Seismic activity picks up offshore Australia

Duvalia 2D in the Carnarvon basin. The Duvalia survey comprises approximately 3,700 km (2,300 mi) of new, long-offset 2D seismic data.

Duvalia 2D in the Carnarvon basin. The Duvalia survey comprises approximately 3,700 km (2,300 mi) of new, long-offset 2D seismic data. The survey covers proposed areas 8 and 9 slated for inclusion in the May 2012 Federal Acreage Release.

There are several recent discoveries in adjacent permits, all in the Triassic Mungaroo formation and the available data indicates the presence of similar rotated fault blocks within the proposed areas.

The existing data coverage over Proposed Area 8 is sparse, and the water depths range from 2,000 m (6,562 ft) to more than 4,000 m (13,123 ft).

The Duvalia survey has been planned in water depths less than 3,000 m (9,842 ft) using a 5 x 10 km (3 mi by 6 mi) grid over the most promising portion.

Existing coverage of over Proposed Area 9 is more extensive, and water depths range from 1,500 m (4,921 ft) to 2,300 m (7,566 ft). Additional data from the survey will in-fill existing coverage so that a grid of no more than 5 x 10 km is available over the entire area.

Mariner 2D in the Browse basin. Searcher Seismic Pty. Ltd.'s Mariner 2D seismic project comprises 3,100 km (1,926 mi) of long-offset 2D non-exclusive seismic data and 9,700 km (6,027 mi) of Super-Tie reprocessing. The project is located in the Browse basin, over the Proposed 02 and 03 2012 blocks.

The project provides a grid of data 5 x 5 km (3 x 3 mi) and includes an unexplored Upper Jurassic graben commonly associated with oil source rocks elsewhere on the northwest shelf (for example, Dingo Claystone in the Carnarvon basin, and Vulcan in the Vulcan graben). This new data provides the first opportunity to evaluate the upper Jurassic petroleum system. The area also has the potential for large gas prospects in Plover and the underlying Triassic section.

Floyd survey in the Bonaparte Gulf. The S/R Veritas Viking II has started acquisition of a 3D seismic survey for MEO Australia in the Timor Sea.

The 601-sq km (232-sq mi) Floyd survey is in WA-454-P in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf region (Petrel sub-basin).

MEO was awarded the permit last June. The company says its analysis justified early investment in the 3D program which will cover the Marina gas and liquids discovery, the nearby Breakwater prospect, and two further leads, all of which could be drilled at some point.

TheVeritas Viking II earlier completed acquisition of the Zeppelin 3D survey for MEO over the AC/P50 and AC/P51 permits in the Ashmore Cartier region of the Timor Sea (Vulcan sub-basin). In total, 508 sq km (196 sq mi) of full fold data were recorded.

Gnaraloo survey in the Outer Exmouth Plateau. TGS has begun acquisition of a 3D multi-client survey Offshore Australia in 2,093 sq km (808 sq mi) of WA-347-P, WA-348-P, and open acreage north of the Mary Rose Northeast survey.

TheM/V Geo Atlantic is conducting the survey and completion is scheduled for 2Q 2012 with final data available in 4Q 2012.

Elsewhere, TGS started the Mary Rose and Mary Rose NE 3D surveys in the Exmouth plateauOffshore northwest Australia, which will generate a total of more than 12,000 sq km (4,633 sq mi) of MC data in what the company claims is a highly prospective province. The company's Geologic Products and Services Division added a new MC interpretation study in the Bonaparte basin off Western Australia to its library.

NPD starts new Barents Sea geology study

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) will map the geology in the northeast of Norway's newly agreed section of the Barents Sea. Last September, Norway and Russia signed an accord relating to maritime demarcation and cooperation in the Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean.

According to the Norwegian government's plan, seismic surveys will start this summer and continue into 2013, with the aim of providing data on potential oil and gas resources in this area.

"We have very little knowledge concerning the geology in the northeastern Barents Sea. In order to know more about the resource potential, we need more data," said Sissel Eriksen, NPD's exploration director.

The government has also started an opening process with a view to awarding production licenses in the southeastern part of the Barents Sea. Geological mapping started last summer and will continue this summer.

Earlier this year, NPD agreed contracts for two vessels to acquire seismic data in the southeastern sector of the Barents Sea, the sea area around Jan Mayen and in the Nordland IV and VOffshore regions this summer.

"The plans to also map the northeastern sector of the Barents Sea mean that we need more capacity to acquire seismic. This assignment has been submitted for tender," Eriksen said.

Northern European seismic programs to continue

TGS continues its joint program with PGS in the Viking Graben of the North Sea. By the end of the 2011 season, 6,857 sq km (2,647 sq mi) of data had been acquired for this multi-year project. The data set is close to the recent Sverdrup discovery.

TheM/V Polar Duke acquired 1,055 sq km (407 sq mi) of new 3D data along the Nordkapp Platform margin fault in the Norwegian Barents Sea. TGS plans to will return this year to finalize the program which is close to several blocks nominated for Norway's 22nd licensing round.

TGS has completed two long-offset 2D surveys in partnership with Fugro. Last year theM/V Akademik Shatskiy added 9,737 km (6,050 mi) of new long offset 2D data in the Norwegian Sea, and the M/V Akademik Lasarev compiled 8,700 km (5,406 mi) of long-offset 2D data in the Barents Sea.

During 4Q 2011, TGS concluded a 1,800-km (1,118-mi) 2D program off northeast Greenland with theM/V Akademik Shatskiy, supported by the ice breaker M/V Fennica. This is another joint TGS/Fugro project with TGS processing the data.

M/V Akademik Fersman has also acquired 5,050 km (3,138 mi) of multi-client 2D in the Russian Arctic over the Laptev and East Siberian Sea, in partnership with Russian contractor DMNG.

Acquisition should resume this summer of 2012 when weather permits.

Deepwater BC-10 oil field to get life-of-field seismic

OYO Geospace has contracted to supply $14.9-million in deepwater seabed seismic reservoir monitoring for the BC-10 fieldOffshore Brazil. The 100-km (62-mi) long system will go in 1,700 m (5,577 ft) water depth and will supply Shell Brasil Petróleo Ltda with life-of-field monitoring.

Production is under way at Shell's multi-field Parque das Conchas (called BC-10 in its early days) project 110 km (68 mi) off Brazil's southeast coast. Production is via the FPSOEspírito Santo.

Parque das Conchas is a two-phase project with initial production drawn from three fields: Abalone, Ostra, and Argonauta B-West. The first phase involves nine producing wells and one gas injector well. The second phase will focus on the Argonauta O-North field. Shell executed a host of new and advanced technologies to meet the project's many challenges, among them water depth and oil viscosity.

Shell operates the field with 50% interest along with partners Petrobras (35%) and ONGC (15%).

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