Oil & Gas UK has launched the first phase of a project to stimulate more exploration by promoting new and existing plays on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
SLR Consulting has been commissioned to complete a three-month preliminary study to investigate the way forward for a 21st century exploration road map – a digital perspective of petroleum geology.
Oonagh Werngren, Oil & Gas UK’s operations director, explains: “The aim of the 21st Century Exploration Road Map is to contribute to improving exploration success and address the 50 per cent decrease in the number of wells drilled. The outcome of the study will provide industry with the specifications for a subsequent implementation project to deliver an on-line, more dynamic source of digital geological maps summarising current subsurface understanding and the hydrocarbon resources potential within key areas of the UKCS.
“The project is one of several being driven by the PILOT Exploration Task Force, which works together with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), to revitalise exploration and ensure the economic recovery of oil and gas resources from the UKCS. It aligns with the recommendations put forward by the recent Wood Report, which identifies the urgent need to evaluate new and unexplored reserves and create an up-to-date perspective of the geology of the UKCS together with tools to ensure more effective sharing of data across the industry.”
Oil & Gas UK’s fellow stakeholders supporting the initiative include DECC, the British Geological Survey (BGS), The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Common Data Access (CDA), exploration companies, operators and firms providing offshore services.
Hamish Wilson, SLR Consulting’s technical director, explains: “SLR Consulting will be engaging with individuals and organisations with expertise in UKCS exploration to establish recommendations for both the geological and geographical scope and key priorities of the 21st Century Exploration Road Map. This process will enable us to define the prospective content, timing and phasing of the project which is scheduled for delivery by the end of 2015.”