HOUSTON, Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ION Geophysical Corporation (NYSE: IO) today announced the launch of Narwhal TM, the first fully integrated ice management system designed to reduce risk and improve efficiency in seismic data acquisition and drilling operations in or near ice, such as in the Arctic. The Arctic contains an estimated 25% of the world's undiscovered hydrocarbon resources, but harsh, icy conditions pose hazards to seismic contractors and E&P operators. The Narwhal system enables operators to gather, monitor, and analyze data from various sources, including satellite imagery, ice charts, radar, manual observations, wind, and ocean currents, to forecast weather and predict ice movements in these harsh environments. With the ability to track, forecast, and monitor potential ice threats, operators can make informed, proactive decisions to ensure the safety of people, assets, and the environment, while minimizing operational downtime. Des Flynn, Vice President of ION's Concept Systems group, responsible for the development of Narwhal, added, "One of the unique aspects of Narwhal is the way it manages 'trafficability' -- the ability to use all of the ice information to define go/no-go areas, plan routes, optimize vessel operations, and identify escape routes – in multi-vessel and platform operations. The system's unique enterprise capability allows multiple vessels, platforms, and onshore operations to share and visualize all available information in a common operational picture, thereby improving efficiencies and providing the entire operation with greater situational awareness." Joe Gagliardi, Vice President, Marine, for ION's GeoVentures group and leader of ION's Arctic initiatives, added, "ION's mission is to develop and deliver geophysical technologies that enable E&P companies to locate and produce hydrocarbons safely and efficiently, in the most challenging environments. We have been pushing operational boundaries in the Arctic since acquiring our first regional seismic survey there in 2006. With 15 projects and eight seasons of Arctic data acquisition under our belts, yielding approximately 65,000 km of data, including over 30,000 acquired under the ice, we understand the unique operational challenges posed by Arctic ice. Narwhal is an exciting new addition to our comprehensive, integrated Arctic toolkit." Built on a robust and proven industry leading software platform, Narwhal is currently in commercial use in the Canadian Northwest Passage and offshore Baffin Island.