Companies Ink Seismic Research, Development Agreement

BP plc, Rosneft and Schlumberger Ltd. unveiled agreements to collaborate on seismic research and development Friday.

The agreements call for Rosneft to join as an equal partner in BP’s ongoing project with Schlumberger seismic business WesternGeco to develop innovative cableless onshore seismic acquisition technology, BP said in a Sept. 2 press statement.

“The technology aims to revolutionize the design and acquisition of 2D and 3D seismic surveys, which in turn will improve subsurface imaging and the efficiency of exploration, appraisal and field development,” said BP in the press release. “The ability to deliver faster and better quality seismic data acquisition at lower cost compared to conventional seismic surveys will also bring environmental and safety benefits in difficult to access areas and extreme climates.”

Development of a seismic acquisition system is expected to take two years. BP and Rosneft will have preferential access to this technology for an initial period; after that, Schlumberger will have the exclusive rights to market the system.

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and David Campbell, president of BP Russia, signed the agreements at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia. The forum, which is being held Sept. 2-3, is aimed at improving relations between the international investment community, Russian business, and federal and local governments.

“By combining Rosneft’s wide experience of operating and innovation in challenging Russian conditions, BP’s global expertise in advanced imaging and Schlumberger’s technological and marketing experience, the companies anticipate unique opportunities for the creation and rapid deployment of leading-edge seismic technologies,” said Campbell in the press statement.

Through these agreements, BP will have the opportunity to work in Russia, which offers a variety of testing opportunities, Scott Dean, BP spokesperson, told Rigzone in a phone call. The technology will be developed to meet Russian conditions, which means it will be tough enough to deploy in other regions around the world. If development efforts are successful, BP believes the technology created will represent a breakthrough in affordable, high-quality seismic. From 2019 onward, BP will deploy in its operations the technology developed through the agreements.

BP owns 19.75 percent interest in the Russian company, Dean told Rigzone. The two companies have worked together in exploration, production and refining. Earlier this year, the two companies forged a joint venture, Yermak Neftegaz LLC, to explore the onshore West Siberian and Yenisey-Khatanga basins.

Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at kboman@rigzone.com

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