TGS-NOPEC Charters the M/V Polar Search

TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of Polar Holding ASA to charter the M/V Polar Search, a fully equipped 3D seismic acquisition vessel.

Under terms of the agreement, the initial charter period is 18 months with an option to extend for an additional 12 months. Multiwave Geophysical Company of Bergen, Norway will manage the seismic crewing and operations of the vessel.

Following a substantial upgrade, the M/V Polar Search is scheduled to begin operations for TGS-NOPEC in July 2002. Upon deployment, the vessel will be equipped with dual seismic sources, a new and advanced streamer and recording system, and a state of the art navigation and positioning system complete with acoustic network, laser ranging, and GPS. The vessel will be capable of towing six streamers, each of up to 8,000 meters in length.

TGS-NOPEC intends to utilize the M/V Polar Search primarily to expand its existing marketed library of 66,000 square kilometers of non-exclusive 3D seismic in the Gulf of Mexico. According to Kim Abdallah, Vice President of Sales and Program Development for the Americas, "We are currently building a good backlog of attractive 3D projects in the Gulf of Mexico, a market where we have been very successful over the past 20 years. Our customers indicate that they need better 3D data, with longer offsets and denser line spacing, to image their complex targets properly. The upgraded Polar Search will provide a high-tech and very cost-effective solution."