11 January 2011.
Cyprus: SeaBird Exploration PLC (`SeaBird` or `SBX`):
Vessel Utilization Q4 2010
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 Q4 2010 was 51%, down from 76% in Q2 and 66% in Q3 2010.
The Ocean Bottom Node ("OBN") operations with Hugin Explorer and Munin Explorer as source vessel successfully completed the OBN contract for Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production, with Hugin Explorer demobilizing back to Lagos end of November, while Munin Explorer completed a 15 days survey as source vessel for a separate contractor's platform undershoot program offshore Nigeria. Since their respective assignments, both vessels have been moved to Ghana 6 December 2010 for taking onboard consumables and testing of equipment, and are presently on standby awaiting completion of negotiations for their next OBN survey, which is expected to commence in February 2011 following 2-4 weeks mobilization and customs clearance on arrival. The utilization for the two vessels in Q4 2010 was 61%, compared to 99% in Q3.
Management is also actively pursuing further work, and see an increase in work opportunities coming up for various OBN surveys in the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2011 based on tender invitations and budgetary requests received. This is anticipated to give a high utilization of our OBN operation in the remainder of 2011.
Utilization for the 2D/3D and source vessels in Q4 2010 was 49%, down from 62% in Q3 2010.
The main reasons for the reduced utilization were that Kondor Explorer was laid up in a cold stacked mode from 12 August, Hawk Explorer was idle in a standby mode since mid July, and Osprey Explorer was idle in standby mode from end September to 26 December. For idle vessels in standby mode, crew and other operating expenses are substantially reduced compared to operational mode.
The rest of the fleet has performed well with Harrier Explorer on 100% utilization, Northern Explorer 60%, and Geo Mariner 82% (shallow water 3D) in Q4 2010.
The backlog for the 2D vessels going forward into Q1 2011 is as follows. Harrier Explorer is on time charter contract to PGS through to September 2011. Aquila Explorer is on contract to early February 2011. Osprey Explorer is mobilizing to a short survey of about three weeks offshore Bahamas, and is thereafter scheduled for MultiClient work in Gulf of Mexico to mid May 2011. Kondor Explorer will remain cold stacked in Q1. Geo Mariner, Hawk Explorer and Northern Explorer are still uncommitted. There are, however, more opportunities that could materialize, but most likely the utilization for this part of our fleet will remain at 50-60% during Q1 2011.
Guiding of EBITDA for Q4 2010
In the Report for Q3 2010, SeaBird announced an expected EBITDA level for Q4 in line with Q3. This was based on an OBN contract in direct continuation after the Shell contract in Nigeria. This did not materialize, as informed above. Consequently the EBITDA level is down to negative numbers for Q4 2010.
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)