Sept. 1, 2006
Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping Plc (OHM) is to conduct an extensive Controlled Source Electromagnetic (CSEM) survey in the South and East Falkland basins on behalf of Falkland Oil & Gas Ltd. (FOGL).

Ted Moon • Houston

OHM to conduct CSEM survey in Falklands

Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping Plc (OHM) is to conduct an extensive Controlled Source Electromagnetic (CSEM) survey in the South and East Falkland basins on behalf of Falkland Oil & Gas Ltd. (FOGL).

Beginning in late 2006, the program will acquire CSEM data over many of the larger prospects identified by FOGL from seismic interpretation.

CSEM, a method which investigates the electromagnetic properties of rocks, produces a recognizable response when oil and gas are present and reportedly is a cost effective method of high grading an extensive inventory of exploration prospects and leads. OHM says the South & East Falkland basins’ conditions of deepwater (>500 m), simple sand and shale geological sequences, and large traps (prospects) make them ideally suited for evaluation by CSEM.

“We are very excited by this new technology and its application in our licenses. The use of CSEM imaging is an appropriate exploration tool given the large number of prospects and leads that we have identified,” says FOGL’s CEO, Tim Bushell. “We believe that CSEM can help to significantly reduce risk, improve the chance of success and allow us to focus on the best prospects for drilling in 2008.”

Bushell went on to say that the program has the potential to indicate which of FOGL’s prospects may contain hydrocarbons. “Our strategy will be to obtain CSEM data over many of the larger prospects. Based on the results, infill 2D seismic then will be acquired in order to determine the best sites for exploration wells.”

“Following the recently announced results of our surveys on behalf of Rockhopper Exploration Plc in the North Falkland basin, we are delighted to have been awarded this extensive contract by FOGL,” says OHM’s CEO, Dave Pratt. “In terms of reducing exploration risk ahead of drilling, there is currently no better method than that chosen by FOGL.”

FOGL will start both the CSEM and 2D seismic surveys before the end of 2006, and plans to announce the results early next year.

Sercel invests in new 4D seismic company

Newly formed 4D seismic software services consultancy Reservoir Imaging Ltd. (RIL), has added Sercel as a minority stakeholder. Sercel, a leading seismic acquisition equipment manufacturer, attributes the rapid progress made by the Edinburgh, Scotland, based RIL as the reason for its investment.

Formed in September 2005 by a group of former Concept Systems managers, RIL has in less than a year won key contracts from companies such as BP, CGG, and Statoil.

RIL says its operational goal is to assist oil and gas companies optimize the planning and execution of 4D marine seismic surveys. RIL developed its own software for performing 4D processing and attribute generation. Its solutions are delivered using GIS (geographical information systems) designed to integrate with oil company processing and interpretation procedures.

“We are delighted that a company of Sercel’s significance in the industry is supporting our focus on 4D seismic as the technology of the future,” says RIL Managing Director Keith Watt. “The investment capital and recognition of the knowledge and experience we have to offer is very welcome; it will enable us to accelerate the company’s development to the next level.”

This investment by Sercel is the latest in a series of purchases that has boosted the company’s marine seismic services. Earlier this year, Sercel’s Marine Source Division added to its equipment inventory with a wide variety of guns; tow bar or gun plate based sub-harness devices; and rigid or flexible floating devices. The company also increased its service package to include the umbilicals, slip-rings and junction boxes, back deck cables, dispatch panel and air-gun controllers.

Seismic vessel charter agreements announced

Fugro and TGS-Nopec Geophysical Co. ASA separately announced charter agreements that will increase their multi-streamer acquisition capacities beginning in 2007. Fugro’s charter agreement with E Forland Shipowners of Norway secures the 8-streamer 3D seismic survey vesselSeisquest for a period of 4 years, with options for extension. The charter begins in May 2007 following expiration of the vessel’s current commitment. Fugro says this charter virtually completes its plans to increase and modernize its marine seismic capabilities.

Click here to enlarge image

TGS-Nopec has signed a charter agreement with BGP to use the newly converted 3D seismic vesselR/V BGP Pioneer. BGP is upgrading the vessel in Singapore to expand its workspace and towing capabilities, and to install updated seismic equipment. The charter is for a minimum one-year period, with an option to extend the charter by one additional year under the same commercial terms. TGS initially will use the vessel on its planned multi-client 3D projects in Africa and Europe. The Pioneer should be ready to start work in January 2007.

WHAM to survey North Sea prospect

North Sea oil and gas exploration company WHAM Energy plc has contracted Petroleum Geo-Sciences (PGS) to conduct a detailed 3D seismic survey of one of its major prospects in the North Sea.

PGS will shoot 3D seismic over blocks 48/3a and 48/4, located in the Southern North Sea, on behalf of WHAM and its license partner, the Canadian oil and gas group Ithaca Energy Inc.

The survey will commence later this month, and will take approximately one month to complete. The data will be fully processed by the end of 1Q 2007. WHAM will use the survey to infill a data gap and provide the group with state of the art 3D data covering the whole license.

The gross cost is estimated at £3.0 million, of which £1.2 million is attributable to WHAM.

“This is another milestone in the process of exploration of license P1245 in the North Sea,” said Tom Windle, CEO of WHAM. “Detailed mapping of the existing 2D and older generation 3D seismic data has revealed a number of gas prospects and leads on these very attractive southern North Sea blocks.”

Windle continued: “This state of the art 3D survey will ensure that the best prospects are explored through the drill bit and also provide a way forward for fast track development. This may lead to additional exploration drilling. We are very excited to be able to conduct this highly cost effective survey with PGS. We believe that acquiring this new seismic data will reduce risk and further enhance our inventory of high quality prospects.”