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CORRECTED-Rieber Shipping hopes for 2017 seismic recovery, prepared to wait longer

(Correts spelling of Shearwater)

OSLO, Oct 13 (Reuters) -

** CEO Irene Waage Basili of Norway's Rieber Shipping says hopes marine seismic market could begin to recover in 2017, but is prepared for current market weakness to last another 2-3 years

** Statement followed firm's announcement of agreement with Rasmussengruppen AS to establish a new, 50/50 owned marine geophysical company called Shearwater GeoServices AS

** CEO says as of today there is no increase in seismic tender activity, but sees rising interest from investors who believe this could be a good time to invest in the seismic industry

** CEO says Shearwater will focus on marine contract market and not on speculative multiclient investments (collecting data without contract)

** CEO says pre-funding level has to increase before Shearwater starts making multiclient investments

** Recently competitors PGS and TGS have announced higher-than-expected sales due to increased multiclient sales

** Broker Swedbank said in a note that establishment of a new seismic player could represent yet another data point supporting its view that the seismic market has passed the trough in this cycle

** Swedbank said a more fragmented vessel market is positive for TGS and Spectrum, which rent ships for their operations, and negative for vessel owners such as PGS , Polarcus, CGG and WesternGeco

** Rieber Shipping's shares are up 14 pct compared with a decline of 0.7 pct in Oslo's benchmark share index

($1 = 8.0919 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting By Ole Petter Skonnord)

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