8 October 2010. Cyprus: SeaBird Exploration PLC (`SeaBird` or `SBX`):
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.
The vessel utilization for the 9 seismic vessels operated by SeaBird for Q3 2010 was 66%, down from 76% in Q1 and Q2 2010.
The Ocean Bottom Node operations with the Hugin Explorer deploying, retrieving and maintaining the nodes and the accompanying source vessel have continued to perform well throughout Q3 with minimum downtime at a combined utilization of 99%. The OBN contract for Chevron on the Rosebank field west of Shetland was successfully completed ahead of schedule on12 August with 761 out of 762 nodes delivering high quality data. Kondor Explorer was used as source vessel up to 12 August, when it was replaced by Munin Explorer. A new OBN survey commenced on 15 September for Shell in Nigeria, and operations have so far been running as planned with no significant disruptions, and is expected to be completed by second half of November 2010. SeaBird is presently pursuing further OBN employments.
Utilization of the 2D/3D and Source vessels in Q3 2010 was 62% down from 71% in Q2 2010.
The main reason for the reduced utilization is that Kondor Explorer was laid up in a cold stacked mode from 12 August, Hawk Explorer has been idle but maintained in a standby mode with much reduced crew and cost since mid July, and Aquila Explorer was almost 5 weeks offhire for dry docking and classification.
The rest of the fleet has performed well with Harrier Explorer on 97% utilization, Northern Explorer 81%, Osprey Explorer 76%, Geo Mariner 71% (shallow water 3D), and Munin Explorer on 71% including the time she was source for the OBN operation.
For the 2D/3D and Source fleet the backlog has not developed as was expected with work secured to end of the year for the vessels in operation except for Harrier Explorer on contract to PGS until August 2011. However, SeaBird has just been informed that the expected start-up 2nd week in October of a 2D contract for the Osprey Explorer offshore Madagascar has been postponed. The vessel will be maintained in a standby but off hire mode with reduced cost, while a potential later start-up date is being discussed with the client, alternatively the vessel will be promoted for other work.
For further queries contact:
CEO SeaBird Exploration
Phone: +971 504 539075
CFO SeaBird Exploration
Phone: +47 920 51 455
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SeaBird Exploration PLC (Cyprus) `SeaBird` is a global provider of marine 2D and 3D seismic data, solutions for OBN 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). SeaBird does not have a multi-client data library. Main success criteria for the company are an unrelenting focus on Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Quality (HSSEQ), combined with efficient collection of high quality seismic data.
All statements in this press release other than statements of 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.
This information is subject of the disclosure requirements acc. to §5-12 vphl (Norwegian Securities Trading Act)