Eni finds oil in offshore well in Mexico | NASA robot designed to get through planets' terrain | China collects data from Mariana Trench's deepest area
March 24, 2017
SEG SmartBrief
Covering the world of applied geophysics
Top Story
Eni finds oil in offshore well in Mexico
Italy-based Eni says it found oil in the offshore Amoca-2 well in Mexico's Campeche Bay. The discovery is the company's first in Mexico and the first by a foreign company in that country in four years.
United Press International (3/23) 
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Geophysical Technology News
NASA robot designed to get through planets' terrain
NASA is working on the Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot, which is designed to make its way through tough terrain on Mars or other planets as it observes the environment and collects samples. The small robot -- which was tested in a desert and volcano and would accompany a larger rover -- can fold up and use its tailfin to get under or over obstacles.
International Business Times (3/21) 
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China collects data from Mariana Trench's deepest area
China is the first country to collect artificial seismic stratigraphy more than 10 kilometers under the sea at the deepest section of the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean. Scientists used an autonomous underwater glider, which has a carbon fiber hull that withstands water pressure, and a scientific surveying ship.
The Maritime Executive online (3/23) 
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Industry Update
MGX acquires interest in Utah leases
Canada-based MGX Minerals plans to acquire a 75% interest in oil and natural gas leases in Utah near the company's Lisbon Valley petrolithium project. The company plans to sample wells and collect seismic data.
Proactive Investors (3/23) 
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Cyprus awards offshore oil blocks
Cyprus says oil and natural gas companies ExxonMobil, Eni and Total have won offshore blocks in the third round of licensing for oil drilling. "Once we have the results of this exploration 2.0 as I called it, then of course there will be a fourth (round) and a fifth and a sixth and I'm sure there will be plenty more," Cyprus Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said.
Reuters (3/22) 
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Algeria to step up oil, gas exploration
Algerian government-owned Sonatrach Group says it will spend $9 billion from 2017 to 2021 on oil and natural gas exploration, drilling an average of 100 wells a year. Algeria's oil output has dropped to the lowest level since 2002, and the government is taking measures to improve its energy industry.
Bloomberg (3/22) 
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Number of drilled but uncompleted wells reaches record
US shale producers are leaving thousands of wells unfinished in the Permian Basin, with the number of drilled but uncompleted wells hitting a record of 1,764 in February, government data show. This suggests that rig count data is not a reliable indicator of production as many companies drill wells just because they are forced to do so to retain their leases.
Reuters (3/24) 
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No need to pursue Arctic oil at current prices, analyst says
Arctic oil exploration is unjustifiable and infeasible in the current price environment, especially in areas not easily accessible such as Alaska, said Goldman Sachs commodities analyst Michele Della Vigna. "Overall, the idea that we have to go into the Arctic to find new resources I think has been dispelled by the enormous cheap, easier to produce and quicker time-to-market resources in the Permian onshore US," he added.
CNBC (3/23) 
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Institutes and Academia
Earthquakes can rupture on separate faults, study says
Scientists with GNS Science in New Zealand say the country's magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake in 2016 ruptured across a dozen separate faults, causing prolonged shaking. The study's conclusions -- based on field observations, data and satellite imagery -- suggest earthquakes in places such as California can be larger than predicted when unconnected faults slip together.
ScienceMag.org (3/23) 
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Study argues landslides cause dark streaks on Mars
Dark streaks discovered on Mars in 2011 likely are caused by dry dirt avalanches, not water or frost, contends a new study by scientists from the Paris-Sud University in France. Researchers created a model that shows sunlight's "thermal creep" effect can trigger landslides on the planet.
Space.com (3/22) 
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SEG News
Call for Abstracts open for Seismic with Simultaneous Sources workshop
The adoption of SimSource technology has been slowed to some extent by the range and variety of methodologies available with each operator and contractor or, in many cases, individual geophysicists having their preferred method. The goal of the Seismic with Simultaneous Sources workshop, which takes place Nov. 19 to 22, in Muscat, Oman, is to support and align industry geophysicists' understanding on current and future methodologies so that they may select the most suitable method for their own future challenges. Abstract submission deadline is May 29. Learn more.
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Save 45% on three titles in the SEG Store through March 29
Now through March 29, save 45% on "Multicomponent Seismic Technology," "Methods and Applications in Reservoir Geophysics" and "Seismology of Azimuthally Anisotropic Media and Seismic Fracture Characterization." Regular price per book is $79 for SEG members, $143 for nonmembers. Sale price per book is $43.45 for SEG members, $78.65 for nonmembers. Visit the SEG Store and save today.
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