BHP lets seismic contract for work offshore eastern Canada

BHP Petroleum Corp. has let a large-scale seismic imaging project in the offshore Orphan basin in eastern Canada to Subsurface Imaging, part of CGG’s Geoscience division.

BHP Petroleum Corp. has let a large-scale seismic imaging project in the offshore Orphan basin in eastern Canada to Subsurface Imaging, part of CGG’s Geoscience division.

CGG will employ its FWI and least-squares migration algorithms over the entire survey area of more than 10,000 sq km.

BHP has said previously it plans a drilling program in the Orphan basin where it holds 100% interest in two exploration licenses, EL1157 and EL1158 (OGJ Online, May 22, 2019).

In November 2018, BHP was successful in its bids to acquire a 100% participating interest in, and operatorship of, the two licenses for Blocks 8 and 12 in the basin. At the time, Steve Pastor, BHP president operations petroleum, said the bids were an opportunity for the company to explore for world-class conventional oil assets as an early mover in the prospective region.

BHP’s aggregate bid amount of $625 million covers the drilling and seismic work required by the exploration work programs under the license agreements over the 6-year term. BHP’s minimum commitment under the license agreements is for $157 million.

Should BHP decide to progress the exploration program beyond the initial phase, a decision in relation to further capital expenditure to drill the first appraisal well is expected to be made in fiscal year 2022.

BHP’s initial planned capital expenditure on the exploration work programs for the blocks is $140 million up to fiscal year 2021.

The Orphan basin, off the coast of Newfoundland, is estimated to comprise an area of over 150,000 sq km. Water depths in the basin range from 200 m on the western side to 3,000 m on the eastern side. Previous wells drilled by various operators did not result in petroleum discoveries, but did confirm the presence of Tertiary, Upper Cretaceous, Lower Cretaceous and, likely, Jurassic sediments in the basin.

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