ION Geophysical Corp was founded in 1968. The Company provides geophysical technology, services and solutions to the oil & gas industry. Its offerings are designed to allow oil & gas exploration and production companies to obtain higher resolution images of the earth's subsurface during exploration, exploitation and production operations to reduce the risk in exploration and reservoir development, and to enable seismic contractors to acquire geophysical data safely and efficiently. The Company serves customers in all energy producing regions of the world from strategically located offices in 21cities on six continents. Seismic imaging plays a fundamental role in hydrocarbon exploration and reservoir development by delineating structures, rock types and fluid locations in the subsurface. Its services, technologies and products are used by E&P companies and seismic acquisition contractors to generate high-resolution images of the Earth's subsurface to identify sources of hydrocarbons and pinpoint drilling locations for wells, which can be costly and involve high risk. The Company provides services and products through three business segments - Solutions, Systems and Software. Its Solutions business provides two distinct service activities that often work together. Its GeoVentures services are designed to manage the entire seismic process, from survey planning and design to data acquisition and management, and to final subsurface imaging and reservoir characterization. Its GXT Imaging Solutions group offers processing and imaging services designed to help its E&P customers reduce exploration and production risk, evaluate and develop reservoirs, and increase production. The Company's Solutions business focuses on providing services and products for challenging environments, such as the Arctic frontier; complex and hard-to-image geologies, such as deepwater subsurface salt formations in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore. Its Software business provides command and control software systems and related services for navigation and data management involving towed marine streamer and seabed operations. Through its Software business, it provides marine imaging, seabed imaging and survey design, planning and optimization. Its Systems business is now engaged in the manufacture of re-deployable ocean-bottom cable seismic data acquisition systems and shipboard recorders; marine towed streamer positioning and control systems and energy sources; and analog geophone sensors. The Company's principal customers are E&P companies and seismic contractors. It sells its services and products through a direct sales force consisting of employees and international third-party sales representatives responsible for key geographic areas. The Company's competitors include CGG, WesternGeco L.L.C., WesternGeco, TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA, among others. The Company's operations are subject to various international conventions, laws and regulations in the countries in which the Company operate, including laws and regulations relating to the importation of and operation of seismic equipment, currency conversions and repatriation, oil and gas exploration and development, taxation of offshore earnings and earnings of expatriate personnel, environmental protection, the use of local employees and suppliers by foreign contractors and duties on the importation and exportation of equipment.