Seismic market report: Issues and trends ///

Seismic exploration is an integral part in the upstream equation. In 2000 it was a depressed industry. Now it's a boom. World Oil tackled the task of "where it's been, where it's going" by asking the following questions: What are the market conditions of the industry, what are the industry trends of 2006, and what are the most significant technology and corporate developments in the past year? DEFINING THE MARKET Four large multinational companies dominate the market: Calgary/ Houston-based Veritas DGC, and three European firms – Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS), Compagnie Generale de Geophysique (CGG), and Schlumberger's WesternGeco. At present, CGG is in the process of buying Veritas DGC, which will soon narrow the big movers and shakers to three. "WesternGeco is the largest," says Poe Fratt, who follows the sector for AG Edwards. "And then you have CGG, Veritas and PGS, which are roughly all the same size as far as equity market capitalization."

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