ION Geophysical Corporation announced an approximate 50% extension to its previously announced program offshore Panama due to strong client interest and prefunding to evaluate offshore Panama in advance of the anticipated license round. The client-driven survey provides a regional framework typical of BasinSPAN™ programs to evaluate the geology of the Panamanian offshore, while the new extension provides more detailed coverage that will allow E&P companies to evaluate blocks ahead of the expected license round. Recent exploration success offshore Colombia, adjacent to Panama's Caribbean coast, has created interest among E&P companies in high-quality seismic data to evaluate the hydrocarbon prospectivity on this margin. The expanded program will be approximately 9,000 kilometers and is the only modern data available offshore Panama.
Brian Hanson, ION's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Over the last 18 months, we targeted opportunities less dependent on cycle recovery in specific geographic areas and production optimization offerings, and we are seeing these efforts pay off. We launched four new programs this year that met our strict underwriting standards in addition to the continued success of our 3D multi-client Campeche reimaging program in collaboration with Schlumberger. We have seen renewed interest in clients underwriting programs in advance of license rounds and to evaluate new discoveries.
"The program has been progressing well with excellent data quality and solid productivity, due in part to the deployment of our offshore operations management software, Marlin™. Marlin enabled us to navigate one of the busiest maritime transit routes in the world near the Panama Canal resulting in a safer and more efficient program. Akin to modern air traffic control systems, Marlin integrates a variety of real-time data sources that enables multiple stakeholders to share and visualize vessel route plans, foresee and avoid conflicts between vessels and fixed assets, optimize schedules, and measure and improve asset performance. Marlin enables greater collaboration allowing underwriters to tune into what's happening in the field real-time from their offices to monitor program progress and key statistics."