Our Distinct Approach
Typically, seismic data is delivered through either a proprietary or multi-client business model. For proprietary, the energy company contracts a seismic service company to acquire and process data on its behalf. By contrast, TGS works in the multi-client realm. We retain ownership and control of the data and can license it to multiple parties.
Energy companies often prefer multi-client over proprietary because the cost is substantially lower. Typically, one or more clients will commit to licensing the data before acquisition begins, which is called "pre-funding". Licenses sold after data acquisition has commenced are called "late sales".
TGS applies a firm definition to pre-funding, so our stakeholders can assess the level of risk in our business by seeing how much of our new project investments are covered by client commitments. TGS capitalizes its seismic investments to the balance sheet and amortizes each project during the work in progress (WIP) phase based on total cost versus forecasted total revenues. As from 2016, a straight-line amortization is applied after a project is completed. The straight-line amortization will be assigned over a remaining useful life, which for most marine projects is expected to be four years. Onshore and geological data investments are also booked to the balance sheet and amortized on a straight-line basis over seven years.