Back in June I wrote a blog, French Seismic Company Files for Bankruptcy. Needs Permit to Blast the Atlantic for New Revenue, about one of the seismic testing companies wanting to airgun blast the Atlantic to look for possible oil deposits below the ocean floor.
A new story in The Revelator gives more background about the poor financial health of the mostly foreign-owned seismic testing companies desperate for oil company money. – Frank Knapp
…There’s some irony, then, that the first beneficiaries of these initiatives (offshore drilling for oil) could be mostly foreign-based companies that stand to reap millions of dollars in revenue from conducting oil and gas seismic surveys in the waters off the East Coast.
An investigation by The Revelator reveals that four of these seismic survey companies are based overseas. Only one is based in the United States. The surveys are highly speculative ventures, to be conducted in a region thought to hold relatively low oil and gas reserves and appear unlikely to proceed without significant upfront funding from oil companies.
. . . Applications to conduct these surveys have been submitted by Spectrum Geo and TGS, both headquartered in Norway; the French company CGG; and WesternGeco, a subsidiary of oil services giant Schlumberger that’s incorporated in the Caribbean island nation of Curaçao and has offices in Houston. The smallest of the five companies is Houston-based Ion Geophysical Corp.
. . . “Approving seismic blasting in the Atlantic would simply shift the conservation burden [for marine species] onto U.S. fisheries and others in this country, to profit what are mostly foreign companies,” Michael Jansy, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Marine Mammal Protection Project, tells The Revelator.
. . . The Atlantic seismic surveys would come at a crucial time for the seismic survey industry, which has been battered by three years of low oil prices. The industry suffers from overcapacity, bankruptcies, layoffs, declining stock prices and years of financial losses that have slashed its market by 60 percent since 2012, according to the trade publication E&P Hart Energy.