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SPECIAL TOPIC

Petroleum Geology TECHNICAL ARTICLES AVO, NEAR AND FAR – THE END OF THE TREND? SEISMIC OIL WATER-CONTACT DETECTION INDUSTRY NEWS  NORWAY APA ROUND SPARKS SURVEY BONANZA


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FIRST BREAK® An EAGE Publication

CHAIRMAN EDITORIAL BOARD Peter Rowbotham (Peter.Rowbotham@apachecorp.com) EDITOR Damian Arnold (editorfb@eage.org) MEMBERS, EDITORIAL BOARD • Paul Binns, consultant (pebinns@btinternet.com) • Patrick Corbett, Heriot-Watt University (patrick_corbett@pet.hw.ac.uk) • Tom Davis, Colorado School of Mines (tdavis@mines.edu) • Anthony Day, PGS (anthony.day@pgs.com) • Peter Dromgoole, Statoil UK (pdrum@statoil.com) • Rutger Gras, Oranje-Nassau Energy (gras@onebv.com) • Hamidreza Hamdi, University of Calgary (hhamdi@ucalgary.ca) • Ed Kragh, Schlumberger Cambridge Research (edkragh@slb.com) • John Reynolds, Reynolds International (jmr@reynolds-international.co.uk) • James Rickett, Schlumberger (jrickett@slb.com) • Dave Stewart, Dave Stewart Geoconsulting Ltd (djstewart.dave@gmail.com) • Femke Vossepoel, Delft University of Technology (f.c.vossepoel@tudelft.nl) MEDIA PRODUCTION MANAGER Thomas Beentje (tbe@eage.org) ACCOUNT MANAGER ADVERTISING Amy Townsend (atd@eage.org) ACCOUNT MANAGER SUBSCRIPTIONS Jack McClean (jmn@eage.org) PRODUCTION Saskia Nota (layout@eage.org) Ivana Geurts (layout@eage.org) EAGE EUROPE OFFICE PO Box 59 3990 DB Houten The Netherlands •  +31 88 995 5055 • eage@eage.org • www.eage.org EAGE RUSSIA & CIS OFFICE EAGE Russia & CIS Office EAGE Geomodel LLC 19 Leninsky Prospekt 119071, Moscow, Russia •  +7 495 640 2008 • moscow@eage.org • www.eage.ru EAGE MIDDLE EAST OFFICE EAGE Middle East FZ-LLC Dubai Knowledge Village Block 13 Office F-25 PO Box 501711 Dubai, United Arab Emirates •  +971 4 369 3897 • middle_east@eage.org • www.eage.org EAGE ASIA PACIFIC OFFICE UOA Centre Office Suite 19-15-3A No. 19, Jalan Pinang 50450 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia •  +60 3 272 201 40 • asiapacific@eage.org • www.eage.org

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Lessons learnt from recent dry wells in northwestern Africa

Editorial Contents 3

EAGE News

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Crosstalk

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Industry News

Technical Articles

31 Seismic oil-water contact detection, supported with pressure data, for hydrocarbon in-place estimation  Godwin Oguguah Agunwoke, Christopher Ogundare, Sunkanmi Iyiola and Naomi Boness 37

AVO, near and far - the end of the trend? J.A.de Bruin

Special Topic: Petroleum Geology

45 The role of geophysics in Oxy’s Permian Basin unconventional resource play appraisal and development workflow Steve Adiletta, Rob Holt, Afsha Kaba, Laura Gimenez, Klaas Koster and Norbert van de Coevering 53

Lessons learnt from recent dry wells in northwestern Africa Jonathan David Castell, James Scotchman and Thomas Butt

59 Subsalt exploration in shallow waters of the Republic of Congo Pierre Le Barbanchon, Tony Martin, Mark Martin, Louis Andzouono, Jean Pierre Saba and Alain Richard N’Gouala Nzoussi 65 Integrated reservoir characterization using high definition frequency decomposition, multi-attribute analysis and forward modelling. Chandon discovery, Australia. A. Mantilla, P. Szafian, R. Bell and C. Han 75 Oil prospects in the Mozambique Channel: where incipient subduction meets passive margin Anongporn Intawong, Neil Hodgson, Karyna Rodriguez and Phillip Hargreaves 82 Calendar

EAGE LATIN AMERICA OFFICE Carrera 14 No 97-63 Piso 5 Bogotá, Colombia •  +57 1 4232948 • americas@eage.org • www.eage.org EAGE MEMBERS CHANGE OF ADDRESS NOTIFICATION Send to: EAGE Membership Dept at EAGE Office (address above) FIRST BREAK ON THE WEB www.firstbreak.org ISSN 0263-5046 (print) / ISSN 1365-2397 (online)

cover: Semi-submersible drilling rig in a shipyard in Cape Town, South Africa. Our Special Topic in Petroleum Geology starts at p. 44 (James Jones Jr/Shutterstock.com).

