NPD sheds new light on Barents Sea geology

Feb. 9, 2015
Investigations conducted by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) have thrown new light on the geology of Svalbard and the northern Barents Sea.
Gene Kliewer • Houston

Investigations conducted by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) have thrown new light on the geology of Svalbard and the northern Barents Sea. The studies contradict the hypothesis that sand and shale deposited around the Arctic archipelago derive from an early "microcontinent" called Crockerland.

"Nothing suggests that such a land mass ever existed," said Bjørn Anders Lundschien, project coordinator.

Initial drilling off Kong Karls Land in 2015 indicates the sand around the islands originated to the southeast from highlands and mountains in Russia's Ural. Subsequent expeditions in and around Svalbard resulted in NPD Bulletin No. 11, which was issued at the start of this year.

The report says Triassic oil-prone source rocks were first deposited in the southernmost Barents Shelf and have sourced several hydrocarbon traps, such as the Kobbe formation reservoirs of the Goliat field. In the Svalis Dome area these source rocks (the Steinkobbe formation) were established at least as early as in latest Olenekian (late Spathian) and span the entire Anisian. In the northern Barents Sea and on central and eastern Svalbard the correlative organic rich shales of the Botneheia formation were deposited throughout the Anisian and Ladinian.

Triassic reservoir rocks were also first established in the southernmost Barents Shelf, in the Anisian, when the coastal sandstones of the regressive Kobbe formation were deposited. The regressive trend continued during the deposition of the Snadd formation from the Ladinian time close to the Norwegian mainland and in the Svalis Dome and Sentralbanken High areas. The prograding deltaic sediments of the Snadd formation first reached the northernmost Barents Sea (off Kong Karls Land) and Svalbard in the Carnian. These regressive sandstones represent the main reservoir potential in large areas of the Barents Sea as seen by seismic interpretation.

This evolution is favorable for Triassic play models with Lower and Middle Triassic source rocks of the Steinkobbe and Botneheia formations overlain by paralic sandstones of the Kobbe, Snadd, and De Geerdalen formations.

2D seismic survey set offshore Namibia in Walvis basin

Nabirm Energy Services is set to undertake a 2D seismic survey in license block 2113A in the Walvis basin offshore Namibia.

The proposed area of the 2D seismic survey will be approximately 1,050 km (652 mi) long, consisting of low-density spaced survey lines spanning approximately 2,500 sq km (965 sq mi). Water in the proposed survey area ranges between 50 and 150 m (164 and 492 ft) in depth, and the distance from shore ranges between 10 and 50 km (6 and 31 mi).

CCA Environmental (pty) Ltd. will examine the baseline environmental conditions of the survey area to evaluate any potential impacts of the proposed seismic survey and to present the findings in an environmental impact assessment and to ensure no negative impacts.

Geosciences business report

At its Capital Markets Day held in Oslo, Norway, TGS said that it expects multi-client investments of $420 million plus an additional capex of $15 million this year. The target revenues for 2015 total $750 million.

The 4Q 2014 results are expected to reach a record-high for the company of $298 million, or 10% more than 4Q 2013. The full-year revenues are expected to be $915 million.

CGG has reported a record in multi-client sales for a single quarter during 4Q 2014. The company also has said that its vessel production rate tallied 92% for the quarter.

It not only received client commitment for the StagSeis Gulf of Mexico program, but also sustained multi-client sales in the North Sea, West Africa, and Latin America over the time frame.

Jean-Georges Malcor, CEO of CGG, said the performance was positive news in light of the drop in oil prices.

Click image to EnlargePolarcus has started acquiring multi-client 3D seismic data offshore Western Australia in the Phoenix area in a venture with Carnarvon Petroleum Ltd. The survey uses two high-performance 12-streamer Polarcus vessels, Polarcus Amani and Polarcus Asima, operating in tandem to maximize production. The program, called Capreolus MC3D, is in exploration permit areas WA-435-P, WA-436-P, WA-437-P, and WA-438-P. This joint venture expects to license 5,100 sq km (1,969 sq mi) of Capreolus 3D in the area shown on this map. The first 3D seismic acquisition in this area (the Phoenix MC3D) covered 1,100 sq km (425 sq mi) and was acquired in late 2010/early 2011. In late 2011/early 2012, a second 3D seismic acquisition program (the Zeester MC3D) acquired an additional 3,854 sq km (1,488 sq mi). The current joint venture partners have recently agreed to license this data following the success of the Phoenix South-1 well. A new 2D seismic acquisition program (the Bilby MC2D) will acquire modern 2D seismic data over most of the remaining acreage. The data acquisition phase is estimated to last four months, with the data being processed through a pre-stack depth migration routine by DownUnder GeoSolutions in Perth. Final data products are expected to be available in 2Q 2016.
About the Author

Gene Kliewer | Technology Editor - Subsea & Seismic