Merger points the way for larger geophysical projects

Paul Boughton

Paal Martens reports on the implications for seabed logging operations for the oil and gas industry following a recent merger between a geophysical contractor and a seismic resource company.

In May 2005, an agreement was reached between the geophysical contractor Multiwave Geophysical ASA and Exploration Resources ASA (EXRE), to merge the two companies. The merger combines Exploration Resources’ towed seismic and multi-client activity with Multiwav’s 4C, 4D and seabed logging operations.

The new company will be a Bergen-based provider of a full range of marine seismic services to the global oil and gas industry, with a focus on towed seismic, multi-client seismic services and ocean bottom seismic, as well as other geophysical sub-sea operations.

Shell, for example, approached Multiwave when it required a permanently installed four-component sensor array to acquire time-lapse seismic data over its deepwater Mars field in the Gulf of Mexico.

For this project, Multiwave designed and buried a 6km sensor cable into the seafloor, between the TLP and five of its production risers, in 1000m of water – an industry first.
Another industry first took place earlier this year, this time for BP, offshore Indonesia. Here, in the Tanguh area, the currents are so strong that Multiwave had to trench the four-component cable into the seafloor as it was laid, to ensure it wasn't disturbed during data acquisition.

EXRE has recently purchased the C-Orion from Edison Chouest and are in the process of upgrading the Polar Venturer vessel.

With the addition of the C-Orion, and the upgrade of the Polar Venturer vessel from 2D to 3D capability, the new company will have three 3D vessels (Polar Search, Polar Venturer and C-Orion) and two 2D vessels (Polar Princess and Polar Duke).

The new company’s goal is to increase growth in this market segment and to become a major seismic operator in the marine towed streamer seismic sector. The new company also aims to develop its seabed capability to become one of the world's largest seabed operators.

The 4C crew and the two SBL crews currently operated by Multiwave Geophysical will provide a solid building block for further growth in these segments, driven by the knowledge and expertise gained by Multiwave during years of project implementation worldwide.

Larger-scale projects

Paal Martens, Multiwave CEO commented: “Multiwave and EXRE complement each other perfectly and together will form a strong and highly experienced geophysical company. The merger means that we can undertake larger-scale projects, tackle even bigger challenges and, with our reputation as a leader in complex project operations, this represents good news for our clients.”

CEO of Exploration Resources, Bjarte Fagerås added: “We are very satisfied to reach an agreement on the merger of the two companies and Multiwave will now become EXRE’s vehicle for ocean bottom and seabed logging operations. EXRE intends to further develop Multiwave’s leading market position within 4C, 4D and SBL.”

Paal Martens is CEO with Multiwave Geophysical Company ASA is based in Laksevåg, Bergen, Norway. www.multiwave.no

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