In 2018, Shearwater bought SLB WesternGeco's IsoMetrix seismic acquisition boats/cables.
IsoMetrix cables record additional information (X,Y accelerometers along with conventional pressure sensors). Processing this IsoMetrix seismic data requires WesternGeco's OMEGA seismic processing system. It is my understanding that Shearwater only got permission to use OMEGA for several years.
This means that something has to happen soon.
- Shearwater could try to reverse engineer IsoMetrix into its own processing system (Reveal/OpenCPS). This is non-trivial, and may not even be possible (OMEGA is more sophisticated).
- Shearwater could junk IsoMetrix. Retrofitting the boats with conventional acquisition is also non-trivial.
- Shearwater could pay SLB WesternGeco for the right to use OMEGA to process IsoMetrix.
- Shearwater could acquire OMEGA and/or whatever remains of WestenGeco.
All these options would cost a lot. My speculation is that Shearwater will acquire OMEGA/WesternGeco. Given recent history and SLB management blather about DELFI and The Future is Open and so on, it does not seem that SLB is interested in either seismic acquisition or seismic processing. Remember that SLB already owns 15 percent of Shearwater. It would make sense for SLB to dis-entangle itself from seismic by selling OMEGA/WesternGeco to Shearwater for a larger ownership stake.
So, what might this mean in terms of layoffs? For one thing, if you are layed-off by WesternGeco,
don't be too hasty to accept a job outside the industry. This may just be getting the ducks into alignment before similar jobs pop-up at Shearwater. You might also review Reveal/Shearwater so as not to be caught off-guard.