Weak global seismic market demand and a downturn in the sector caused survey specialist Seabird Exploration’s revenue to drop by more than half in the second quarter of this year, leading to a $6.5million loss.
Low industry activity and delayed or cancelled survey start-ups and awards were the main issues, the company said.
Seabird expects the market to remain challenging in the intermediate term.
Project delays and the weak market led the company to stack its 2D seismic ship Munin Explorer, having previously laid up two other vessels over the previous six months.
The lay-up of 3D vessels, reduced operating expenses, lowered project activity, reduced vessel charter rates and lower crew headcount contributed to bringing down costs relative to 2014.
Revenues for the quarter were $19.6million, a decrease of 56% compared to the second quarter of 2014.
Seabird told investors that vessel utilisation was 68% during the three months to June, up from 58% in the previous quarter. Technical downtime for the fleet was less than 2%, down from 5% for the first quarter of 2015.
A high proportion of the company’s fleet is expected to be employed on the Mexico Gigante project until mid-2016.
Seabird said current market uncertainty makes it difficult to predict the level of contract coverage that is possible to obtain beyond the company’s current backlog.