Joint Seismic Acquisition Project Gets Strong Industry Support

Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland
Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland

A total of 33 oil and gas companies have now signed on to take part in a joint seismic acquisition project to map a new area of the Norwegian arctic in an effort to reduce costs and increase the quality of data.

The new blocks recently opened in the southeastern Barents Sea are part of the 23rd licensing round on the Norwegian continental shelf in 2014. At the request of the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (OED), the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association launched an initiative for a joint project relating to acquiring 3D seismic data from blocks in this area.

The project was first launched in December 2013 with the support of 17 companies, including Statoil who took on the lead role. An additional 16 companies followed suit after the OED on February 14 circulated a proposal regarding block announcements for public consultation, according to a statement Tuesday from Statoil.

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Statoil says a doubling of the number of companies is a good sign of solid industry support for the initiative, which is expected to further reduce costs while ensuring good quality data by utilising the companies’ concerted competencies. A joint acquisition of data will also limit any possible negative consequences for the fishing industry, Statoil said.

The first contracts for the seismic acquisition are expected to be awarded in March along with further plans for the acquisition. Original plans called for seismic surveys to start in April 2014 and conclude in the fall.

The new area the first new area on the Norwegian continental shelf to be opened since 1994.

Early participants in the project included BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Det Norske Oljeselskap, ENI, GDF Suez, Idemitsu, Lukoil, Lundin, A/S Norske Shell, PGNiG, Repsol, Spike, Statoil, Suncor, VNG and Wintershall.

New participants announced Tuesday include New participants Bayern Gas, BG, Dong, Edison, E.ON, Explora, Petroleum, ExxonMobil, Faroe Petroleum, Inpex, KUFPEC, MOECO, OMW, RN Nordic Oil, RWE Dea, Total and Tullow Oil.