Lime Rock Partners and 3i Announce Investment in Terra Seismic Services


WESTPORT, Conn., April 26, 2004 – Lime Rock Partners and 3i announce today a £10.6m (130m Krone) backing of Oslo-based seismic offshore company Terra Seismic Services AS.

Terra Seismic Services is a start-up company and will operate in the seismic offshore market, introducing a unique Four Component (4C) data acquisition system and innovative in-sea systems handling techniques which will allow the oil and gas companies to acquire enhanced quality seismic data at economically attractive rates which Terra Seismic Services believe will stimulate the growth of the 4C market. 4C, which represents a major step change in the seismic industry, uses ocean bottom measurements to deliver improved image resolution of subsurface structures and provide essential additional information about the properties of reservoir rock and the nature of the fluids held within.

The funding, a financial input of £5.3m (64.8m Krone) each by 3i and Lime Rock, will be used to acquire a ground breaking redeployable seabed data acquisition system, VectorSeis Ocean, developed by a leading provider of seismic equipment, Houston-based Input/Output, Inc. This new recording and communication technology will be combined with Terra Seismic Services’ advanced data acquisition methods to maximise operational efficiency.

3i investment manager for Norwegian oil and gas Hans Middelthon said: “In our recent sector report ‘The Prospects for North Sea Oil and Gas’ we highlighted the need for technological innovation as a vital element in sustaining the life of the basin, and Terra Seismic Services is at the forefront of that technological advance.

“An assessment of all oil and gas fields, producing or under development, on the Norwegian and UK continental shelves, indicates that over 60 per cent would benefit from 4C seismic. All of these fields could be prospects for Terra Seismic Services’ enhanced quality 4C services.

“The international oil and gas industry has also recognised the benefits and value of 4C seismic data and this is expected to be a high growth market over the next few years. We believe Terra Seismic Services’ prospects to be excellent and we would anticipate considerable growth for the company over the next few years.

“The deal with Terra Seismic Services presented us with an opportunity to back the leading independent management team within the offshore seismic industry. We strongly believe their unique product offering will promote real changes in the delivery of optimum reservoir management.”

Tom Bates, Managing Director of Lime Rock Partners and a newly appointed member of the Terra Seismic Services Board of Directors, said: ‘Lime Rock is keen to use its extensive industry experience and network to support Terra Seismic Services’ delivery of this game changing technology in what is a rapidly growing market. The potential within Terra Seismic Services suggests that it can develop and retain a market leading position within this field for years to come.’

Terra Seismic Services CEO Michael Scott said; “We plan to drive the 4C ocean bottom cable (OBC) market by enabling our oil company customers to obtain the imaging benefits that result when seismic data is acquired from the seabed at economically attractive rates, both in the North Sea and elsewhere in the world.

“Our two financial partners, 3i and Lime Rock, were convinced of the potential for this new approach in seismic acquisition from the seabed and have committed significant funds to acquire this ground-breaking technology. We look forward to delivering significant returns on their investment.”

About Lime Rock Partners
Lime Rock Partners, based in Westport, Connecticut, is a private equity firm with over $420 million under management dedicated to investing in energy companies with high growth potential. With offices in the major energy centres of North America and Western Europe, Lime Rock targets growth equity investments in companies involved in oil field services, oil field technology, midstream services and exploration and production.

About 3i Group plc
3i has an unparalleled track record of investing in high growth successful oil and gas companies. With 40 companies in the oil and gas portfolio, 3i is Europe’s most active investor in the oil and gas sector. 2003 witnessed 3i’s first Norwegian investment in Revus Energy, a new upstream oil and gas company whose aim is to be a partner of choice in licenses in mature areas of the Norwegian shelf. And 2004 has already seen 3i sign an agreement as part of a private equity syndicate to acquire ABB’s upstream oil and gas business, including Vetco Gray for more than £500 million. The new Group will be known as Vetco International.


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