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The Offshore Seismic market revival

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The Crude Oil Price evolution in 2018, have created a new economical situation, which is described in our Publication  named “The Crude Oil price evolution and its consequences on the upstream market” and have initiated a even more highly competitive situation for all the services providers on the upstream market.

The overall OSV market, including the seismic vessels market was directly impacted by a significant spend reduction (spend cut by -60%), to the benefit of development of alternative energies projects.

During the last decade the OSV market was characterised by a cyclical overcapacity situation due to the large cut of exploration projects and resulted in the reduction of the chartering rates by 80%, the cold layup of more than 2000 vessels world-wide and the obligation for the companies to re-finance their business model.The Seismic vessels market was as well characterised by a large variation of vessels capability and a disparity in the quality of the services proposed. Pushing the main players to reconsider their business model and pushing them to re-think their commercial offer.

The acquisition cost of the seismic data is now the concern for the oil companies and the market. The operational cost reduction of the data acquisition was the key element here, for the seismic vessels companies in order to get thru this cycle.

The key players came up with the development of new technologies and the sales of a premium 4D seismic data offer.

The data acquisition cost reduction as requested by the market was then obtained by the development of processing and reprocessing tools for the existing 2D and 3D databases market, now allowing the seismic companies to propose higher quality multi-clients databases to the market. This solution is allowing a higher revenu and have financed the development of new solutions for the management and processing of seismic databases and the shouting of multi-clients data.

Reducing the vessel data acquisition cost was also possible by improving the vessels acquisition capability, handling and transmission of data to the client. Some of the major players have developed new vessel designs, in order to double the acquisition capability and significantly reduce the data acquisition cost.

The manufacturing of new streamers design, the installation of on board electronic equipment for the vessels positioning and better data handling and cloud management solutions will allow all the seismic companies to adjust their offer.

In reality the Seismic market have transformed its business from an acquisition data business model on clients project basis to a global business model which consist in developing seismic databases and selling those data to the market on a project basis and with a higher quality standard, due to the efforts made in the development of new processing tools, including Machine learning and AI.

We are now witnessing a new positive price evolution in the offshore seismic 4D data market, since 2018.