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European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers

Board 2018-2019 Jean-Jacques Biteau President

Near Surface Geoscience Division George Apostolopoulos Chair Alireza Malehmir Vice-Chair Micki Allen Contact Officer EEGS-NA Riyadh Al-Saad O&G Liaison Xavier Garcia Committee Member Peter Bergmann Technical Programme Representative Esther Bloem Technical Programme Representative Albert Casas Membership Officer Ranajit Ghose Editor in Chief Near Surface Geophysics Musa Manzi Committee Member Andreas Kathage Liaison Officer First Break Koya Suto Liaison Asia Pacific Musa Manzi Committee Member Jiangha Xia Liaison China

Oil & Gas Geoscience Division

Peter Lloyd Vice-President-Elect

Michael Pöppelreiter Vi c e-President

Colin MacBeth Education Officer

Caroline Jane Lowrey Chair Caroline Lowrey Chair Michael Peter Suess Vice-Chair John Brittan Past chair Rick Donselaar TP Representative (Geology) Xavier Garcia NSGD Liaison Julianne Heiland TP Representative (Geomechanics) Francesco Perrone YP Liaison Ann Muggeridge IOR Committee Liasion Aart Jan Wingaarden Technical Programme Officer Martin Widmaier TP Representative (Geophysics) Michael Zhdanov NSGD Liaison Philip Ringrose Editor-in-chief (Petroleum Geoscience) Tijmen-Jan Moser Editor-in-chief (Geophysical Prospecting) Conor Ryan Resource Evaluation Committee liaison Sebastian Geiger Resource Evaluation Committee liaison

SUBSCRIPTIONS First Break is published monthly. It is free to EAGE members. The membership fee of EAGE is € 50.00 a year (including First Break, EarthDoc (EAGE’s geoscience database), Learning Geoscience (EAGE’s Education website) and online access to a scientific journal. Caroline Le Turdu Membership and Cooperation Officer

Ingrid Magnus Publications Officer

Everhard Muijzert Secretary-Treasurer

Companies can subscribe to First Break via an institutional subscription. Every subscription includes a monthly hard copy and online access to the full First Break archive for the requested number of online users. Orders for current subscriptions and back issues should be sent to EAGE Publications BV, Journal Subscriptions, PO Box 59, 3990 DB, Houten, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 (0)88 9955055, E-mail: subscriptions@eage.org, www.firstbreak.org. First Break is published by EAGE Publications BV, The Netherlands. However, responsibility for the opinions given and the statements made rests with the authors. COPYRIGHT & PHOTOCOPYING © 2018 EAGE All rights reserved. First Break or any part thereof may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transcribed in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopying and recording, ­without the prior written permission of the Publisher.

Aart-Jan van Wijngaarden Technical Programme Officer

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George Apostolopoulos Chair Near Surface Geoscience Division

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Caroline Jane Lowrey Chair Oil & Gas Geoscience Division

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PAPER The Publisher’s policy is to use acid-free permanent paper (TCF), to the draft standard ISO/DIS/9706, made from sustainable ­forests using chlorine-free pulp (Nordic-Swan standard).


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HIGHLIGHTS

EAGE MEMBERS

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ME workshop plots future direction of geosteering and well placement

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EAGE bring subsurface intelligence to Bahrain workshop

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Ukraine geoscientists prepares for busy year

EAGE Student Fund celebrates 10 years of promoting geoscience

Students learn more about EAGE education activities during the 80th EAGE Conference & Exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark

Last month marked the 10th anniversary of the founding of the EAGE Student Fund (ESF), which has done so much with its mission to promote the geosciences amongst students and to help students bridge the gap between academia and industry. Through the ESF, much has changed since it began on 25 February 2009. Over the years we have reached thousands of students through student membership grants, giving them access to the EAGE network and services. With the help of the ESF, student activities across the globe have been made possible. In 2018 alone, the ESF reached students in over 50 countries and made possible student lecture tours at 12 universities.

