Seismic players eye brighter year ahead
Seismic players are looking forward to a better year in 2018 as demand is expected to pick up after two dismal years for the industry.
The degree of foreseen recovery varies, however, with some segments having more cause for optimism than others, according to seismic industry executives speaking at the Pareto Oil & Offshore conference in Oslo.
“We feel reason to be cautiously optimistic for 2018 compared with 2017,” said Rune Olav Pedersen, newly-appointed chief executive of Petroleum Geo-Services. The Oslo-based player plans further cost cuts “as we cannot rely on the market,” he added.
French rival CGG is even more cautious: “We are still operating in challenging market conditions. We have seen a stop in the downward trend, but have yet to see a clear rebound,” chief executive Jean-Georges Malcor said at the conference.
Companies with fleets of seismic vessels have had the toughest ride during the downturn as utilisation rates drop. The third and fourth quarters of this year are expected to be tough, but there are signs of improvement looking into 2018, said Pedersen.
“As far as we know, there have not been any contract awards since July, to us or anyone,” said PGS’s Pedersen. “But there are encouraging leads that give us confidence that it will be a little better going into 2018 with respect to utilisation.”
As oil companies award fewer proprietary contracts, multi-client projects will account for an increasingly larger share of the overall market, according to Pedersen. PGS derived 52% of its revenues from multi-client in the first half of the year, a figure that will “increase significantly” in the second half, he said.