The Oil and Gas Authority awards £1.5m million contracts for subsurface databases

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has awarded £1.5 million of contracts to purchase comprehensive subsurface databases and information sources to encourage further exploration in under explored areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

The datasets purchased will underpin much of the OGA’s work across the exploration and production lifecycle including; promotion of future licensing rounds and undeveloped discoveries, regional exploration projects, area strategies and asset stewardship. Four of the contracts awarded will result in the data purchased being made freely available to the general public, industry and academia.

In total eight contracts have been awarded: APT: West of Shetlands geochemical database; Belltree: Reservoir benchmarking; CGG: Well logs and key databases; Geostrat: Jurassic stratigraphy of the Central North Sea; Getech: UKCS satellite gravity data; Hannon Westwood: Prospect and lead database; IHS Markit: Fields and discoveries database and prospect and lead database; and IKON: Rock physics studies.

The datasets from CGG, Geostrat and Getech will be made available to download via the OGA’s website during 2017.

Gunther Newcombe, Operations Director at the OGA, said: “The UKCS remains a highly attractive exploration destination and in order to maximise the economic recovery of oil and gas from the UKCS, exploration activity must be revitalised in both mature and frontier plays. Comprehensive, high quality well, seismic and subsurface databases which are made freely available are critical to this.”

Following the 2014 Wood Report, the OGA was formed in April 2015, as an independent authority with enhanced powers, initially as an executive agency of DECC (now the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy). In October 2016, the OGA became a government company, limited by shares under the Companies Act 2006, with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the sole shareholder.