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Geoscience expertise

Providing expert advisory in geoscience for SSE.

  • Client


  • Asset

    Oil and Gas field

  • Location



SSE is one of the ‘big six’ energy utilities in the UK, a leading generator of renewable energy and less well-known, is that SSE is a significant player in the upstream exploration and production (E&P) side of the oil and gas sector.

SSE’s E&P subsidiary currently owns interests in gas producing assets in the Southern North Sea and the West of Shetland, and in 2017 it was the UK’s 10th biggest gas producer.

The West of Shetland assets comprise a 20% interest in the four gas fields and surrounding exploration acreage located approximately 125km north west of the Shetland Islands, collectively known as the Greater Laggan Area. SSE also owns a 20% interest in the new Shetland Gas Plant.

Since 2016, increasing quantities of SSE’s gas production comes from its 20% ownership of the Total-operated Greater Laggan Area (GLA) fields in the West of Shetland area. The GLA fields comprise Laggan, Tormore, Edradour and Glenlivet. These fields have in common is that they are mapped based on seismic amplitude anomalies – and this calls for specialist geophysical knowledge, as does the current focus on exploring for new gas fields in the area surrounding the GLA fields.

We were asked to provide expert geoscientist assistance to support their E&P activities in the UKCS on an on-going basis. They also require support on an ad hoc basis from the broad range of technical experts available across our business. 

How we helped

Over the past six years, we have provided specialist advice to SSE on geophysics, geology and petrophysics. We’ve also supported SSE on drilling and facilities-related matters and on asset management.

We have represented SSE at many technical meetings where subsurface issues are discussed and advised on the uncertainties and risks of activities proposed by the operator. Typical issues include: Has the volume of gas predicted from the proposed new well been properly evaluated? What is the chance of success? Should SSE support acquisition of an expensive new seismic survey?

A relationship of trust has been established and the fact we are an integrated energy business allows us to add value to the client on a broad front and in a cost-effective way.   


  • LR’s specialist advice on risk and uncertainty has informed SSE decisions involving significant expenditure on exploration wells in the Southern North Sea and West of Shetlands areas.
  • SSE’s participation in a successful application for 30th Round licences in the West of Shetland area was supported by geoscience advice from LR.
  • LR’s independent interpretation of the results of a 4D seismic survey on the Laggan gas field has given SSE added confidence in the operator’s reservoir development plans.
  • More broadly, our integrated Energy business has provided value to SSE through our broad range of disciplines and in a cost-effective way. 


“LR offer a cost-effective solution to SSE’s requirement for a source of flexible, reliable and professional advice to inform significant decisions on exploration and reservoir development issues. A relationship of trust has been established over several years, and SSE continues to value LR’s expertise”.
Ishfaq Ahmed – Head of Petroleum Engineering, SSE.

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