencement of Norwegian Facies KnowledgeBase Phase 2 (NFK Phase 2). NFK Phase 2 follows the successful completion of both NFK Phase 1 and NFK Phase 1 Extension by extending the studies coverage over 60 - 64oN on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

NFK is a multi-client non-exclusive project, which will address all released wells (and non-released by special arrangement) on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Depositional facies interpretation of the drilled section from TD to Top Miocene is delivered to clients in a digital format compatible with the workstation applications on their desktop. Supporting data and an Audit Trail of the facies analysis is also available digitally. Clients are able to integrate geology and geophysics as the deliverables are referenced to both depth and TWT, reconciling seismic trace character directly with depositional facies.

NFK Phase 2, focusing on the North Viking Graben to More Basin area, includes 230 released wells and is scheduled for completion by year end. NFK helps identify new acreage opportunities, model new play concepts and review stratigraphic trap possibilities generating new prospects. Client's own workstation based focused studies refine NFK, providing proprietary value added unique conclusions leading to greater development of exploration opportunities.

NFK Phase 1 Project data, already purchased by nine subscribing companies, is now actively being utilized to yield excellent technical and productivity benefits throughout the exploration cycle.

SERCEL Reinforces its Organization Towards its Vibrators Manufacturing Activity

SERCEL has appointed Michel CHARTON as Regional Manager in charge of the coordination of the MERTZ Vibrator Product Line, based in Ponca City (OK). Michel CHARTON joins Marvin BAYS already in charge of the Development of New Products and will in the coming months organize the services offered by a team of about 10 engineers and technicians to SERCEL's Vibrator users.

SERCEL's Vibrator Electronics

To date, the association of the SERCEL VE432 vibrator controller and the SN388 system control software is the only industrial solution enabling the acquisition mode known as "SlipSweep" (simultaneous vibrations) recently invented and initially promoted by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). This technique, which virtually allows continuous listening, achieves gains in productivity exceeding 50% compared to more conventional techniques. The slip-sweep technique requires powerful calculation, storage and pre-processing capabilities which only SERCEL hardware and software can efficiently support today.

SERCEL Deploys its Customer Support Services

Following the acquisition of the MERTZ Vibrator Product Line, SERCEL has completely re-organized its Vibrators Manufacturing activity which now takes place in two different sites: Ponca City in Oklahoma and St. Gaudens in South of France.

+15807630000 in Ponca City for Western Hemisphere, +33561 899091 in St. Gaudens for Eastern Hemisphere,
are the telephone numbers SERCEL customers can already use for assistance, orders of spare parts or any request about SERCEL Vibrators.

Following the increase of production, and the necessity for more coordination, offices in Ponca City, within the MERTZ factory, have been recently renovated to accommodate between 9 to 12 SERCEL representatives. Everything is now ready to improve the quality of the services provided by SERCEL towards its Vibrators.

SERCEL's Ultra-Light Systems

SU1-UL and SU1-ULS (Submersible) single-channel units prove their superiority whenever difficult terrain such as jungle or shallow waters requires the implementation of easily deployable and transportable units. Field Units of SERCEL allow for quicker coverage of ever larger 20 or 3D reducing cost by kilometre.

Oil-Link Launches Petroleum Software Showcase

Oil-Link LLC recently announced the launch of the Petroleum Software Showcase on its premiere oil & gas industry website, Oil -Link (

The Showcase allows software vendors to list their applications by name and to include brief functional descriptions. The listings are hyperlinked directly to the relevant product pages on vendor websites.

Oil-Link users are able to navigate the Showcase by Application, Category or Company. Currently, there are twelve categories of software including Accounting, Engineering, Environmental, Finance, Geology, Geophysics, GIS/GPS, Land, Marketing / Transportation, Production and Processing.

Seismic Micro-Technology, Inc. Adds Network Operability and Post Stack Trace Processing to the Kingdom Suite

Version 5.1 network edition enables network access to all applications of The KINGDOM Suite -enabling users to "check-out" individual applications as necessary for specific project needs.

Version 5.1 also incorporates a post stack trace processing application, TracePAK, into the Suite. TracePAK adds a variety of filters and operations which can be applied to a single trace, 2D line or a 3D survey, on a trace-by-trace basis.

Seismic Micro-Technology continues to enhance the existing suite with new features. SynPAK enhancements include an interactive Stretch/Squeeze function and an easier method to merge logs. 2d/3dPAK enhancements include the ability to create AVI movies and new horizontal well features.



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