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  • Revenues for the quarter were $34.9 million, an increase of 43% compared to the comparable period in 2011 and down 23% relative to Q3 2012.
  • Contract revenues for the period were $34.5 million, up 80% from Q4 2011 and down 10% from Q3 2012.
  • Multi-client revenues were $0.4 million, a decrease of 92% from $5.2 million reported in Q4 2011 and a decrease of 94% from $7.1 million reported in Q3 2012.
  • EBITDA was $6.8 million compared to negative $7.3 million for Q4 2011 and $11.7 million for Q3 2012.
  • EBIT for the quarter was $0.9 million compared to negative $14.8 million for Q4 2011 and $4.2 million for Q3 2012.
  • Completed the private placement of 11,000,000 new shares, total gross proceeds of NOK 82.5 million ($ 14.7 million).
  • The multi-streamer 3D vessel Geo Pacific was chartered at the end of the quarter.
  • Vessel utilization for the period was 64%.


  • Revenues for 2012 were $163.3 million, an increase of 100% compared to 2011.
  • Contract revenues for 2012 were $141.7 million, up 97% from 2011.
  • Multi-client revenues were $21.7 million, an increase of 121% from $9.8 million reported in 2011.
  • EBITDA was $38.4 million compared to negative $9.4 million for 2011.
  • EBIT for 2012 was $4.2 million compared to negative $92.2 million for the prior year.
  • Vessel utilization for 2012 was 75%.

Operational review

The fourth quarter was slightly weaker than the third quarter, resulting in lower utilization; however, day rates remained firm.  The niche (shallow and specialist) 3D market was robust and has developed into a core part of the company strategy.  The addition of the Geo Pacific at the end of the quarter will further enhance SeaBird's position in this segment.  In the 2D market, demand was also buoyant during the quarter.  However, the normal seasonal repositioning effects in the industry impacted vessel capacity coming from the Northern Hemisphere.

Oil and gas company demand constituted a significant part of fourth quarter revenues and is expected to continue into 2013. Demand from oil and gas companies was to a large extent directed towards our 3D segment.  Multi-client contract work also remained healthy and continued the growth trend which commenced earlier in the year.

Multi-client sales during the quarter were substantially lower than prior periods. The limited size of the multi-client portfolio will result in fluctuations in sales and will be difficult to predict.  The company is committed to increase its investment in multi-client surveys to better balance supply and demand in the contract market as well as to capitalize on attractive investment opportunities. The company has continued to develop its multi-client strategy and announced a major new survey in the Barents Sea to be completed in the 2013 season. The marketing of the 12,000 km Snøspurv 2D high resolution multi-client survey covering the Bjarmeland Platform was commenced in cooperation with Searcher Seismic.

During the quarter we saw good demand in the source market.  One vessel was used in the source market   in the fourth quarter and the company signed two new contracts for 2013.  Contract durations still remain relatively short in this market segment.   Day rates have been above expectations.

The company's backlog is in line with recent quarters.  There is a mix of long-term and short-term contracts and the company will look to maintain a balance to the extent possible.

Vessel utilization for the fourth quarter was 64%.  The lower utilization figure for the fourth quarter is primarily attributable to seasonal repositioning and a late survey start due to delayed permits.  In addition, we had one dry docking during the period. Utilization figures are excluding the laid-up Kondor Explorer.

From an operational viewpoint, technical downtime was less than 5% during the quarter.  Technical downtime continued to be below industry norms, despite a number of vessels operating within challenging environments.

SeaBird's continued focus on health, safety, security, environment and quality (HSSEQ) remains at the forefront of our operation. The company's lost time injury frequency (LTIF) rate was zero for 2012 and confirms the high level of HSSEQ culture and system implementation within the company.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the company chartered the fully-equipped 3D vessel Geo Pacific.  The charter is for a three-year period with four one-year extensions.  The company also has purchase options on the vessel in years three and, to the extent the lease is extended, year four.  The Geo Pacific will be SeaBird's second 3D vessel in addition to the Voyager Explorer.  The vessel will be targeting the 6-8 streamer market.  The charter of this vessel is an important supplement to SeaBird's expansion plans to further develop the company's service offering.  The vessel is currently undergoing an upgrade as well as class renewal and will be available at the end of Q1 2013.

Regional overview

In the fourth quarter there was a significant change in sales among our operating regions - Europe, Africa and Middle East (EAME), North and South America (NSA) and Asia Pacific (APAC).  The ending of the North Sea season reduced EAME revenues compared to the third quarter while revenues in the APAC region increased as anticipated.

Sales in EAME of $5.2 million accounted for 15% of total revenues.  Compared to prior periods there was a relatively low level of activity within the region during the quarter, corresponding to the end of the North Sea season and the delay of a long-offset 2D survey off the coast of South Africa.  The South African survey commenced late in Q4 2012 and will keep the vessel active for the majority of Q1 2013. The remaining revenues were primarily derived from contract work in West Africa.  We see growing interest in the EAME region.

