UPDATE 2-CGG to cut seismic fleet as oil firms rein in spending
* $800 mln charge leads to $691 mln net loss
* Sales rose 10 pct vs 15-17 pct target
* To cut vessel fleet to 13 from 18 by 2016
* Shares down nearly 9 pct (Adds quotes from call, details, shares)
By Michel Rose
PARIS, Feb 27 (Reuters) - French seismic surveyor CGG plunged to a net loss last year after booking an $800 million charge, mainly to account for plans to cut its fleet of vessels because of a drop in exploration spending by oil industry customers.
After a sustained rise in oil prices encouraged producers to spend more on exploration in increasingly remote areas, oil companies have recently come under pressure from shareholders to rein in spending and improve returns.
France's Total, for example, said earlier this year it would scale back capital spending.
That has cut demand for firms that supply specialised services or equipment to oil companies such as CGG, whose seismic data allow the design of more precise three-dimensional maps of fields deep under the seabed. Continuación...