ASKER, NORWAY (1 September 2011) - TGS has awarded the acquisition of a 307 mi2 (795 km2) multi-client 3D project located onshore United States.  The new seismic program, Firestone 3D,  is designed to illuminate the Utica Shale play in Northeast Ohio and aid in the development of this unconventional play.  Tidelands Geophysical Services is expected to begin acquisition on the project in Q1 2012.  Data acquisition is anticipated to take seven months.  

The Utica Shale is a geologic formation located a few thousand feet below the Marcellus Shale that is characterized by a western oil phase, a central wet gas and an eastern dry gas phase. The new seismic survey is located over the wet gas/liquids rich portion of the Utica Shale. Many see the Utica Shale play as analogous to the prolific Eagle Ford Shale in Texas.  The Utica Shale is thicker and more geographically extensive than the Marcellus Shale Trend and has already proven its ability to support commercial production.  

"The use of 3D multi-client seismic by oil and gas companies in the development of the unconventional plays in the onshore United States has grown substantially in recent years. We have carefully watched the development of this market and are excited to expand our existing onshore library to include this 3D seismic data," said Robert Hobbs, CEO of TGS. "TGS continues to be successful in diversifying its multi-client library both by product as well as geography," continued Hobbs.

This multi-client program is supported by industry pre-funding.