FirstGrowth Announces Strategic Business Alliance with ION

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA /Marketwire/ -- FirstGrowth Exploration & Development Services Corp. is pleased to announce the signing of a multi-year business alliance (the agreement) with ION Geophysical Corp. (ION) of Houston, TX.

The two companies have agreed to a series of multi-year arrangements for the purchase of ION's equipment and services, including but not limited to wireless seismic instruments for full-wave (multi-component) data recording using VectorSeis sensors.

"With the execution of this exciting agreement, FirstGrowth Exploration & Development Services and its wholly owned subsidiary Kinetex Inc. intend to accelerate and expand our five year business plan," said Gil Schneider, CEO of FirstGrowth. "Through this alliance, we have solidified a relationship that has existed for more than a decade."

Schneider went on to add, "The demonstrated confidence of a recognized industry leader such as ION provides a strong foundation for advancing FirstGrowth's applied sciences services in the area of multi-component seismic imaging. We have long been an advocate of full-wave data recording and have been one of the largest users of cableless seismic imaging methods, using ION's VectorSeis-equipped radio seismic recording system. We are excited about the potential offered by ION's latest cableless recording technology and look forward to making a transition to FireFly in the future."

FireFly, ION's full-wave land acquisition platform, combines proven wireless communication, data storage, and power technologies from other industries in a seismic acquisition system that operates without cables. With its cableless architecture, FireFly is designed to deliver dramatic improvements in system weight, operational productivity, and health, safety, and environmental (HSE) performance, as well as in the quality and utility of the seismic images that result. The agreement includes purchasing commitments and options through the duration of the multi-year agreement, which total over 30,000 stations (90,000 channels) of VectorSeis-based technology if all purchase options are exercised. In addition, the agreement outlines a path that enables FirstGrowth to seamlessly transition from its current radio telemetry solution to FireFly and includes provisions for cooperative marketing efforts to promote and expand the use of 3-Component (3-C) technologies.

FirstGrowth's subsidiary Kinetex conducted one of the earliest VectorSeis 3-C test programs for ION over 7 years ago. Since that time, Kinetex has delivered to its clients over one hundred, high-quality commercial VectorSeis datasets that were recorded using radio telemetry solutions.

"We are excited with this agreement, including the prospect of delivering a wireless FireFly solution to Kinetex," said Teng Beng Koid, COO of Global Business Development at ION. "Our history with FirstGrowth-Kinetex makes them a natural fit for FireFly. We are committed to helping FirstGrowth-Kinetex deliver unprecedented value to their customers, who are increasingly demanding state-of-the-art, full-wave imaging technology for their resource exploration and development activities."

Leonard Van Betuw, Director of FirstGrowth-EDS, concluded by saying, "The combination of Kinetex's diverse 3-C imaging research and experience in a vast range of geological settings, along with the capabilities of ION's GX Technology Imaging Solutions group, provides a foundation that we believe will be attractive to the resource industries for many years to come as they endeavor to unlock the full potential of their properties."

About ION
ION Geophysical Corp. (ION) is a leading provider of geophysical technology, services, and solutions for the global oil and gas industry. ION's offerings allow exploration and production 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.

Through ongoing research and development, ION has assembled a comprehensive technology toolkit that spans the entire seismic workflow. The ION family of companies provides advanced acquisition equipment, software, planning and imaging services, and seismic data libraries, which are used by the global oil and gas industry during hydrocarbon exploration, exploitation, and production operations.

ION's GX Technology (GXT) group is an industry leader in advanced seismic imaging, with competencies that extend to the toughest challenges, whether offshore or onshore. As a member of the ION family since 2004, GXT is a leader in processing large, full-wave (multi-component) datasets acquired with VectorSeis and in helping clients undertake advanced geophysical analysis of full-wave data to characterize lithological, fluid saturation, or fracture intensity variations within hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, ION has offices worldwide, including a presence in Calgary, Canada.

About FirstGrowth
FirstGrowth Exploration & Development Services Corp. is an oil, gas, and mineral exploration services company focused on providing data-rich high-resolution subsurface images—essentially a brand-new exploration tool—to the resource exploration and development industry. Driven by a proven and experienced management team and using cutting-edge technology, FirstGrowth has nearly doubled its revenues for three consecutive years.

FirstGrowth's subsidiary, Kinetex Inc., has been a developer of advanced exploration techniques for over six years as an integrator of applied sciences to the resource industry, including oil and gas exploration and development, and precious and base mineral exploration and evaluation. One of Kinetex's primary services is targeted implementation and optimization of seismic imaging, using the proprietary VectorSeis Recording System and Digital 3-Component Full-Wave Imaging.

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