OGA issues further contracts to build frontier seismic database

Offshore staff

LONDON The  Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has awarded two contracts worth more than £2.5 million ($3.3 million) to Schlumberger WesternGeco and DownUnder Geosolutions (DUG), in collaboration with Geopartners Ltd., to supply around 15,000 km (9,320 mi) of reprocessed multi-client 2D seismic data in six areas around the UK continental shelf (UKCS).

This includes data from the Southwest Approaches, Northern Approaches and Bristol Channel, Cardigan Bay and Celtic Sea, Morecambe Bay and East Irish Sea, the East Shetland Platform and North Western Britain (including the Minches and the Firth of Clyde).

The datasets will complement data being acquired by the 2016 UK government-funded seismic acquisition program of the East Shetland Platform and southwest Britain, which began last month, and will extend the seismic coverage out to surrounding areas. Mirroring last year’s program, the seismic data will be reprocessed using modern processing workflows and is expected to be made available to the industry in 2Q 2017.

In addition, the OGA has announced a second tender of six lots to reprocess a further 10,000 km (6,213 mi) proprietary seismic 2D data from around the UKCS. Among other areas, this includes a large regional 2D seismic dataset from the Anglo-Paris basin (incorporating the Wessex basin) where both land and marine seismic data will be reprocessed. 

Nick Richardson, OGA Exploration and New Ventures Manager, said: “The combination of the Rockall and Mid-North Sea High data acquired in 2015, the two new broadband seismic datasets being acquired this summer in southwest Britain and the East Shetland Platform, and the reprocessing of legacy datasets in 2016 and 2017 will form part of a consistent, modern, regional 2D seismic dataset across large, underexplored areas of the UK continental shelf that will be provided to the industry for a nominal fee.

“These data have the potential to unlock exploration potential in areas that have not been looked in earnest for decades and consequently have not benefitted from the latest acquisition and processing techniques. The data packages will support the evaluation of acreage to be made available in the 29th Offshore Licensing Round, which is open now, and future planned licence rounds.”

Contracts for the 2016 seismic program focusing on southwest Britain and East Shetland Platform were awarded to WesternGeco and PGS, respectively. Acquisition is planned to be complete in 4Q.

The 29th Offshore Licensing Round, which features 1,261 blocks, opened on July 27 and closes for applications on Oct. 26.


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