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ELECTROMAGNETIC GEOSERVICES (EMGS) has signed a US$12.5mn contract for a geophysical survey in the Red Sea.

Under the contract, awarded by an oil company in Saudi Arabia, the vessel BOA Galatea will acquire 3D electromagnetic (EM) and magnetotelluric (MT) data over a three-month period.

Mobilisation should start early this spring following completion of a previously announced contract offshore Mozambique.

Roar Bekker, EMGS CEO, said: "The Red Sea project is, to our knowledge, the largest combined 3D EM and MT survey ever undertaken. We see this as an endorsement of our technical and operational capabilities, providing further evidence that EM is becoming an established exploration tool."

3D EM, also known as controlled source EM (CSEM), employs a high-power EM source to create a subsurface signal. The magnetotelluric (MT) method uses a natural signal generated from the interaction between the solar wind and the Earth's magnetic field.

EMGS says MT and EM surveys can be performed using the same receiver deployment, with MT measurements recorded when the controlled source is inactive. The MT method is particularly suited to complex salt and basalt areas such as the Red Sea, says EMGS.