ION Extends BrasilSPAN Seismic Program

ION Geophysical has successfully acquired an additional 28,000 km of regional seismic data covering Brazil's southern Santos, Pelotas, and northeastern Equatorial basins. The recent expansion to the BrasilSPAN program makes this one of the largest 2D seismic datasets in the ION BasinSPAN multi-client data library. The BrasilSPAN program, now containing a total of 42,000 km, provides the oil and gas industry with the first contiguous dataset of Brazil's coastline, yielding a more complete understanding of the regional geology of South America's Atlantic Margin and providing pertinent information related to possible Tupi analogs in the petroleum systems offshore West Africa.

The Pelotas addition to BrasilSPAN was designed to provide an improved understanding of the southern Santos and Pelotas basins, an area that is relatively under explored despite the existence of a thick sediment column. The 11,000 km Pelotas dataset, in combination with ION's CongoSPAN program offshore Angola, should provide geoscientists with a deeper understanding of the continental break-up between Brazil and Africa by highlighting potential conjugate ties in the southern Atlantic.

An additional 17,000 km of data was acquired along Brazil's northeastern Equatorial coast to better define the continental margins of northern Brazil. This expansion to BrasilSPAN will provide the industry's first depth-migrated dataset of the area and is significant because of recent discoveries along the conjugate margins of Ghana and Sierra Leone in West Africa.

Ken Williamson, Senior Vice President of ION's Integrated Seismic Solutions group, commented, "The expansion of our BrasilSPAN dataset can provide the basis for an improved understanding of the hydrocarbon potential offshore Brazil and can also provide clues into the continental break-up along the Brazilian and West African margins. While helping to guide exploration decisions in Brazil, our BrasilSPAN dataset can also be extremely important for E&P operators in Africa as it reveals striking similarities in the structural framework of the petroleum systems on both sides of the Atlantic Margin. For instance, preliminary results have revealed rich source rocks capable of generating hydrocarbons and a variety of potential trapping mechanisms throughout the geologic column in both the Santos Basin of Brazil and the Kwanza and Lower Congo Basins of Angola."

Pre-stack time migration (PreSTM) and pre-stack depth migration (PreSDM) data is currently available for the Pelotas program. PreSDM data for the northeastern Equatorial extension is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2010.