Optimizing Deepsea Oil and Gas Exploration with Seeps

Multiuse data collection and shipboard analyses lead to reduced risk and improved efficiency on deepsea oil and gas exploration projects.

Fugro employees work on the back deck during an offshore seep study in Suriname. (Source: Fugro)

As oil and gas operators prepare for increased energy demand and a market-driven upturn in exploration, it is expected that these exploration efforts will continue to move away from traditional, large-scale 3D seismic surveys and toward more targeted and sophisticated programs that integrate multiuse datasets. This trend won’t be driven solely by the desire for reduced schedules and costs, but also by the recognition that the industry must minimize its environmental footprint to the greatest extent possible.

One way to achieve more effective exploration is through offshore hydrocarbon seep studies. These programs rely on high-quality seabed mapping, geological interpretation and geochemical analyses of sampled material to indicate potential prospectivity of an associated petroleum system. This approach is not new to the world of petroleum exploration, as surface geochemistry and the hunt for seeps has been in common use for land-based exploration since the start of the petroleum industry. Locating seeps in the offshore environment is far more complicated, however, due to difficulties in “seeing” through the water column to map the seabed and identify favorable features for sampling.

As a geo-data specialist with integrated geophysical and geochemical expertise, Fugro has developed—and over time, refined—a proven methodology for offshore hydrocarbon seep studies worldwide. The approach is designed to maximize exploration investments and is scalable for both individual exploration programs and for large regional investigations.

Already have an account? Log In

Sign up for FREE access to view this article now!

Unlock Free Access