NSA sales of $10.9 million represented 31% of total revenues.  The majority of revenues earned in this region were derived from two long-term 2D contracts in South America.  We expect to see a significant increase in the level of activity in this region in 2013.

Sales in APAC of $18.8 million accounted for 54% of total revenues.  The majority of the revenues are attributable to two complex shallow water surveys completed in South East Asia.  Both surveys were for oil companies, one 2D survey and one 3D survey. We expect to maintain the current vessel presence in the region over the foreseeable future.

Subsequent events

Following the equity offering completed in November 2012, the company issued 1,500,000 new shares at a subscription price of NOK 7.50 per share. Gross proceeds from this transaction were NOK 11.3 million ($2.0 million).  The transaction closed in February 2013 and was targeted towards shareholders who did not have the opportunity to participate in the private placement of 2012.


Market demand remained firm in the fourth quarter and continued the trend we have seen over the past several months.  We expect the upturn to continue through 2013 and we see demand staying strong in all of our operating regions. Day rates have been solid through the fourth quarter and we see evidence that the markets are testing higher levels.

The source market demand is continuing to show positive developments.  Day rates are attractive albeit contract terms are still relatively short.  To the extent these trends continue, the company may rig Kondor Explorer to capitalize on this opportunity.


Financial comparison

All figures below relate to continuing operations unless otherwise stated.  For discontinued operations, see note 1.

The company reports a loss of $5.4 million for the fourth quarter 2012 (loss of $14.8 million same period in 2011).  

Revenues were $34.9 million in Q4 2012 ($24.4 million).  The increased revenues are mainly due to fleet composition.

Cost of sales was $24.4 million in Q4 2012 ($24.0 million).  The increase is primarily due to fleet composition.    

SG&A was $4.1 million in Q4 2012, down from $8.4 million in Q4 2011.  The decrease is principally due to the $4.0 million write-off of bad debts performed in Q4 2011 and the organizational restructure and cost savings initiative implemented during 2012.

EBITDA was $6.8 million in Q4 2012 (negative $7.3 million).  

Depreciation and amortization were $5.9 million in Q4 2012 ($7.4 million).  The decrease is predominantly due to lower multi-client sales amortization for the period.

Interest expense was $3.2 million in Q4 2012 ($4.7 million).  The decrease is a result of the financial restructuring completed in 2011.

Other financial items, net expense, of negative $0.4 million in Q4 2012 (gain of $6.2 million).  The change is mainly due to the gain on extinguishment of debt recognized in Q4 2011.

Income tax expense was $2.7 million in Q4 2012 (expense of $1.5 million).  The increase is mainly due to a tax review resulting in an additional tax accrual of $1.8 million for taxes in Norway for the years 2011 and 2012.

Capital expenditures were $4.2 million in Q4 2012 ($3.9 million).  The majority of the capital cost incurred during Q4 2012 relates to the docking of Osprey Explorer and purchasing of seismic equipment across the fleet.

Net loss from discontinued operations was $0.6 million for Q4 2012 (gain of $47.9 million).  Discontinued operations represent the remaining contractual obligations of the Ocean Bottom Node (OBN) business which was divested in Q4 2011.

Liquidity and financing

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period were 14.7 million ($13.3 million), of which $0.7 million was restricted in connection with bank guarantees, deposits and the bond service account.  Net cash from operating activities was negative $1.3 million in Q4 2012 (negative $43.1 million).

Following the financial restructuring completed in December 2011, the company has one bond loan, one convertible loan and the Hawk Explorer finance lease.  

  • The 6% secured bond loan has a face value of $87.9 million and is recognized in the books at amortized cost of $76.4 million per Q4 2012.  The bond loan matures 19 December 2015 and has principal amortization due in semi-annual increments of $2.0 million starting 19 December 2012. Interest paid during the quarter was $2.7 million (Nil).
  • The 1% unsecured convertible loan with Perestroika has a face value of $14.9 million and is recognized in the books at amortized cost of $12.6 million per Q4 2012.  The convertible loan matures 30 September 2014 and has no principal amortization.  No interest was paid during Q4 2012 in relation to the convertible loan.
  • The lease of Hawk Explorer is recognized in the books as a finance lease at $13.2 million per Q4 2012.  Installments of $0.9 million against the Hawk lease principal and $0.4 million against the interest portion were paid during Q4 2012 ($1.1 million and $0.6 million in 2011, respectively).

Net interest-bearing debt was $87.4 million at the end of Q4 2012 ($107.7 million).  

Accrued interest for Q4 2012 was $0.1 million (Nil).

The private placement completed on 28 November 2012 and the subsequent repair issue completed on 13 February 2013 generated gross proceeds of NOK 82.5 million ($14.7 million) and NOK 11.3 million ($2.0 million) respectively.

The company was in compliance with all covenants as of 31 December 2012.  

The Board of Directors and
Chief Executive Officer


SeaBird Exploration Plc
26 February 2013

This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.