Companies jointly acquire seismic in Barents Sea

Statoil ASA said it will operate a collaboration consisting of 17 oil and gas companies for joint seismic acquisition in the southeastern Barents Sea.

The blocks for which seismic 3D data will be gathered will be announced in the 23rd licensing round for the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) in 2014 (OGJ Online, Sept. 3, 2013). The plan was formed at the request of the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE).

New blocks on the NCS have not been made available since 1994. Surveys are slated to begin in April 2014 and finish the following fall.

“Coordinated seismic acquisition has several advantages,” said Gro G. Haatvedt, Statoil’s senior vice-president for exploration on the NCS. “It will ensure very good data quality, since the industry to a much greater extent will be able to utilize the companies’ collective professional expertise within geological understanding and seismic acquisition and processing.

“The initiative lays the foundation for fewer, well-planned operations, thus reducing acquisition costs and potential disadvantages for the fishing industry,” she added.

Haatvedt also commented that interest in the Barents Sea has seen a recent jump facilitated by discoveries in the Johan Castberg area. Statoil this week reported it found oil in the third of four wells planned this year in Johan Castberg (OGJ Online, Dec. 9, 2013).

Thirty companies expressed interest in the initial collaboration.

Companies that will initially participate are BP PLC, Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, DNO ASA, Eni SPA, GDF Suez, Idemitsu, OAO Lukoil, Lundin Petroleum, Norske Shell, PGNiG SA, Repsol SA, Spike Exploration, Statoil, Suncor Inc., VNG, and Wintershall AG.

Additional companies will be able to participate when authorities circulate the 23rd round nominated blocks for public consultation. A tender process for seismic acquisition will be initiated immediately.

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