January 8, 2008. British Virgin Islands/Dubai: SeaBird Exploration Limited (BVI) ('SeaBird" or "SBX") announced today the vessel utilization for the fourth quarter of 2007 and the outlook for 2008. For this purpose vessel utilization is defined as the percentage of the full quarter where the vessel is in paid work either in the form of acquisition, mobilization, demobilization, steaming, standby or other.
All eight vessels were in operation in the quarter with an average vessel utilization of around 82% for the full quarter. Northern Explorer and Aquila Explorer were satisfactory with utilization well above 95%. Geo Mariner was idle for parts of October and had some technical downtime in December and ended up with a total utilization of around 69%. Osprey Explorer completed the 2D upgrade in the U.S. mid-October and then mobilized to Bangladesh and as part of the transit was unpaid she ended up with a vessel utilization of only 56%. Hawk Explorer had a vessel utilization of slightly below 90% and continues to experience more technical downtime than our target. As previously announced we are considering taking the vessel out of production for a short period in Q1 2008 to do necessary improvements to the seismic equipment.
Kondor Explorer was in dry-dock in the period, causing a vessel utilization of only 78%. Vessel utilization outside the dry-dock period was close to 100%. Munin Explorer had a vessel utilization slightly above 90%, mainly caused by start-up challenges on the ONGC contract in India in December. As previously announced the Harrier Explorer experienced significant start-up related downtime in the first month of operations, but has had close to zero downtime since 13 October and vessel utilization for the quarter was 86%.
As production both on the Munin Explorer and the Geo Mariner have been below expectations in the last part of the quarter we expect to end up with revenues around the low end of the previously indicated range of USD 95-100 million for the year. Expenses have been higher than projected in the fourth quarter; hence EBITDA for the full year is expected to be slightly below the previously indicated range of USD 30-33 million.
SeaBird is now well placed to take advantage of the continuing strong market in 2008 with 8 vessels in operation for the full year and with the Hugin Explorer that is expected to commence operations in Q2 2008.
For further queries contact:
Chairman and CEO SeaBird Exploration
Phone: +971 504 539075
CFO SeaBird Exploration Limited
Phone: +47 916 39367
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SeaBird Exploration Limited (BVI) `SeaBird` is a global provider of marine 2D and 3D seismic data, solutions for seabed acquisition of 4C/4D multimode seismic, and associated products and services to the oil and gas industry. SeaBird specializes in high quality operations within the high end of the source vessel and 2D market, as well as in the shallow water 2D/3D market. Main focus for the company is proprietary seismic surveys (contract seismic).. Main success criteria for the company are an unrelenting focus on Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE), combined with efficient collection of high quality seismic data.
All statements in this press release other than statements f historical fact are forward-looking statements and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict, and are based upon assumptions as to future events that may not prove accurate. These factors include SeaBird`s reliance on a cyclical industry and the utilization of the company's vessels. Actual results may differ substantially from those expected or projected in the forward-looking statements.