The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has awarded three contracts worth £200,000 in the final stage of its exploration licence competition to stimulate further interest in new oil and gas exploration in the northern North Sea and the Rockall Trough.
The OGA’s exploration licence competition was launched in March this year 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.
Australian privately owned geoscience company FROGTECH, not-for-profit earth sciences consultancy Geoscience Wales and private company Geop4ysics Ltd. will now complete their innovative interpretations and products using data acquired during last year’s UK Government funded £20 million seismic survey of these two sea areas.
Gunther Newcombe, OGA Exploration, Production and Decommissioning Director, said: “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.
“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.”
FROGTECH, based in Canberra, Australia, will produce a unique, hand-contoured depth-to-basement model of these areas which will provide greater insight into the foundation of the geological basement, rather than relying on more traditional gravity inversion methods.
Geoscience Wales’ project is being completed by six of their associates – industry professionals from across the UK many of whom have worked on the northern North Sea area throughout their careers. Their 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.
Kinga Wroblewska, owner of Geop4ysics Ltd., set up her company in March this year after spending more than 17 years’ working for various oil and gas service companies in the geoscience sector. Her aim is to identify lithological variations and use these to help define the extent of both potential and known reservoir units.