SeaBird Warns of Continued Weakness in the Seismic Market

Norwegian survey firm SeaBird Exploration warned Friday that it expects the current softness in the market for seismic data acquisition to continue to adversely affect its industry in 2015.

However, SeaBird added that in the longer term it expects that continued interest in frontier exploration and the scheduled exit of a number of 3D vessels currently operating in its markets will benefit the company.

Reporting its results for the fourth quarter of last year, SeaBird said that multi-client activity had been robust during the 4Q 2014 with the completion of two projects and solid sales from recently-completed projects in Asia and Europe. Revenues during 4Q 2014 were $28.1 million, down 27 percent compared to 4Q 2013, while SeaBird made an operating loss at the EBITDA level of $28.5 million (4Q 2013: $3.9 million profit).

SeaBird said that multi-client revenues were $4.6 million – down 11 percent from $5.1 million reported in 4Q 2013 and a decrease of 28 percent from the $6.3 million the firm reported for 3Q 2014.

Vessel utilization during 4Q 2014 was 57 percent – down from 65 percent during the third quarter. Technical downtime for the fleet was six percent, which was double that for the previous quarter. The firm also said that the company decided to lay up its Voyager Explorer in November due to the weakness experienced in demand for 3D seismic surveys.


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