I/O Inks JV with Reservoir Innovation for Full-Wave Monitoring Solution

Input/Output, Hydro Technology Ventures (HTV), and privately held Reservoir Innovation AS, say the formation of a joint venture (JV) company for the purpose of developing, pilot testing, and commercializing a full-wave seismic system for permanent monitoring of offshore reservoirs. Permanent ocean-bottom systems enable geoscientists to take time-lapse (4D) measurements of seismic responses from which they infer both pressure and saturation changes, as well as fluid movements, within hydrocarbon reservoirs.

According to Arne Froiland, Managing Director of Hydro Technology Ventures, "Oil and gas will continue to be society's primary sources of energy for many years to come. At Hydro, we are committed to recovering these valuable resources in the most efficient and responsible way possible. Our constant focus on innovation means that we're now able to recover oil and gas that were considered out of reach only a few years ago. Developing advanced technology has always been the key to our company's commercial success. For many years, Hydro has been a pioneer in applying cutting-edge technology on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and elsewhere around the globe. We see participation in this JV as a natural extension of our strategy to maximize resource recoveries, environmental sustainability, and investment returns on behalf of our stakeholders."

I/O, HTV, and Reservoir Innovation hold equal shares in the JV company. I/O will license technology to the JV, contribute key personnel who will be involved in developing the system, and capture pre-set margins for software and hardware sold to the venture; this includes VectorSeis® full-wave seismic sensors. HTV will provide the required capital for the development program and identify an asset within their E&P portfolio upon which to field trial the initial system.

Bob Peebler, President and CEO of I/O, commented, "We have been assessing the marine permanent reservoir monitoring opportunity for several years. However, we needed an oil & gas company to step ahead of the pack and work with us to develop and field test the system. Close technical and commercial collaboration with E&P operators has served us well in launching other breakthrough seismic solutions, like FireFly®. We are delighted to be working with Hydro to bring this technology to the market in a timely, targeted way."

Bjarte Fageraas, Chairman of Reservoir Innovation (RI), added, "We are confident that the combination of technologies and personnel from I/O and RI will speed our time-to-market and enable us to deliver a marine-focused, permanent reservoir monitoring solution that is better on every dimension than any alternative that is presently available or contemplated. It is a testament to Hydro's broader strategy and commitment to resource development and sustainability that they stepped forward once again in an attempt to lead the E&P industry down this exciting new path."

It is expected that a pilot system will be in place before the end of 2008 on a producing Hydro asset and that, shortly thereafter, the system would be made available to all E&P operators on a worldwide basis. The business plan for the JV envisions that the entity will become a broad-based provider of permanent monitoring solutions for offshore reservoirs, with a scope of products and services that include: technology consulting; system design, installation and maintenance (covering both hardware and software); system operations (including source vessel management); seismic data processing; and project management throughout the life cycle of the installation.

Hydro Technology Ventures (HTV) is the corporate venture capital arm of Hydro Oil & Energy, a subsidiary of Norsk Hydro ASA, a Fortune 500 energy and mining company that operates in nearly 40 countries worldwide. HTV was established in 2001 and has NOK 750 million under management through two dedicated funds that invest in early- and growth-phase technology companies within the energy sector.

I/O is a leading, technology-focused seismic solutions provider. The company provides cutting-edge seismic acquisition equipment, software, planning and seismic processing services and data libraries to the global oil & gas industry. I/O's technologies are applied in both land and marine environments, in traditional 2D and 3D surveys, and in rapidly growing areas like time-lapse (4D) reservoir monitoring and full-wave imaging. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, I/O has regional offices in Canada, Latin America, Europe, China, Russia, Africa and the Middle East.

Reservoir Innovation is a privately held company based in Bergen, Norway. Reservoir Innovation focuses on identifying, developing, and commercializing breakthrough technologies for the exploration, development, and production of offshore hydrocarbon reservoirs. Reservoir Innovation acts as both a principal and an intermediary, and will bring together relevant, best-in-class technical and commercial partners on a project- or company-dedicated basis.


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