OGA Awards More Cash in Final Stage of Exploration Competition
The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has awarded more than $250,000 (GBP 200,000) in the final stage of its exploration license competition, which was launched earlier this year to stimulate further interest in offshore oil and gas exploration activity in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
Using the awards, Australian privately owned geoscience company FROGTECH, earth-sciences consultancy Geoscience Wales and private company Geop4ysics Ltd. will complete their exploration projects using data acquired during last year’s UK Government funded $25 million (GBP 20 million) seismic survey of the Rockall Trough and Mid-North Sea High (MNSH) areas.
FROGTECH, based in Canberra, Australia, will produce a hand-contoured depth-to-basement model of the Rockall and MNSH areas with its SEEBASE product (Structurally Enhanced view of Economic BASEment). This aims to provide a greater insight into the foundation of the geological basement, rather than relying on more traditional gravity inversion methods. Additional deliverables include the interpretation of basement terranes, major structures and basement-derived heat flow.
Geoscience Wales’ project is being completed by six of its associates, industry professionals from across the UK, many of whom have worked on the MNSH area throughout their careers. Its primary aim is to document the potential effective petroleum systems present within the area with a strong focus on source rock geochemistry and basin modelling.
Geop4ysics Ltd’s project will integrate rock physics into the overall interpretation of the MNSH data set. The aim of this is to identify lithological variations and use these to help define the extent of both potential and known reservoir units.
“Despite the global downturn in the oil and gas industry, the overwhelmingly positive response to this competition highlights the tenacity and talent of the global geoscience community,” said Gunther Newcombe, OGA exploration, production and decommissioning director.
“All the projects submitted will provide greater insight into our understanding of the Rockall Trough and Mid-North Sea High areas, while adding value to our evaluation of 29th Offshore Licensing Round applications. Given the high quality of the technical work delivered by all applicants, there is also the option for products to be integrated into other OGA exploration initiatives, such as the production of regional geological maps, to proactively influence and incentivise exploration on the UKCS,” he added.
The OGA’s exploration license competition launched in March 2016 and attracted more than 60 applications from the UK, Canada, USA, Australia and Europe. It was designed to encourage geoscientists to develop innovative interpretations and products using the data acquired from the Rockall Trough and MNSH areas and to increase the understanding of these frontier areas ahead of the 29th Seaward Licensing Round which opened last month.
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