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Seismic cooperation in the Barents Sea gives new perspectives

October 2, 2014, 10:41 CEST

“We are pleased to have found a form of cooperation that has ensured good quality data sets and low acquisition costs. This warrants rethinking and exploring new business approaches and forms of cooperation in order to reduce costs and work more efficiently also elsewhere,” says Jan Helgesen, Statoil’s head of geophysical operations.

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Jan Helgesen, Statoil’s head of geophysical operations. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy last year encouraged the oil industry to jointly conduct resource-efficient 3D seismic acquisition in the south-eastern Barents Sea. Statoil has been the operator of a joint project with 33 participating oil companies acquiring seismic data in the area since April, with PGS and WesternGeco as contractors.

One of the main objectives with a joint data acquisition project was to ensure good co-existence with the fishing industry.

“The constructive cooperation with the fishermen is commendable. With a few exceptions, most incidents were efficiently solved by dialogue offshore. Good co-existence is essential for two industries that both help to create value in the North,” says Helgesen.

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Ramform Explorer was one of the seismic vessels used in the joint seismic acquisition project . (Photo: Petroleum Geo-Services)

A number of oil companies have participated actively both in the planning phase and in the data processing work. This has ensured high data quality by drawing on the companies’ combined competencies within geological understanding and seismic data acquisition and processing.

The data processing is in progress, and the final data will be ready for interpretation in the autumn of 2015. This information will constitute an important part of the basis for the respective companies’ decision-making for the 23rd licensing round. The south-eastern Barents Sea is the first new area to be opened on the Norwegian continental shelf since 1994.

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