Shearwater GeoServices has signed a binding term-sheet with French firm CGG to form a strategic partnership for providing marine seismic acquisition services.

As part of the term-sheet, Shearwater will acquire five high-end streamer vessels jointly owned by CGG Marine Resources Norge and Eidesvik Offshore. The deal will give CGG access to Shearwater’s strategic vessel capacity for future multi-client projects and provides the latter with a commitment of cashflow and activity for multiple years.

According to the term sheet, CGG will get access to Shearwater’s global fleet of 16 high-end 3D vessels, while Shearwater’s fleet will increase to 23 units with the addition of three OBS MPVs and two dedicated source vessels.

The two companies also agreed to create new streamer technology company under the Sercel brand name. The CGG-majority owned firm will focus on the development, manufacturing, commercialisation and support services of marine streamer seismic acquisition systems.

Shearwater CEO Irene Waage Basili said: “This transaction allows us to strengthen our position as a leading full-service marine geophysical company and a long-term industrial partner to our customers worldwide.

“We are very pleased to partner with CGG and Sercel to create a preferred provider of state-of-the-art streamer technology to deliver the highest possible data quality to our customers.”

Both the companies plan to execute final transaction agreements this month with closing expected before the end of this year.

The signing of the final agreement is subject to approval by lenders of Global Seismic Shipping (GSS), the ship-owning company jointly held by CGG and Eidesvik Offshore, and a final agreement between CGG and Eidesvik Offshore. The completion of the transaction is also subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory nods and work council consultation.