Strategic Talk from Rune Olav Pedersen

As most seismic suppliers are limiting their range, PGS stands out with a broad, integrated offering from seismic vessel owner to MultiClient provider and Imaging expert. Why does President and CEO Rune Olav Pedersen feel that integrated seismic services offer better solutions for oil and gas companies?

PGS President and CEO Rune Olav Pedersen

It has a lot to do with our client base and where we are in the seismic cycle. Our MultiClient business is among the best in the industry. PGS survived this downturn because of its strong MultiClient business, of which our advanced acquisition technology and the reliability of our vessel operations are key strengths. However, for the past 3-5 years, the finances for vessel owners have been horrible. One went bankrupt, two others restructured their balance sheets up to several times and another sold their fleet.

Now, there are signs that the seismic market is normalizing and that we are entering a period where there will be a better balance between vessel supply and demand. In an improving market, the security of owning the means of production will further benefit our MultiClient business.

Benefits of Integration

  • Reliable delivery quality with consistent acquisition technology and crew competence
  • Shorter delivery timescales from integrated planning of acquisition and imaging
  • Turnkey government licensing support
  • Reliable, consistently high-quality data library products
  • Holistic R&D that improves the seismic value chain

Better for Customers

We believe the strategy we have chosen is the best for PGS because it is better for our customers. Offering a wider range of products and services allows us maximum scope for innovation and flexibility. By offering it all, 2D, 3D, and 4D, plus flexibility about whether the seismic is acquired under a MultiClient or a contract business model, we allow our customers to choose what best meets their project objectives. Sometimes exclusive access to the data is important. Other times the MultiClient model has advantages because immediate access to data or efficient acquisition and cost sharing is more important. In the middle, if there is no strong preference, we can present an opportunity to assess both models.

As an integrated provider, PGS is in all client dialogs, discussing imaging, data library coverage, contract acquisition and everything in the middle. That should provide greater insight, for example, to predict upcoming exploration hotspots. That is an advantage for our MultiClient business, an area where we intend to continue to invest. Our ambition is to become the preferred MultiClient provider, with a targeted sales-to-investment ratio of at least 2.5 times. To succeed, we must continue to listen carefully to our clients and serve them better than our competition does.

Cycling Forward

Seismic will remain a cycle play, with periods of too many or too few vessels. I believe the cycle is turning in the vessel market and vessel owners are likely to be busier in coming seasons. In such a market, PGS can offer better project security for partners and prefunders in MultiClient projects, and consistent technical quality in our data library. We have direct access to the best acquisition technology, we know we can rely on the safety and competence of the operation, and we can plan new acquisition with the imaging in mind. Our tight-knit teams work together to build solutions and workflows that minimize turnaround and drive down cycle-time.

The upswing may challenge asset-light companies, as it becomes more expensive and potentially challenging to access acquisition capacity. When you are planning a new MultiClient program, you need access to a vessel, but you don’t want to hire it before you have the project. Playing a spot market adds risk.

Our government clients tell us that our integrated offering provides them with more security. PGS often assists governments in planning and supporting the development of new acreage offshore. Those partnerships are built on trust that we can deliver a turnkey service of data products and imaging services to support planned licensing rounds.  By being fully integrated, PGS offers a dedicated supply chain that is tested, reliable and flexible to meet the timeline and requirements of governments.

Reducing Cycle Time

Time is a hot topic in our industry just now. Our customers are asking us to shorten the turnaround time from planning a survey to delivering the data. That will require close cooperation between the client and the seismic company and an integrated process for acquisition and imaging. By planning both together, we can achieve more overlap of these phases.

When you split acquisition and imaging, you have to decide how much money goes in each pot, who drives, and which parameters are prioritized. I believe PGS’ integrated model is the best set up for addressing the industry challenge of cycle time.

Growing Appetite for 4D

Nowhere is that time to market imperative more prevalent than in the growing market for 4D seismic for reservoir monitoring, where our clients have hard deadlines that directly affect their production and revenues.

Our solutions combine acquisition and imaging efforts to deliver quality data quicker. GeoStreamer 4D is about more than the multisensor cable, it combines pioneering technology, a high capacity seismic fleet, operational excellence, and geophysical competence. Our specialized processing workflows offer significant advantages for 4D imaging.

Our research and development focus on both acquisition and imaging to create better quality data. The results, like our GeoStreamer technology platform and Ultra-HD3D for the Barents Sea, speak for themselves. Our R&D teams improve our processing algorithms, our fleet of vessels, cables and towing equipment.  True step change requires a holistic approach. R&D that is based on an understanding of the full value chain from planning to delivery of final data offers clear advantages.

Customers First

Our strategy is financial discipline and the integrated model wins. Maybe that will change in the future, but we believe this will be the winning formula for the near term: good for customers and good business.