ABERDEEN, UK – UK regulator Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) has announced the successful completion of the data acquisition stage of the UK government-funded seismic campaign, on time and without incident. The £20-million ($30-million) program in underexplored areas of the United Kingdom continental shelf (UKCS) will significantly improve the previously sparse seismic coverage in the Rockall Trough and Mid-North Sea High regions.
The program, completed by WesternGeco on Oct. 11, acquired almost 20,000 km (12,427 mi) of new 2D seismic lines over an area of 200,000 sq km (77,220 sq mi).
Additional seismic information contributed by WesternGeco from the 2014 Atlantic Margin survey will be complemented by other legacy datasets to create a combined data package of 40,000 km (24,854 mi).
The OGA is currently preparing for the 29th Round which, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals, will be announced in 2016 focusing on frontier areas using the data from the seismic campaign.
Seismic data is currently being processed by WesternGeco and data packages will be made freely available when they are finalized toward the end of 1Q 2016.
Gunther Newcombe, OGA’s director of Exploration and Production, said: “We are confident the results will highlight the significant opportunities that remain on the UKCS and will aim to announce the 29th Offshore Licensing Round next year, focusing on frontier areas.”
Oonagh Werngren, Oil & Gas UK operations director, said: “The completion of the data acquisition stage of the seismic program is very good news at a time when the sector is challenged with attracting fresh investment into the UKCS. It clearly demonstrates that government and industry can work together to make a significant contribution to developing understanding of the basin. By ensuring that the data will be made available to both industry and academia, the OGA is promoting maximum value from the surveys, which will help to stimulate further exploration activity in the UK.”
Exploration activity on the UKCS has fallen in recent years and this campaign is part of a comprehensive plan to help revitalize exploration on the UKCS. Other related activities include the ongoing 21st Century Exploration Roadmap Palaeozoic Study, managed by the British Geological Survey in collaboration with industry.”