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Spectrum stuck with Q2 loss

Oslo-listed seismic player fails to make profit but higher MC investment indicates market is turning

Spectrum narrowed its second-quarter loss in the second quarter on higher revenue but still remained mired in red ink due to a seismic market slump.

The Oslo-listed contractor reported a quarterly net loss of $3 million, down from $11 million a year earlier, as revenue more than doubled to $30.4 million from $13.6 million in the same period of 2016.

Its operating profit was also negative at $619,000, compared with a year-earlier loss of $9.9 million.

However, pre-funding by explorers in multi-client surveys increased significantly to $22.2 million, more than quadruple the year-earlier figure of $5.4 million, in an indication that seismic activity is rebounding.

Most of the outlay was dedicated to a pair of surveys being carried out by Spectrum in Gabon and Argentina - the 10,000 square-kilometre Gryphon 3D shoot in southern Gabon and the 35,000-kilometre 2D multi-client survey in Argentina’s deep water.

It has also recently kicked off the Norsel High 3D survey over an area of 1600 square kilometres off Norway covering four blocks included in the country’s 24th licensing round launched earlier this year, with data to be made available to bidders this month ahead of a 30 November bid deadline.

Spectrum said it “sees a more attractive pipeline of multi-client investment projects through 2017 compared to the pipeline of projects in 2015 and 2016”.