Mitcham Announces Strong Start to New Russian Office

Mitcham Industries says that its newest wholly owned subsidiary, Mitcham Seismic Eurasia (MSE), is leasing approximately 10,000 channels of seismic recording equipment to five customers in Russia with an additional 1,200 channels en route to a sixth customer.

The operations of MSE are being conducted from Mitchell's office in Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia, which opened in November after extensive evaluation and due diligence. Since opening the Ufa office, the company reports that it has been filling orders for work this winter season and processing numerous equipment inquiries for upcoming summer seismic programs and surveys planned for next winter.

"As part of our ongoing growth strategy, our goal in Russia was to enter the market when it appeared to be not just robust, but also relatively stable and sustainable," said Billy F. Mitchum, Jr., Mitcham Industries' president and CEO. "We also wanted to establish our presence in a location that would best enable us to serve contractor clients throughout Russia and Central Asia. We believe that our new office in Ufa, a highly industrialized city with a population of more than one million, is in an ideal location to supply both winter operations in the active Western Siberian oil and gas provinces and summer operations in Russia's Volga region and in Central Asian states such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan."

"If market demand continues as expected, we intend to double our lease pool of seismic recording equipment in Russia over the next two to three years with new equipment and will begin to add complementary product lines such as geophone strings and other peripheral equipment as needed," added Mitcham.

"Not only is the demand for seismic equipment in these markets growing, but operationally we find that the dynamics of the Russian and Central Asian markets are truly compelling," said Guy V. Rogers, Mitcham Industries' vice president for business development. "Winter contracts in this region typically begin in December and run through April (if not mid-May), providing five solid months of expected lease activity. Other typical winter season contracts don't begin to offer this kind of performance."