OGA spends £2.5m to hire Firth of Clyde ‘seismic oil explorers’ and has another £1m to spend on contracts to re-explore the Wessex basin

OGA 29th licensing round 'frontier areas' in white
OGA 29th licensing round ‘frontier areas’ in white

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has awarded two contracts worth more than £2.5 million to build ‘frontier oil’ seismic databases of possible untapped oil fields around the UK. This includes data from:

  • The Southwest Approaches
  • Northern Approaches and Bristol Channel
  • Cardigan Bay and Celtic Sea
  • Morecambe Bay and East Irish Sea
  • The East Shetland Platform, and
  • West of Scotland – including The Minches and the Firth of Clyde.

Schlumberger WesternGeco and Down Under Geosolutions (DUG), in collaboration with Geopartners Ltd, will supply around 15,000 kilometres of reprocessed multi-client 2D seismic data in these six areas around the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

These datasets will complement data being acquired from the seismic acquisition programme off the East Shetland Platform and South West Britain. Mirroring last year’s programme, the seismic data will be reprocessed using modern processing workflows and is expected to be made available to the industry in Q2 2017.

In addition, the Aberdeen-based OGA is seeking bidders for a £1 million contract to reprocess a further 10,000 km proprietary seismic 2D data from around the UKCS.

Amongst other areas, this includes a large regional 2D seismic dataset from the Anglo-Paris basin (incorporating the Wessex basin) where both land and marine seismic data will be reprocessed. 

Further contract details can be viewed here: –


Nick Richardson, OGA Exploration and New Ventures Manager, said: “The combination of the Rockall and Mid-North Sea High data acquired in 2015, the two new broadband seismic datasets being acquired this summer in South West Britain and the East Shetland Platform, and the reprocessing of legacy datasets in 2016 and 2017 will form part of a consistent, modern, regional 2D seismic dataset across large, under-explored areas of the UK Continental Shelf that will be provided to the industry for a nominal fee.

“These data have the potential to unlock exploration potential in areas that have not been looked in earnest for decades and consequently have not benefitted from the latest acquisition and processing techniques.

“The data packages will support the evaluation of acreage to be made available in the 29thOffshore Licensing Round, which is open now, and future planned licence rounds.”

A total of 1,261 blocks are on offer in all. A full list of the blocks on offer can be viewed on the licensing rounds page

See also:

UK Govt. launches campaign to drive new exploration in the N. Sea: ‘It’s a mature basin – but with frontier opportunities’


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