During the last decade, the ESF has provided students with additional skills to help them in their careers. Everhard Muyzert, treasurer of the ESF says: ‘As a student I volunteered to operate a slide

projector at the Annual Conference in 1988! Like me, many students who participated in ESF activities have become active members of the current EAGE and broader geoscience community. We are proud to say the ESF activities continue to help shape the geoscientist of tomorrow.’ The ESF’s role is to encourage geoscience students globally to achieve excellence in studies, extra-curricular skills and networking. In practical terms, the Fund works on this mission through a variety of activities including student conference programmes, membership grants, competitions and support for grassroot student activities at university level. The various activities help to stimulate international student networking and encourage them to develop their own projects and research presentations.

Support our ESF @ 10 campaign The mission of the ESF remains pivotal as geoscientists will play a central role in the further development of our world, whether it is energy demand, environmental work, urbanization or infrastructure. To continue to provide our future leaders with the experience and skillset needed to excel, the ESF stimulates excellence in geoscience worldwide. This is only possible with the help of our supporters – both companies and individuals. We therefore encourage you to get involved in the ESF @ 10 campaign. Go to EAGEstudentfund.org/donate to support our mission and to learn more about our activities.

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EAGE NEWS 

Learn the latest on horizontal drilling at Kaliningrad forum

Summer in Kaliningrad.

EAGE is excited to be presenting the 3rd Horizontal Wells 2019: Challenges and Opportunities Conference to be held in Kaliningrad, on 27–31 May 2019. The topicality of oil and gas development using horizontal drilling cannot be overestimated. In the context of the current oil price depression, horizontal drilling offers the opportunity to reduce the odds of getting a dry hole, increase reservoir penetration and well flow rates, and achieve higher levels of project profitability. Abstracts have been submitted for eight sessions on various fields from well placement design and planning to enhance-

ment and details of horizontal drilling wells. The programme will be online soon on our websites. Please note that the event will be held in the Russian language. As a part of the conference’s agenda, Nikita Kayurov (Luch company, Novosibirsk) will provide a short course entitled ‘Application in well operations: monitoring and mud-logging data processing in petrophysics, geomechanics and geosteering’. The course is dedicated to the actual problems as well as modern trends and perspectives on well operations monitoring and mud logging which lead to more detailed geological information and evidence-based decisions. The agenda also include debates about everyday practice and perspectives of bed-boundary mapping in drilling of horizontal wells in the main petroleum basins of Russia (moderator Kirill Kudashov, Rosneft). In addition there is a round table on ‘Miscellaneous data integration in geosteering’ (moderators Timur Rakhimov, Institute of Geology and Fossil Fuels Development and Konstantin Reityukhov, SamaraNIPIneft). The goal of the debates is to discuss the feasibility and effectiveness of the

application of both available and prospective bed-boundary mapping technologies while drilling in the traditional oil-bearing regions of Russia such as Western Siberia, as well as to determine further steps in development and application of the technology in Russia. During the round table, representatives of the main Russian geosteering centres will deliver reports on the best practices of miscellaneous data integration. They will talk about the application of seismic data, geophysical well logging, 3D petrophysical modelling, geological and geodynamic models, and the use of geological and engineering survey data for operational decision while drilling.

EAGE acknowledges a mix-up at our handler, which resulted in our members receiving the First Break of January with an incorrect first name. This error has been spotted and steps have been taken to prevent this at our handler in the future.

