December 02, 2010 08:15 ET

SMT Reports Geoscientists Predict Higher Oil Prices in 2011

Survey Respondents Also Report Increasing Spend in Unconventional Gas

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - December 2, 2010) -  Geoscience professionals anticipate an increase in oil and gas exploration budgets in 2011, according to survey data announced today by SMT, a leader in geoscientific interpretation software. Results of the company's annual Geoscientist View of the Future Survey further indicate that respondents anticipate the price of crude will close in on $100 per barrel in 2011, and move towards $150 by 2015.

Forty-one percent of respondents indicated that exploration budgets increased in 2010 versus only 16% that saw a decline. Expenditure was even higher for organizations focused on unconventional resource exploration, with 61% of respondents seeing an increase in their budgets. Only 7% of these companies reported seeing declines in their unconventional expenditure.

"These results indicate continued investment in the industry," said Indy Chakrabarti, Chief Marketing Officer for SMT. "Despite lower natural gas prices, organizations continued to spend in developing unconventional fields. Often these organizations are exploiting oil windows in the existing unconventional plays. With tight margins for economic viability, many companies are using new technologies like microseismic data analysis to improve their productivity."

Among new technologies being planned for use in 2011, microseismic was ranked as being of highest interest. 40% of respondents marked this technology as their top need for next year. The technique helps define future drilling plans and treatment approaches. Microseismic data is collected during each stage of hydraulic fracturing process. This information can be used to delineate micro fractures for better dual porosity modeling and reservoir stimulation studies. With the upcoming release of KINGDOM 8.6, this data can be used to image the results of the fracture treatment in terms of the induced fracture orientation and extent.

Commenting further on the survey results, Chakrabarti noted, "SMT routinely conducts research to understand market conditions and to identify and analyze emerging trends. The results of this year's survey generally align with analyst predictions but hearing directly from the geoscience business community certainly helps us understand better how the market perceives energy trends and where to focus our investment in science to improve capabilities in E&P interpretation."

Contact SMT to view more details about the 2010 Geoscientist View of the Future survey. Prior year results for 2009 and 2008 are also available.

About SMT
Seismic Micro-Technology, the market leader for geoscience software, helps organizations find oil and gas faster. The company's KINGDOM software allows geoscientists to focus on the analysis, not on managing the tools. SMT software enables intuitive interpretation, 3D modeling, analysis and data management, in one integrated executable. Customers can install and interpret data in the same day. With 3,000 customers in 100 nations, SMT has demonstrated performance proven to scale. SMT is headquartered in Houston, Texas with offices in Abu Dhabi, Calgary, Croydon (UK), Moscow, Rio de Janeiro and Singapore. For more information, visit

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