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Drilling in the Fourth Dimension

Forget 3-D. 4-D’s where it’s at.

That’s the technology that companies like Compagnie General de Geophysique-Veritas are putting to use to help oil drillers.

France’s CGV takes 3-D seismic maps and studies the differences that occur over time to give its clients a more accurate picture of a prospective oil field, whether it’s onshore or off. The company’s 4-D approach increases both safety and production capacity.

If Congress were to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling, Diamond OffshoreCEO Larry Dickerson recently told CNBC, these seismic studies would be oil companies’ top priority. It would be a business boon for CGV, especially considering it both conducts seismic studies and makes the equipment necessary for doing them.

Of course, U.S. lawmakers have yet to act. But there are plenty of other reasons to like CGV:

  • Revenues should increase as more seismic data is requested for areas off Brazil and in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • CGV expects more demand for its services from exploration and production companies.
  • The company’s 4-D tech is top notch, and, as a result, less price sensitive.
  • CGV’s equipment-making business has a great backlog.

CGV’s seismic fleet is contracted out for 2008, Cramer said, and bidding’s underway for 2009. So the timing’s perfect for Congress to take action and allow offshore drilling. The move would put money in the pocket of CGV – and it’s shareholders.

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