Shearwater GeoServices, a joint venture of GC Rieber Shipping and with Rasmussengruppen, has signed an agreement to acquire the marine seismic acquisition assets and operations of WesternGeco, for $600m.


Image: The WesternGeco head office at London Gatwick Airport. Photo: courtesy of Thomas Nugent / Schlumberger House / CC BY-SA 2.0/Wikipedia.

The deal will increase seismic vessels fleet of Shearwater to 14, allowing it to offer a full range of acquisition services including 3D, 4D and ocean bottom seismic (OBS).

Upon completion of the deal, Shearwater plans to operate the combined businesses as a global, customer-focused and technology-driven provider of marine geophysical services. WesternGeco is the geophysical services product line of Schlumberger.

GC Rieber Shipping CEO Christian Berg said: “This combination will make Shearwater a leading global and technology-driven full-service provider of marine geophysical services with a strong financial platform able to deliver exceptional customer solutions.

“We are very pleased with this transaction, which is in line with the strategic ambition we had when creating Shearwater in 2016 together with Rasmussengruppen. We are satisfied with yet again being instrumental in developing market leading companies, while capitalizing on our investment”.

Employing 600 people, the combined company will have a portfolio of proprietary streamer technology and processing software for execution of geophysical surveys.

As per the deal, Schlumberger will have an option to utilize two vessels from Shearwater on potential multiclient work for the first two years upon closing of the agreement.

GC Rieber Shipping will have approximately 20% stake in the combined company while Rasmussengruppen and Schlumberger will own approximately 65% and 15% stakes respectively.

Subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the transaction is planned to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Additionally, Schlumberger will will be entitled under an earn-out agreement linked to future vessel usage over and above specific thresholds,

WesternGeco president Maurice Nessim said: “With the divestiture of our marine seismic acquisition business, WesternGeco will be strategically positioned as one of the largest asset-light geophysical services providers in the oil and gas industry.”