Studies show prospectivity in West Orphan basin offshore Newfoundland

Offshore staff

ST JOHN’S, CanadaNalcor Energy, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Beicip-Franlab have issued an updated assessment of oil and gas resources in the West Orphan basin offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

This suggests potential for 25.5 Bbbl of oil and 20.6 tcf of gas within the area, which is included in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) 2016 Eastern Newfoundland Call for Bids.

Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, said: “We do recognize that exploration is down globally due to current challenges in the oil and gas industry.

“Still, we are cautiously optimistic about positive results of the licensing round in November 2016. We are fully expecting more exploration work by the leading oil and gas companies in the world.”

Nalcor, TGS, and PGS have acquired 110,000 line km (68,351 mi) of 2D seismic over the province’s slope and deepwater areas. To further delineate the West Orphan basin, they acquired a 3D seismic survey over part of the area in summer 2015: the resultant data, which has assisted the resource analysis.

Jim Keating, executive vice president, Corporate Services and Offshore Development at Nalcor Energy, said: “We are focused on advancing exploration activity that will scientifically assess our entire offshore…

“The 3D seismic survey added an additional layer of insight which has played an essential role in helping us risk-reduce key prospects from a 1 in 20 to a globally competitive 1 in 6 chance of success.”

Through the integration of satellite slick data, 2D long offset seismic, 3D long offset seismic, and seabed coring the parties have identified a new Lower Tertiary play trend in the West Orphan basin.

This will be outlined in a paper to be presented this fall at the Society of Exploration Geophysicists International Annual Meeting in Dallas.

Beicip-Franlab CEO Jean Burrus said: “The independent integrated geological and geophysical study carried out by Beicip-Franlab, supported by the application of leading edge modeling techniques, has been instrumental in identifying and quantifying significant prospective oil and gas resources in the West Orphan basin.

“Our analysis and modeling of the 2016 area indicates favorable geological conditions for oil and gas accumulations.”

The assessment is based on new data covering the nine parcels on offer in the West Orphan basin, 300 km (186 mi) from the northeast coast of Newfoundland. It also covers roughly 2% (20,000 sq km) of Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore area.

This is the province’s second scheduled license round. Future license rounds scheduled through 2020 will follow the same process with detailed resource assessments to be conducted and released prior to bid closing.


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