EAGE Education Calendar 17 MAR

EAGE EDUCATION TOUR 7

PORTLAND, US

18 MAR

EAGE EDUCATION TOUR 12

NOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA

19 MAR

EAGE EDUCATION TOUR 13

HARSTAD, NORWAY

3-4 APR

EDUCATION DAYS BUENOS AIRES: MULTIPLE SHORT COURSES PROGRAMME

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

6 MAY

EAGE EDUCATION TOUR 5

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA

8 MAY

EAGE EDUCATION TOUR 5

LIMA, PERU

10 MAY

EAGE EDUCATION TOUR 5

SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA

19 JUN-2 JUL

EDUCATION DAYS BEIJING: MULTIPLE SHORT COURSES PROGRAMME

BEIJING, CHINA

24 JUN-2 JUL

EDUCATION DAYS KUALA LUMPUR: MULTIPLE SHORT COURSES PROGRAMME

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

27 JUN-9 JUL

EDUCATION DAYS PERTH: MULTIPLE SHORT COURSES PROGRAMME

PERTH, AUSTRALIA

26-30 AUG

EDUCATION DAYS RIO DE JANEIRO: MULTIPLE SHORT COURSES PROGRAMME

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

17-20 SEP

EDUCATION DAYS LONDON: MULTIPLE SHORT COURSES PROGRAMME

LONDON, UK

23-27 SEP

EDUCATION DAYS MEXICO: MULTIPLE SHORT COURSES PROGRAMME

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

21-25 OCT

EDUCATION DAYS OSLO: MULTIPLE SHORT COURSE PROGRAMME

OSLO, NORWAY

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION PLEASE VISIT WWW.EAGE.ORG AND WWW.LEARNINGGEOSCIENCE.ORG.

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EAGE NEWS 

Middle East workshop plots future direction of geosteering and well placement The 2nd EAGE/SPE Geosteering and Well Placement Workshop was held on 5-8 November 2018 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. This is the report by Abhijith Suboyin (Khalifa University). After the outstanding success of the first workshop, the Second Geosteering and Well Placement Workshop, jointly organized by EAGE/SPE attracted over 100 professionals from various sectors. The primary goal of the three-day event was to share knowledge, case studies, techniques and workflows pertaining to the understanding of well placement process,

reservoir communication while improving structural predictability and modelling of the target zones, along with a reduction in unit costs, was the highlight. Key points later in the day included a Schlumberger presentation on the importance of 3D model integration through continuously revised/updated development strategy to improve overall produc-

A big thank you to the 100+ attendees that joined us in Abu Dhabi!

sub-surfaces in real time while drilling and optimum deployment of techniques and technologies for geosteering of horizontal and sub-horizontal wells. The call for more effective and efficient producers entails the need for accurate well placement and optimized geosteering to obtain better field throughput and recovery. Day 1 began with an opening keynote by K.A. Zainalabedin (Saudi Aramco) who emphasized the need for pushing the limits of geosteering and well placement in the industry. He highlighted how people, technology and processes are the pillars for innovation. He drew attention to the upcoming Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0 stressing the contribution of cloud computing, data science and analytics, AI, Internet of Things and predictive analysis. The opening technical sessions featuring eight case studies focused on existing best practices, strategies and their success for well placement and geosteering. Emphasizing the need for effective 6

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tion. The work of Saudi Aramco’s Unconventional Resources Integrated Operations Center (UR-IOC) was presented. Case studies by multiple organizations were discussed on the practicality of strategic geosteering in real-time applications. The role of well placement in an undeveloped carbonate reservoir and the history of an undeveloped offshore reservoir in Abu Dhabi was also presented. The importance of 3D surface shape conformance and the best approach on a Jurassic target below a highly depleted chalk field also garnered attention, while the final presentation of the day demonstrated the importance of careful drilling and well placement in carbonates through multi-layer bed boundary detection technology. Day 1 ended with a breakout session. It established that while well placement/ geosteering for feasibility studies are critical for successful well execution, there needs to be an integrated approach with the service company. Furthermore, a standardized definition of KPI and alignment with

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respect to drilling, G&G and finance would greatly assist all parties involved. The Day 2 keynote by J. M. Denichou (Schlumberger) addressed best practices and strategy based on Deep Directional Resistivity (DDR) tools along with the crucial role of data integration for intelligent well placement. The talk concluded with the need for integration and how to validate best model scenarios that are consistent. The technical sessions that followed included discussion on the use of ultradeep resistivity tools and its impact in a Norwegian field presented by ENI Norge. BHGE discussed extra-deep azimuthal resistivity in deep offshore Niger Delta through two case studies on how to optimize landing and successfully target complexities and the best reservoir zones in deep wells. The Greater Enfield Project was the topic of Woodside Energy. Halliburton demonstrated the capabilities for an ultra-deep azimuthal resistivity tool which assists in the identification of reservoir. The session concluded with discussions on how extra-deep measurements aid the navigation of a horizontal well through a multi-channel turbidite sequence. The day continued with a session on the role of data integration for intelligent well placement, starting with a presentation that distinguished shale from water, utilizing extra deep azimuthal resistivity and inversion technology for the Grane Field. Schlumberger then presented multiple cases which talked about reservoir structure prediction ahead of the bit. Total E&P Denmark highlighted integration of multiple datasets to improve reservoir understanding across Halfdan NE in the Danish North Sea. Woodside Energy presented a case study of advanced geophysics combined with DDR complementing in-fill well placement and successful geosteering. The last presentation by ENI reviewed the Goliat field featuring the data integration


