French geophysical player CGG and Russian shipping giant Sovcomflot are joining forces to form a new joint venture for seismic survey work in Russia’s Arctic waters.
The new venture, named Arctic Geophysical Exploration (AGE), will be 51% owned by Sovcomflot and 49% by CGG and is due to be operational with four vessels by the fourth quarter.
The pair intend to carry out high-end 3D marine seismic acquisition in the vast and largely untrammelled Arctic and sub-Arctic play under the newly minted collaboration deal.
CGG will charter a 14-streamer ice-classed vessel while Sovcomflot will provide an eight-streamer ice-classed unit under the pact.
AGE will offer seismic services to operators targeting the Russian Arctic region, with the vessels also to be deployed in the wider international market outside of the Arctic seismic shooting season.
“By combining Sovcomflot’s in-depth knowledge and experience of operating in the Arctic with CGG’s global expertise in marine seismic operations, we have created a powerful new Russian marine seismic company able to meet the most demanding technical and operational challenges of the Arctic region, while also being able to offer a competitive range of seismic services internationally,” said Sovcomflot chief executive Sergey Frank.
The Russian Arctic is being targeted for exploration by Statoil, ExxonMobil and Eni under agreements with state-owned Rosneft, increasing demand for seismic services to map the region’s untapped hydrocarbon potential.