SMT: Geoscience Industry Sets Sights on Increased E&P Spending

Geoscience professionals anticipate an increase in oil and gas exploration budgets in 2010, according to survey data announced today by SMT, a leader in geoscientific interpretation software. Results of the company's annual Geoscientist View of the Future Survey further indicate that respondents anticipate the price of crude will remain between $50 and $100 per barrel in 2010, but climb beyond $100 by 2014.

Sixty percent of respondents indicated that exploration budgets would likely increase in 2010. This expected increase is substantially
higher than the previous year's survey, in which only 43 percent of respondents anticipated an increase in 2009.

"It's an optimistic assessment," said Indy Chakrabarti, Director of Marketing for SMT. "It indicates a number of things, including an improved economic climate, an upsurge in competitive strength among exploration companies worldwide, and the benefits of advanced seismic technologies. Today's seismic technologies offer unprecedented visibility of subsurface conditions, and we believe that exploration companies are investing in and better utilizing this technology as a means of minimizing risk and driving business results."

The survey also indicates that the majority of respondents expect the price of oil per barrel to be between $50 and $100 in 2010, increasing
to between $100 and $150 by 2014. This outlook aligns with most analyst predictions.

Approximately 50 percent of respondents predicted global peak oil supply to occur either between ten and twenty years from now, or beyond twenty years. The other 50 percent indicated that it had already occurred, or would occur within the next ten years. Chakrabarti commented that this data would serve as a principal "hot topic" for industry debates and forums in 2010.

"The issue of global peak oil has powerful economic and industry implications," he said. "As seismic technology continues to evolve, it will play an increasing role in assessing reservoir conditions and oil supply. Thus, we will continue a lead role in conducting surveys and monitoring market conditions to provide technological assessments as this issue manifests over the next few years."

Commenting further on the survey results, Chakrabarti noted, "SMT routinely conducts research to understand market conditions and to
identify and analyze emerging trends. The results of this year's survey generally align with analyst predictions but hearing directly from the geoscience business community certainly helps us understand better how the market perceives energy trends and where to focus our investment in science to improve capabilities in E&P interpretation."