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In data we trust: Transforming UKCS subsurface data into insight.

Continued release of UKCS subsurface data provides unique insight into exploration and development opportunities across the region.

Over the last three years, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has made a significant number of subsurface data sets freely available across the entire United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS). The breadth of data already released includes; seismic surveys, well tops, regional geological maps, core databases, geochemical data and a range of other pertinent data acquired over decades of petroleum E&P activity. The public release of this data is intended to facilitate and stimulate exploration activity and development opportunities across the UKCS.

Lloyd’s Register (LR), in partnership with Integrated Geochemical Interpretation (IGI), have recently completed a UKCS wide study to produce a comprehensive geochemical and geological database on behalf of the OGA. This is being delivered within a wider 4-year Petroleum Systems Project to develop understanding of both proven and marginal/unproven petroleum systems across all sectors of the UKCS, and forms part of the OGA’s wider goal to maximise economic value of the UKCS. The delivered geochemical and geological database is another major step in providing companies with a broad range of high-quality data with which to assess subsurface opportunities.

Geochemical and Geological Database to Enhance Petroleum Systems Analysis

This study provides the most comprehensive compilation of geochemical data that has been acquired over the decades of exploration and production on the UKCS, delivering a quality-controlled and consistent database. When coupled to the consistent stratigraphic tops data and used in combination with the various other interpretations provided within this study, this database provides a unique tool with which to conduct subsurface evaluations. It can be used by companies and academia to enhance understanding of petroleum systems, helping drive exploration into new plays or extending existing plays and realise existing development opportunities.

The main technical scopes undertaken included:

  • Sourcing of UKCS wide geochemical data
  • Quality control and selection of appropriate and valid geochemical data
  • Construction of the geochemical database, including well/stratigraphy data
  • High level gap analysis, and new geochemical analysis of selected oil samples
  • High level geochemical interpretation/overview
  • Extraction of well tops data according to a consistent stratigraphic framework
  • Interpretation of shallow seismic anomalies and potential fluid migration pathways
  • Petrophysics based TOC calculation of marginal/unproven source rocks
  • Provision of key depth structure surfaces

How this new data can help you

Each technical scope has tangible and valuable results, but ultimately the true value in conducting these is realised by bringing them together into a complete end product. The main deliverable is a comprehensive, consistent and quality controlled geochemical and geological database that provides excellent detail on a wide range of geochemical parameters that are crucial to the understanding of source rocks and petroleum systems. Combined with the additional geophysical and petrophysical results and presented in a geospatial format, we believe the results of this study are a comprehensive and valuable tool for industry and academia to use to improve understanding of the exploration and development opportunities in all areas of the UKCS.

The outcome

There is a good geographical spread within the database which has compiled geochemical data from a mix of exploration, appraisal and development wells across all main basins and areas well across the UKCS. The current database contains good coverage of rock and fluid samples, and a total of 2,758 wells with some form of geochemical data tied to lithostratigraphic tops.

Using this database in an integrated manner is key and combining it with the shallow seismic interpretation results, regional depth grids and petrophysical interpretation, offers unique opportunities to enhance UKCS subsurface evaluations. Going forward, you will be able to incorporate your own data and knowledge along with this extended database, to ensure the information can be used to its maximum potential. The geochemical and geological database should be used – alongside all other public domain data released by the OGA – to facilitate and support independent subsurface interpretation on the UKCS, thereby enhancing understanding of the petroleum systems and progressing exploration and production opportunities.


Learn more at EAGE 2019

Matt Jacobs is presenting the entire results and methodologies of the study at EAGE 2019. Catch him Wednesday 5th June at 2.20 or visit us at stand 230 to hear more about the results of this significant study.


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