The vessel will be rigged as a state of the art long offset 2D vessel using recording equipment and streamers already owned by GGS, and is planned to be ready to collect data in September 2006. Spencer Energy will pay for the vessel, equipment and rigging thereby allowing GGS to release capital that is currently tied up in equipment.
Jeff Chouest will undergo ABS class work and has recently been employed as a seismic source vessel. It has previously been working in different configurations as a recording vessel and as a fully equipped 2D vessel. The vessel is purchased to secure capacity and reduce exposure to the high prices in the present seismic market for the announced GGS projects and future plans in the US Gulf of Mexico. The strong seismic market will also provide the opportunity to strengthen cash flow and increase profits by offering the vessel in the contract market.
GGS is in a pioneering position with respect to collecting valuable Multi Client seismic in US areas that have until now been off-limits for exploration. As a result of the energy situation in the US, there is a growing interest in these areas. An important step towards opening the area West of Florida for exploration was taken 10.May 2006 when the House Approbation Committee in the US Congress voted with in favor of lifting the federal ban on exploration and drilling for gas offshore the Eastern Gulf of Mexico as well as the East and West coast.
Morten Andersen, Chairman of the Board of GGS states: 'I am proud to announce our plans to rig the Jeff Chouest. This is the first step in our previously announced plans to gain access to a pool of vessels. This vessel will provide a cost effective tool for us and is planned to replace the CGG Venturer which will commence its work on our US Open - West Florida campaign shortly.'
Mr. Andersen adds that he expects project profits to increase as a result of dramatic reductions in acquisition costs. `The booming seismic market provides huge opportunities and our vision of a new American exploration market to open up is maturing all the time. The timing of this move seems perfect as President Bush last week, for the first time, in a comment to the vote in the Congress said that he is in favor of opening up for exploration outside a line 100 miles from the coast in previously banned areas', concludes Mr. Andersen.
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