OGA prepares new ‘seller’s survey’ of N. Sea oil wells ahead of 30th licensing round

OGA 'treasure map' of undeveloped N. Sea oil (in green) and gas discoveries (in red).
OGA ‘treasure map’ of undeveloped N. Sea oil (in green) and gas discoveries (in red).

This year’s 30th Offshore Licensing Round will focus on the more mature areas of the North – some of which were last offered for licensing more than 40 years ago – and is expected to be the most significant offshore round in recent decades.

Consequently, the Aberdeen-based Oil and Gas Authority has developed a new ‘seller’s survey’ designed to stimulate interest in the ageing basin ahead of the 30th Offshore Licensing Round. These include:

  • An interactive map of undeveloped oil fields (above, left)
  • A new map of all licence relinquishments since 2014 (below, left)
  • A series of freely available subsurface data packages for some 140 relinquished discoveries, including well and
  • seismic data (from Common Data Access), well tops (from OGA/BGS) and selected seismic images (from CGG, PGS and WesternGeco)
  • Technical montages for 60 discoveries, including the discovery’s history, static and dynamic information and digital
  • subsurface data to be used in interpretation software
  • The launch of a technology event in Aberdeen in August, jointly hosted with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre

The technology showcase event will focus on how technology can help unlock these future oil and gas developments in the upcoming 30th Offshore Licensing Round. 

The event will cover technology areas that are critical for the economic development of marginal fields, including seismic, well construction, subsea tie-backs, and efficient standalone facility concepts. 

The agenda will include presentations by the OGA on acreage and opportunities available in the licensing round, by the OGTC on support available to technology development, and slots for technology providers to showcase proposed solutions.

In addition, the OGA is also preparing a number of exploration data sets for public release. These will include the publication of UKCS-wide satellite gravity data, regional geological maps and associated databases covering the Central North Sea and Moray Firth, joined digital well logs and several geological databases including core analysis and pressure data.

OGA map of un-used oil exploration licences now available in the 30th licensing round.
OGA map of un-used oil exploration licences now available in the 30th licensing round.

Gunther Newcombe, OGA Operations Director, said: “We know that more than three billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) remain in approximately 350 undeveloped discoveries across the North Sea basin. Data and technology are key to unlocking as many of these undeveloped discoveries as possible.

“That’s why we’re making this data openly available; to provide useful insights into each discovery and the potential these may hold.

“We want to see swift deployment of technology to help unlock many of these discoveries which is why we have also launched, in partnership with the OGTC, a technology event in August to bring operators and technology providers together with the 30th Offshore Licensing Round and beyond very much in mind.”

Chris Pearson, Small Pools Solution Centre Manager for the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, said: “We are focused on significantly reducing the life cycle cost of field developments across the UKCS.

“To achieve this, we recognise that both incremental and radical innovations are required. We have presented the challenge to industry on how we can do this  better, faster and at a lower cost than previously achieved, and we’ll share the output of these workstreams at the Autumn technology showcase.”

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