This high level of seismic surveying activity in the North, Norwegian and Barents Seas is set to continue in the coming year.
"Exploration work on the NCS is expanding," observes Knut Christian Grindstad, exploration manager for the Norwegian Sea.
"We believe seismic activity will stay high for a number of years to come, and we've secured capacity in the form of two survey vessels for 2006. Even more lines will be shot than in 2005."
In connection with the 2005 awards in predefined areas (APA), Statoil is due to gather more than 2,500 square kilometers of seismic data from the North Sea and the Halten/Nordland area of the Norwegian Sea.
Additional NCS acreage will be awarded under the 19th offshore licensing round in the first quarter of next year.
Most of the seismic shot on the NCS is three-dimensional.
The group has also carried out a good deal of seabed logging (SBL) in 2005. While seismic surveys utilie sound waves, SBL is based on electromagnetic waves.
This solution provides an indication of whether a sub-surface structure contains hydrocarbons or water, and can complement seismic surveying in the exploration phase.
Seismic shooting on the Hassi Mouina block operated by Statoil in Algeria is also well under way, with some 300 square kilometers of two-dimensional data gathered so far.
The survey program on this Saharan acreage is expected to last for two years.
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