The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has completed the first stage of the UK Government’s £20million seismic campaign.
The industry regulator said 20,000km of high-quality data had been acquired in under explored areas of the UKCS.
The programme was completed by Schlumberger company, WesternGeco,on October 11th with almost 20,000km of new 2D seismic lines acquired over an area of 200,000km.
The OGA said the latest seismic acquisition and processing technologies were used to enhance subsurface imaging and help improve understanding of the geology and potential prospectivity.
Exploration activity in the UK has fallen in recent years and this campaign is part of a comprehensive plan to help revitalise exploration on the UKCS.
In March, Chancellor George Osborne announced the government would fund new seismic surveys to assess the potential in under-explored areas of the UK North Sea.
It was part of a wider £1.3billion package of measures to drive investment in the UKCS.
Gunther Newcombe, OGA’s director of exploration and production, said: “I am delighted that our partner WesternGeco has completed the campaign on time and without incident, having surveyed an area almost the size of the British Isles.
“Seismic data is currently being processing by WesterGeco and data packages will be made freely available when they are finalised towards the end of Q1 2016.
“HM Treasury’s financial support for the programme and the close working relationship between industry and the OGA underlines the benefits of collaboration.
“We are confident the results will highlight the significant opportunities that remain on the UKCS and will aim to announce the 29th Offshore Licensing Round next year, focusing on frontier areas.”
Additional seismic information contributed by WesternGeco from the 2014 Atlantic Margin survey will be complemented by other legacy datasets to create a combined data package of 40,000km.
The programme acquired 8,896km of full-fold seismic in the Rockall Trough Area, 10,849km of full-fold seismic acquired in mid-North Sea high.
The OGA is currently preparing for the 29th round which is expected to be announced next year focusing on frontier area using the data from the seismic campaign.
Oonagh Werngren, Oil and Gas UK’s operations director, said: “The completion of the data acquisition stage of the seismic programme is very good news at a time when the sector is challenged with attracting fresh investment into the UKCS.
“It clearly demonstrates that government and industry can work together to make a significant contribution to developing understanding of the basin.
“By ensuring that the data will be made available to both industry and academia, the OGA is promoting maximum value from the surveys’ which will help to stimulate further exploration activity in the UK.”