• 4 minutes Some Good News on Climate Change Maybe
  • 7 minutes Cuba Charges U.S. Moving Special Forces, Preparing Venezuelan Intervention
  • 12 minutes Washington Eyes Crackdown On OPEC
  • 15 minutes Solar and Wind Will Not "Save" the Climate
  • 1 hour Prospective Cause of Little Ice Age
  • 4 hours L.A. Mayor Ditches Gas Plant Plans
  • 10 hours is climate change a hoax? $2 Trillion/year worth of programs intended to be handed out by politicians and bureaucrats?
  • 3 mins *Happy Dance* ... U.S. Shale Oil Slowdown
  • 7 hours students walk out of school in protest of climate change
  • 24 hours Most Wanted Man In Latin America For AP Agency: Maduro Reveals Secret Meetings With US Envoy
  • 11 hours Ford In Big Trouble: Three Recalls In North America
  • 1 day Amazon’s Exit Could Scare Off Tech Companies From New York
  • 1 day And the War on LNG is Now On
  • 11 hours Why Is Japan Not a Leader in Renewables?
  • 8 hours Is the Green race a race from energy dependence.
  • 1 day And for the final post in this series of 3: we’ll have a look at the Decline Rates in the Permian
Alt Text

Emerging ‘Quality’ Problem To Haunt Oil Markets

The divergence between lighter and…

Alt Text

How Washington Could Spoil The OPEC+ Alliance

OPEC and Russia are looking…

Alt Text

ExxonMobil Leads In Exploration Successes In 2018

Oil major ExxonMobil is leading…

Precise Consultants

Precise Consultants

’Precise Consultants is a London based technical recruitment consultancy that supplies specialist personnel to the offshore oil and energy industry. The company was founded by…

More Info

Trending Discussions

British Offshore Industry: Expect The Unexpected

The majority of us will say check out last year's figures – only 13 exploratory wells were drilled in 2015. As energyvoice.com put it - “Exploration in British waters has absolutely crashed and is now at its worst ever in the entire history of our still strategically vital offshore oil and gas industry.”

But that was before the closure of the latest government licensing rounds. Keen observers (they do say the geeks will inherit the Earth) noticed that for the first time in over twenty years the recent offshore licensing offers in the North Sea concerned what's described as “frontier areas”.

And guess what? Be still our beating hearts. It was “really positive”. 24 companies applied for licenses covering 113 blocks – BP alone made 29 applications. Nick Richardson, head of exploration and new ventures at the OGA said, “It is not much use comparing this to the previous round because in those we tries to target all acreage in the UKCS but here we have been much more targeted in what we have offered.”

He's talking about the east Shetland Platform and the Rockall Trough and Mid-North Sea High areas. These haven't been ventured into much, not least because they don't offer the prospective driller an easy time. In February 2000 the RSS Discovery – a British oceanographic research vessel came across the largest waves ever recorded by scientific instruments in the open ocean with a SWH of 18.5m – 61ft – and individual waves up to 29.1m – 95ft.

However these were all areas that a UK Government-funded seismic acquisition programme focused on last year. It cost £20m and for the first time was made available to industry, along with roughly 20,000km of reprocessed legacy data. The OGA said it “provided an openly available, geophysical dataset allowing companies to identify and target a range of opportunities.”

Almost 9000km of full-fold seismic in the Rockall Trough and more than 10000km in the Mid-North Sea High were acquired before being published in a total of around 1200 blocks under the Open Government licence in March.

These programmes – part of the Innovate License concept- were proclaimed by the OGA to be critical in its plan to revitalise the flagging exploration of the UKCS. Licensees will be able to work with the regulator to work with the oGA to design “an optimal work programme – more appropriate phasing of activity, rental frees and competency tests and implements a stage-gate process for better monitoring of progress than the previous licensing regime.” Related: $30 Oil Or Worse If OPEC Fails

It paid off. The packages were downloaded more than 3000 times and companies saw something they liked. OGA CEO Andy Samuel said: “Despite the difficult climate, industry has responded strongly to our offer, using analysis and insights to identify new prospects and submit high quality applications on blocks that did not attract interest in recent licensing rounds. This confirms the high remaining potential in the UKCS’ frontier areas.”

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “I welcome these new opportunities for our important oil and gas industry and the associated supply chain. The £20m seismic campaign funded by this government has highlighted more of the opportunities that are still out there in the UK continental shelf. We now look forward to companies taking advantage of these newly discovered sites and all the potential that they offer.”

And this is only the start. An additional £20 million of government cash funded a subsequent seismic programme completed earlier this month, focusing on waters off south-west Britain and the East Shetland region, with the data to be used as the basis of the UK’s 31st Frontier Licensing Round, due in 2018. If one thing is true about this industry, it's that you can always expect the unexpected.

By Precise Consultants

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News