May 26, 2011 08:15 ET

SMT Reports Geoscientists Predict Higher Oil Prices in 2012

Survey Respondents Also Report Increasing Spend in Unconventional Oil

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - May 26, 2011) - Geoscience professionals anticipate an increase in oil prices in 2012, 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 indicate that respondents anticipate the price of crude will close in on $150 per barrel in 2012, and may even move higher by 2016. Three-quarters of respondents saw prices above $100 going into next year. At the same time last year, less than a third of respondents saw prices going above $100 in a year.

Perhaps reflecting this bullish perspective on oil prices, 56% of respondents indicated their organization was increasing exploration for unconventional oil. The Eagle Ford shale was the top resource identified for unconventional shale oil exploration, followed by the Marcellus and the Niobrara shales. This migration towards unconventional oil may also be explained by the survey result indicating that 80% of responding organizations require a price above $5/MMBtu to be economic in the US, while spot prices today hover closer to $4/MMBtu. In fact, one third of organizations said prices need to be higher than $7/MMBtu.

"The results indicate the changing nature of the industry driven by market prices," said Indy Chakrabarti, Chief Marketing Officer for SMT. "Due to depressed prices for natural gas, organizations are migrating towards oil windows in existing shales and evaluating new shales based on oil potential. Ultimately, this transition will help alleviate tight oil supplies globally, helping to relieve upward price pressure impacting consumers."

Among technologies being planned for use in 2012, the greatest momentum seems to be the adoption of WITSML, Wellsite Information Transfer Standard Markup Language, as a data standard within organizations. In 2010, only 25% of organizations reported using the standard, while this year 34% report current usage and another 41%, the most of any technology surveyed, report a plan to use it. The WITSML standard, used to transmit wellsite information across organizations, indicates the growing interest organizations have for data interoperability.

Commenting further on the survey results, Chakrabarti noted, "SMT works with customers across the globe to better understand their evolving needs. This yearly survey is one more way to determine where the industry is headed and helps us define product direction for our market leading geoscience software, KINGDOM."

Contact SMT to view more details about the 2011 Geoscientist View of the Future survey, conducted at the AAPG Conference in April. Prior year results from 2008 thru 2010 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 application. Customers can install and interpret data in the same day. With 3000 customers in 100 nations, SMT has demonstrated performance proven to scale. SMT is headquartered in Houston, Texas with offices in Calgary, Dubai, London, Moscow and Singapore. For more information, visit

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