Companies seeking exploration opportunities in the UK's North Sea can look forward to receiving a helping hand from experts in Lloyd's Register (LR), a leading global provider of engineering and technology-centric professional services, and Integrated Geochemical Interpretation (IGI), a specialist petroleum geochemical & basin modelling consultancy and producer of geochemical software.
As part of the Oil & Gas Authority's (OGA) four-year initiative to evaluate petroleum systems across the UKCS, the next phase is already underway with support from LR and IGI. Expertise from both companies will be used to generate high-quality, consistent databases that will be made publicly available and used by oil and gas professionals and academia to determine the extent of E&P opportunities in the UK.
LR's Senior Geologist, Matt Jacobs, who is leading the project with the OGA, says: "This project aligns with the regional maps initiative LR began delivering for the OGA in 2016. Our objective is to provide technical expertise and support to the OGA to help make data freely available, and which helps the OGA to provide industry with a detailed level of insight and up-to-date information on the subsurface of the UKCS. We are delighted to be continuing our work with the OGA in support of their next phase of their strategy."
In July 2017, the OGA released the first set of regional geological maps and data sets put together by LR ahead of the 30th UKCS Licensing Round. This first project in the OGA's strategy covered the UK Central North Sea and Moray Firth, and made available more than 100 maps, varying from well depth and thickness grids, to penetration maps and depositional data packs – providing a tool for oil and gas operators to effectively look for more exploration opportunities.
Jacobs says: "Having worked closely with the OGA for 20 years, we've demonstrated that we can deliver technically excellent regional studies and tailor the end result in a ‘user friendly' manner, which is critical given that these databases will be made available to the public. The other element which added value to our latest bid is the exposure we've generated in reservoir and geo-technical applications across the world, which has been well received by the OGA as it promotes its key objectives to a wide-ranging audience."
IGI has also completed work for OGA in 2017, delivering an evaluation of source rock potential across the East Shetland Platform in support of the 31st Frontier Licensing Round planned for 2018. Paul Farrimond, director at IGI, says: "We are very pleased to be working again with the OGA, and particularly delighted to be in a position to build this extensive geochemical database for the UKCS, which will be extremely valuable in encouraging and supporting exploration activity."
A range of technical expertise is being provided to the OGA to deliver the considerable scope. LR's reservoir services, survey and geoengineering, and digital and software teams will be working alongside IGI's geochemical consultants and database technicians. LR and IGI are excited about the partnership to deliver this significant project, which aligns with the OGA's focus on industry collaboration to maximise opportunities on the UKCS.
Jo Bagguley, Principal Regional Geologist at the OGA, says: "The award to LR and IGI to develop geochemical and geological databases demonstrates the OGA's commitment to providing access to trusted and high-quality data to stimulate exploration activity and production in the UKCS. This will make a significant contribution to the seismic, well and map-related data already made available by the OGA to help unlock the huge prize of the basin's potential 10-20 billion barrels of resources."