Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Number of Seismic Crews Searching for Oil Down

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Number of Seismic Crews Searching for Oil Down

Article excerpt

A 20-month low in the number of seismic land crews and marine vessels searching for oil and natural gas in the U.S. and U.S. waters was reported for November by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

Land crews decreased to 127, down 10.6 percent from 142 reported for October, while marine crews decreased to 28, down 6.7 percent from 30 reported in October.

The total is the lowest since March 1987 when the total number of crews operating on land and offshore fell to 150.

The November total represents a 22 percent decrease from November 1987, a 2 percent decrease from November 1986, a 55 percent decrease from November 1985, a 69 percent decrease from November 1983 and a 69 percent decrease from November 1982.

On the international scene, seismic exploration for oil and gas decreased dramatically during the second quarter of 1988 with a total of 555 crews and vessels active, down 15.5 percent from 657 active crews and vessels reported for the first quarter of 1988.

The number of land crews decreased to 477, down 18 percent from the March 1988 total of 582, while marine crews faired better showing a second quarter total of 78, up 4 percent from 75 reported for the first quarter of 1988.

Increases were reported in Europe and the Middle East.

The internatioinal survey reflects data reported on seismic oil exploration activity by 94 private and governmental crew operators around the world. . .

- Natural gas will be America's energy leader during the next decade and into the 21st century, said Eugene Tracy,. chairman of the American Gas Association.

"It's the cleanest, most environmentally compatible energy resource, and there's plenty available at a time when there are strong concerns for the environment," Tracy told participants at the association's 10th annual Bankers Conference in Washington, D.C.

Consumption patterns in the U.S., Tracy said, are already showing an increase in natural gas use.

A rise in demand from a recent low of 16.7 quadrillion British thermal units in 1986 to about 18.6 quadrillion, or about a 11.4 percent increase, is predicted for 1988, he said.

"Thes increased requirements should continue through 1990 and into the next century, Tracy said.

Improved market share in traditional markets and rapid growth in non-traditional markets were reasons cited for the increased demand.

Even the oil industry is "waking up to natural gas," Tracy said.

"Until the last decade, the development of the natural gas resource base was largely a stepchild of oil exploration . …

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