LONDON – The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has awarded four new contracts worth approximately £1 million ($1.2 million) to Shearwater GeoServices, Geokinetics, DMT Petrologic, and Quality Seismic to supply more than 10,000 km (6,214 mi) of reprocessed proprietary 2D seismic data of the UK continental shelf (UKCS). This is part of the UK government-funded seismic acquisition program.
This reprocessed legacy seismic is located in the Anglo-Paris basin offshore, the Wessex and Weald basins onshore, the South West Approaches (including deep imaging data from the British Institutes Reflection Profiling Syndicate), the Solway Firth, the Unst basin, and the East Shetland Platform. It is scheduled to be openly released to the industry in 2017 alongside the recently acquired new seismic, gravity, and magnetics data of southwest Britain and the East Shetland Platform.
Dr. Nick Richardson, OGA Exploration and New Ventures Manager, said: “This combined seismic dataset, covers an offshore area equivalent to twice the United Kingdom’s landmass (approximately 500,000 sq km or 193,051 sq mi) and provides an unprecedented dataset to stimulate exploration activity. These data have the potential to unlock potential in areas that have not been explored for decades and will support the evaluation of acreage to be made available in future OGA licensing rounds.”
Over the last two years, the UK government has provided £40 million ($50 million) of funding for seismic acquisition programs which the OGA has been using to build a regional database of seismic data in under-explored areas of the UKCS. This has included two new seismic campaigns covering the Mid North Sea High and the Rockall basin in 2015/16 and the East Shetland Platform and southwest Britain in 2016/17.
The OGA has also announced several programs of legacy seismic reprocessing to extend and complement the coverage to other areas including the Mid North Sea High (2015/16), the Rockall basin and west of Britain (2015/16) and in 2016/17, Southwest Approaches, Northern Approaches and Bristol Channel, Cardigan Bay and Celtic Sea, Morecambe Bay and East Irish Sea, the East Shetland Platform and northwestern Britain including the Minches and the Firth of Clyde.
The OGA has also recently announced two invitations to tender for geotechnical studies in the East Shetland Platform and South West Approaches. These tenders mark next phase of the 21st Century Exploration Road Map. The closing date is Nov. 28.