SeaBird Sees 'Moderate' Seismic Market Improvement

Seismic survey firm SeaBird Exploration reported Wednesday that it is currently seeing a "moderate improvement" in global seismic demand but that it expects a general softness in the market will have an impact on its earnings during the first half of 2014.

Revenues during the fourth quarter of 2013 were $37.2 million. Although this represented an increase of seven percent compared to Q4 2012, it was down 28 percent on the previous quarter.

Profit at the EBITDA level during 4Q 2013 fell to $3.9 million from $6.8 million in 4Q 2012 and $13.2 million in 3Q 2013.

SeaBird said that Europe, the Middle East and Africa has seen an increase in demand in recent weeks following the generally slower winter period. With one vessel currently active in the North Sea and three vessels mobilizing to Africa the EMEA region will be key for the company during the first half of 2014, it said.

Meanwhile, the prolonged environmental approval processes for surveys in Australia and New Zealand have delayed vessel deployment and contract startups within this region.
However, the firm said it anticipates continued solid demand in this geography.

SeaBird reported that multi-client late sales were strong in the fourth quarter and that it expects to capitalize further on its existing library in 2014. However, the firm warned that the timing of multi-client sales is difficult to predict and that it continues to see a more challenging environment for obtaining prefunding for new surveys.

The company said it views multi-client investment as a core part of its operation and plans to capitalize on multi-client investment opportunities with attractive risk-reward characteristics.

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