Seismic explorer SeaBird Exploration has made a decision to stack the Munin Explorer survey vessel, pressing ahead with its cost cutting steps amid weak demand for seismic services caused by a drop in oil prices.
Stacking of vessels or drilling rigs in the oil industry is a common thing when there is a lack of demand for their services. Currently, the seismic survey companies are facing a challenging outlook, as their clients, the oil companies, have cut capital spending waiting for the oil prices to go back up.
The reduction in demand has lead to the seismic market becoming highly competitive, in turn leading to a drop in dayrates for seismic contractors who manage to scoop work.
The Munin Explorer vessel, built in 1990 will be stacked following its completion of the long-term time charter contract with SeaBed Geosolutions in August 2015. M/V Munin Explorer joined SeaBird in 2007. It can operate worldwide as either 2D Long offset or source vessel. The vessel is currently rigged as Source vessel.
The vessel’s AIS data on MarineTraffic.com shows that Munin Explorer is currently on its way from Brazil to Freeport, the Bahamas.
Earlier this year, in the first quarter, working to reduce costs, SeaBird cold-stacked the Geo Pacific vessel, closed its Dubai office and reduced onshore headcount. Back in November 2014, in light of the weakness experienced in 3D market demand, the company stacked the Voyager Explorer.
While reducing operational costs for the company, stacking usually leads to crew being laid off. Offshore Energy Today has sent an e-mail to SeaBird asking if this will be the case with the Munin Explorer crew. We will update the article if we get a response.
SeaBird is not alone when it comes to stacking vessels. Citing weak market conditions due to low oil prices and oil majors cutting investments, the Oslo-listed, Dubai-headquartered Polarcus in April this year stacked its Polarcus Nadia vessel.
Also, in December 2014, Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services provider, announced job cuts and reduction in its WesternGeco marine seismic fleet to lower its operating costs.
Offshore Energy Today Staff