The OGA has awarded Norway-based PGS and Schlumberger subsidiary WesternGeco contracts to carry out the second UK Government funded seismic campaign to promote underexplored areas of UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
The programme is anticipated to collect between 10,000 and 15,000 km of new seismic data from the East Shetland Platform and South West Britain respectively.
The acquisition is due to begin in July, subject to receiving the relevant environmental approvals, and will be supplemented by selective reprocessing of legacy seismic datasets. Acquisition is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter this year and released to industry in Q2 2017.
Gunther Newcombe, OGA Director of Exploration and Production, said: “The seismic acquisition programme is a critical part of OGA’s plan to revitalise exploration. The 2016 programme is focusing on under-explored frontier areas where no substantial seismic has been acquired in decades. It is expected these areas will be made available for licensing in the 31st Frontier Licensing Round which will be held in 2018."
He added: “The UKCS is in a unique position having recovered more than 43 billion boe to-date, yet up to 20 billion boe still remains. The challenge is now for industry to increase exploration drilling in the UKCS and work with OGA to meet our shared target of 50 Exploration & Appraisal wells per year by 2021.”
PGS vessel the Nordic Explorer is scheduled to carry out seismic surveys across the East Shetland Platform which includes the East Orkney Basin, East Fair Isle Basin and Dutch Bank Basin. WesternGeco vessel WG Magellan is scheduled to carry out seismic surveys around South West Britain, including; the Celtic Sea, Western English Channel, Bristol Channel, St George’s Channel and the Irish Sea.
Patrick Legh-Smith, WesternGeco vice president Marine said: “We are delighted to be a part of the UK government’s initiative to drive growth in the country’s oil and gas sector. This award leverages our experience in frontier exploration acquisition and builds on the work done by WesternGeco during the first UK seismic campaign in 2015. The survey shall be completed using Q-Marine point-receiver seismic technology with broadband techniques for enhanced imaging.”