Surveys sharpen Mariner imaging

StatoilHydro is preparing to interpret data from two recent seismic surveys to improve its understanding of the Mariner heavy oil field in the UK northern North Sea.

Offshore staff

LONDON, UK -- StatoilHydro is preparing to interpret data from two recent seismic surveys to improve its understanding of the Mariner heavy oil field in the UK northern North Sea.

According to London-based partner Nautical Petroleum, last year's 3D seismic and ocean bottom cable (OBC) surveys were designed to characterize and define the areal distribution of Mariner's shallower Heimdal sandstone reservoir and the deeper Palaeocene Maureen sandstone reservoir.

The 151 sq km (58 sq mi) of 3D data, currently undergoing processing, has improved imaging in both reservoirs and the fault fabric, while initial processing of the OBC data has also enhanced the overall picture. StatoilHydro has applied methodology for this program implemented previously in its heavy oil Grane field in the Norwegian sector.

Nautical says the resultant improvement in definition should lift best estimate contingent resources in the Heimdal reservoir from the current figure of 180 MMbbl, while confirming the reserves volume in the Maureen sandstone reservoir.

The results will be factored into reservoir simulation prior to concept selection and front-end engineering and design studies. A field development plans will probably be submitted in 2011, although this could be accelerated if market conditions change.

Nautical also plans to drill a well this summer on the Hydra prospect in nearby block 3/27a. Drilling had to be postponed last November because of bad weather, and the high costs of keeping the rig on standby.

03/23/2009

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