CGG Starts Survey In West Shetland Basin

CGG has begun acquisition of a high-density, rich-azimuth, towed-streamer multiclient survey that spans 3,600 sq km (1,390 sq miles) in the U.K. West Shetland Basin, the company said in a news release.

The survey focuses on an underexplored area northwest of the Shetland Isles over the northern part of the Rona Ridge.

“Until now, oil and gas companies interested in the exploration potential of this part of the West Shetland Basin have lacked high-quality seismic data,” CGG CEO Sophie Zurquiyah said in the release. “We expect our new rich-azimuth images to reveal an unprecedented level of detail in this exciting frontier area.”

By undershooting the volcanic intrusions and shallow unconformities present in the area, CGG aims to image multiple targets from shallow Tertiary and Cretaceous plays to complex fractured Devono-Carboniferous reservoirs. The project will include use of the Oceanic Vega and Geo Caribbean vessels along with CGG’s broadband imaging technology, including advanced de-blending and full-waveform inversion velocity modeling, according to the release.

The company said a fast-track prestack depth migration dataset will be available in first-quarter 2019, while the final data will be available in mid-2019.

Egypt Signs $1 Billion Exploration Deal With Shell, Petronas

Egypt has signed a deepwater oil and gas exploration deal with Royal Dutch Shell and Malaysia’s Petronas worth about $1 billion for eight wells in the country's West Nile Delta, the petroleum ministry said.

The country also signed a second $10 million deal with Rockhopper, Kuwait Energy and Canada’s Dover Corp. for exploration in the Western Desert, a ministry statement said.

Egypt aims to be a regional hub for the trade of LNG after a string of major discoveries in recent years including Zohr, which holds an estimated 850 Bcm (30 Tcf) of gas.

TGS Preps For Multibeam, Seep Project In MSGBC Basin

TGS plans to begin multibeam acquisition for its first regional offshore MSGBC SeaSeep project in the Northwest Africa Atlantic Margin in fourth-quarter 2018, according to a news release.

Covering about 113,500 sq km (43,822 sq miles), the MSGBC Basin program will incorporate about 230 cores from the seabed based on multibeam backscatter anomalies, the company said. The coring and geochemistry stage will follow acquisition of the multibeam.

Final results for the project, which is supported by industry funding, are expected in second-quarter 2019.

TGS also is gearing up for a 3-D multiclient project called Jaan in the southern part of the basin. The company will use modern triple-source broadband acquisition technology and the BGP Prospector seismic vessel to gather data from northern Senegal through The Gambia and the AGC zone, into Guinea-Bissau and down to the Guinea transform fault, TGS said in a separate news release.

The project will cover 11,135 sq km (4,299 sq miles) of new acquisition complemented by the reprocessing and full prestack merging of existing multiclient 3-D. Once complete, the final depth migrated volume will be more than 28,300 sq km (10,926 sq miles) and will completely capture the prospective paleo-shelf edge trend from the shallow to the deep.

TGS is the operator and major investor in the project. Partners are PGS and GeoPartners, and the survey is supported by industry funding. Acquisition is scheduled to begin in early fourth-quarter 2018. TGS plans to use its Clari-Fi broadband technology to process data collected.

Total Acquires 25% In Orinduik Block Offshore Guyana

Total E&P Activités Pétrolières has exercised its option to acquire a 25% working interest in the Orinduik Block offshore Guyana from Eco Atlantic (Guyana) Inc., the company said.

The option exercise was received by Eco before delivery of the final 3-D seismic data due to be delivered to Total, which would have triggered a 120-day exercise window for the option.

Following the option exercise and subject to the receipt of all requisite regulatory approvals, including that of the government of Guyana, for the transfer of the 25% working interest to Total, the working interests in the Orinduik Block include Tullow (operator, 60%), Total (25%) and Eco Guyana (15%).

In accordance with the terms of the option, Total will pay the option exercise fee of $12.5 million to the company on receipt of all requisite approvals for the transfer of the 25% working interest. It is anticipated that the option exercise payment will provide adequate funding to meet Eco’s share of the costs to drill at least two wells on the Orinduik Block as well as recover the costs of the now completed expanded 3-D seismic survey.

Earlier in September the company announced completion of a technical report on the Orinduik Block, produced by Gustavson Associates LLC, which reported gross P50 (best estimate) 2,913.3 MMboe and net (40%) 1,165.3 MMboe, identified across 10 leads on the Orinduik Block.

Norway Gets Bids From 38 Oil Firms In Licensing Round

A total of 38 oil companies have submitted bids for exploration acreage offshore Norway in a so-called predefined areas (APA) licensing round, according to the country’s energy ministry.

Bidders include oil majors Shell, ConocoPhillips and Total as well as Norway’s Equinor and Aker BP, Sweden’s Lundin and Italy’s Eni.

The total number of bidders was almost as high as the record 39 in the previous APA round in 2017.

When announcing the round in May, the government expanded the predefined areas near existing discoveries by 103 blocks in the Norwegian and the Barents Seas.

Norway’s right-wing government wants oil companies to explore more on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, especially in the Arctic Barents Sea, which is estimated to hold more than half of undiscovered resources on the shelf.

—Staff & Reuters Reports