ION Announces Multi-Client Seismic Survey in Marcellus Shale

Interpreted Data to Help E&P Operators Optimize Drilling and Completion Programs

Dec 08, 2010, 13:10 ET from ION Geophysical Corporation

HOUSTON, Dec. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- ION Geophysical Corporation (NYSE: IO) today announced the commencement of a new 3D multi-client seismic survey in the Marcellus shale play in central Pennsylvania.  ION will manage and execute the entire program, providing a proven mix of survey design, planning and permitting, data acquisition using advanced technologies, data processing, and reservoir analysis from ION's GX Technology (GXT) imaging solutions subsidiary.  ION has commenced mobilization for the 200-square-mile initial phase of the program.

The Marcellus shale is one of the hottest unconventional gas plays in North America.  In April 2009, the United States Department of Energy estimated the Marcellus to contain 262 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of recoverable gas, about 44 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE).  Economic viability in shale plays has traditionally been achieved primarily through two engineering technologies, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracture stimulation. Lower gas prices, however, are creating an increased interest in the use of seismic data to not only help the drilling engineer "stay in zone" and avoid geo-hazards, but also to help operators prioritize acreage positions and drilling locations, optimize their drainage strategies and well spacing, and better design their stimulation programs.

Bob Peebler, Chief Executive Officer of ION, commented, "Since 2003, we've been collaborating with E&P companies to push the limits of seismic data in unconventional reservoirs to help them maximize their return on investment.  We've recently conducted several pilot studies in the Marcellus and other North American shales that have demonstrated how we can help our clients determine reservoir rock properties, such as brittleness and natural fracture networks, and help predict the geometry of hydraulically induced fractures, both of which are critical to well planning, stimulation and completion. The Marcellus program is further validation of the growing value leading E&P companies are capturing from the use of seismic to create a sustainable business at scale in the shale resource plays.  We believe there is tremendous upside potential to expand our programs in unconventional reservoirs in North America and abroad."

ION is working with Tesla-Conquest to provide acquisition services utilizing land seismic technologies from INOVA, the newly formed joint venture between BGP (51%) and ION (49%).  INOVA technologies to be deployed on this survey include the FireFly® cableless acquisition system and the VectorSeis® digital, full-wave sensor.

Steve Bate, President and Chief Executive Officer of INOVA, added, "We are extremely pleased to work with ION and Tesla-Conquest to acquire full-azimuth, multicomponent data to meet our clients' geologic and interpretation objectives.  Pennsylvania is both an environmentally sensitive and logistically challenging area, and FireFly and VectorSeis are uniquely capable of enabling a safe, efficient and low impact winter acquisition campaign while delivering state-of-the-art multicomponent measurements."

To learn more about ION's experience and capabilities in unconventional reservoirs, visit www.iongeo.com/shale.

About ION

ION Geophysical Corporation is a leading provider of geophysical technology, services, and solutions for the global oil & gas industry. ION's offerings allow E&P operators to obtain higher resolution images of the subsurface to reduce the risk of exploration and reservoir development, and enable seismic contractors to acquire geophysical data more efficiently. Additional information about ION is available at www.iongeo.com.

Contacts

ION (Investor relations)

Chief Financial Officer

Brian Hanson, +1 281.879.3672

ION (Media relations)

Director - Corporate Marketing

Karen Abercrombie, +1 713.366.7281

karen.abercrombie@iongeo.com

The information included herein contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may vary fundamentally from those described in these forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements reflect numerous assumptions and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include risk factors that are disclosed by ION from time to time in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SOURCE ION Geophysical Corporation



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