TGS-NOPEC, WesternGeco to acquire 3-D seismic off Norway

TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co. ASA will cooperate with WesternGeco to acquire a new nonexclusive 3-D survey in the Norwegian Sea starting in April or May. The survey will cover a 2,000 square kilometer area mainly over open acreage; the survey is based on TGS-NOPEC's nonexclusive 2-D database acquired in 1997 in the same area. Water depths will range from 3,281 feet to 4,265 feet. The survey will be jointly financed and owned by TGS-NOPEC and WesternGeco. Several oil companies have committed to pre-fund the project. The data will be acquired and processed by WesternGeco under joint supervision in accordance with the Scandinavian Co-Operation Agreement between the two parties. Final data from the survey will be made available to the oil industry for their preparation work prior to Norway's 17th Licensing Round. WesternGeco, a joint venture of Schlumberger and Baker Hughes, provides integrated exploration and reservoir imaging services; TGS-NOPEC provides nonexclusive seismic data and associated production to the oil and gas industry. TGS-NOPEC also commenced a new nonexclusive 2-D seismic survey covering the deepwater sector of New Zealand's Taranaki Basin. The basin is believed to have significant hydrocarbon potential. The 4,216-mile survey is expected to be completed around June 20. TGP-NOPEC further said it reached an agreement with China Offshore Oil Geophysical Corp. to charter the 2-D seismic vessel Nan Hai 502 for a six-month period beginning in April 2001. The vessel presently is operating for TGS-NOPEC acquiring a nonexclusive survey in Sierra Leone, Africa. The vessel will replace in Zephyr-1 in Portugal when this unit transfers to northwest Europe for operations in Scandinavia in late April. The Portuguese project will include 3,100 miles in preparation for the first bid round offshore Portugal expected to be announced later this year.