ION: IndiaSPAN Reshapes Thinking on Country's Exploration Potential

ION Geophysical Corporation provided an update on its activities in India, including the role its IndiaSPAN seismic data library is playing in reshaping how oil & gas companies assess the exploration potential of the country. IndiaSPAN is one of the largest basin-scale imaging programs developed by ION's GX Technology (GXT) subsidiary both in terms of library size and revenues. IndiaSPAN is proving to be a high-value tool for E&P companies considering bidding on one of the 57 blocks on offer as part of India's NELP-VII Licensing Round scheduled for April 2008.

Mr. V.K. Sibal, Director General in India's Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), stated, "India has been encouraging the international oil & gas companies to increase their levels of investment and participation in the country since 2000, when we launched the first in a series of bidding rounds under the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP). As a result of NELP, we have attracted more than $8 billion in new E&P investment, doubled the number of foreign operating companies, identified entire new petroleum systems, and expanded our reserve base.

While a number of companies and technologies have contributed to the success of NELP, ION's GXT group and the IndiaSPAN seismic library are especially notable. IndiaSPAN changed our understanding of the deepwater offshore basins off our eastern and western coasts and ignited significant interest in further exploring the hydrocarbon potential of these frontier regions."

Comprised of nearly 18,000 km of long-offset, long record-length data, and acquired using a specially designed seismic source, IndiaSPAN has helped to illuminate the basin and rift architecture of the Indian Margin and provides evidence of frontier hydrocarbon systems in three deepwater areas. BasinSPANs are customized to image over an entire petroleum province, look very deep within the geologic section, and identify the areas of highest prospectivity. By using SPANs, geoscientists are better able to trace the basin-scale history of petroleum systems to determine where source rocks are most prevalent, where sediment fairways are located, and where the most promising migration paths from source to reservoir exist.

Bob Peebler, President and CEO of ION, commented, "India is becoming one of the hottest provinces for exploration. The DGH's recent NELP-VII road show attracted more than 100 representatives of the international oil & gas companies, all of whom are eager to tap a frontier opportunity with significant upside, especially one located in such close proximity to major demand centers. I am pleased that IndiaSPAN is helping the DGH to achieve its investment objectives and attract leading oil & gas companies to the country. It is also encouraging to me that India is showing leadership as a technology pioneer in its own right.

"By taking delivery of fourteen ION land recording systems in 2007, all equipped with advanced VectorSeis sensors, India's national oil company -- ONGC -- has become the largest operator of state-of-the-art, full-wave technology in the world. This will accelerate their ability to tap the domestic resource base both on their own and in partnership with an ever-growing number of international partners."


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