EAGE NEWS

and multi-disciplinary approach for well placement/field development. The third day kicked off with a keynote by Dr G. AlQahtani (Saudi Aramco) on breaking the norms of geosteering and well placement. The key point was the promising direction in which the industry was heading regarding live modelling and IR 4.0. Incorporation of such innovations in sector models, well placement and associated workflow can truly revolutionize the way we currently work in addition to bringing greater rewards. The following session reviewed uncertainties in wellbore surveying and began with a presentation by BHGE. It emphasized utilizing geological markers to verify the wellbore vertical geometrical placement. ENI presented multiple case studies on wellbore trajectory uncertainty management for geosteering optimization.

Petrolink further elaborated on quantification of survey deviation in real-time to prevent well collision. The next session showcased the vision for well placement and geosteering and where the industry is headed. International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS) demonstrated a methodology for effective earth model management while geosteering. In addition, a ‘myopic, naïve or farsighted’ approach to geosteering decisions was also presented. A fast integral equation method for inversion of electromagnetic data was shown by University of Bergen. It was then the turn of Equinor to discuss local 3D understanding around horizontal wells provided by deep 2D azimuthal resistivity inversions. Eni then introduced the opportunity in geosteering operations possible through real-time seismic calibration using ultra-deep azimuthal resistivity.

BHGE finished the session illustrating the capabilities of boundary detection ahead of the bit through a sensitivity study of extra deep reservoir. The poster session included Daleel Petroleum showcasing geosteering within ultra-thin reservoirs. Schlumberger presented one poster dealing with resistivity inversion derived workflow from well placement to in-depth lithological reservoir development and another highlighting an integrated geosteering solution in a high uncertainty faulted reservoir in Oman. Saudi Aramco also presented on the rotary steerable directional tool for precision in unconventional resources. A complex deepwater reservoir in the Niger delta was illustrated by BHGE along with a poster by IRIS that presented an ensemble-based decision-support workflow for operational geosteering.

Borehole geology progress is topic for Muscat workshop Muscat, Oman is hosting EAGE’s Third Borehole Geology Workshop taking place on 14-17 October 2019. The workshop aims to promote discussion and knowledge sharing on the different aspects of borehole geology and related technological innovations, hydrocarbon reservoir and field studies, best practices, integrated approaches and applications in new fields. The event will also be a forum for triggering col-

laboration amongst borehole geologists and professionals of other subsurface disciplines, as borehole data are fundamental in all types of studies aimed to measure and describe, understand and eventually predict the geology in the subsurface. The Technical Committee is inviting abstracts of 2-4 pages on: The problem of scale, from core to log to model; The role of the geologist in automation and digital

enabling innovations; Multi-disciplinary integration for reservoir management and monitoring – dynamic and test data, geomechanics, real-time, petrophysics and rock typing; New acquisition technologies and their applications; and Beyond oil and gas: mining and mineral resources, environmental applications, geothermal wells. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 May 2019.

EAGE Student Calendar 19 MAR

EAGE ONLINE GEO-QUIZ (STUDENT CHAPTER ONLY)

19 MAR

STUDENT LECTURE TOUR EUROPE

CARDIFF, UK

25-29 MAR

GEONATURE 2019 STUDENT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

TYUMEN, RUSSIA

24 APR

STUDENT LECTURE TOUR EUROPE

BERLIN, GERMANY

25 APR

STUDENT LECTURE TOUR EUROPE

FREIBERG, GERMANY

26 APR

STUDENT LECTURE TOUR EUROPE

CHE˛CINY, POLAND

2-6 JUN

81ST EAGE CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION

LONDON, UK

2 JUN

LAURIE DAKE CHALLENGE FINAL

LONDON, UK

3 JUN

MINUS CO2 CHALLENGE FINAL

LONDON, UK

4 JUN

GEO-QUIZ 2019

LONDON, UK

ONLINE

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION PLEASE CHECK THE STUDENT SECTION AT WWW.EAGE.ORG

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EAGE NEWS 

EAGE bring subsurface intelligence to Bahrain workshop EAGE is introducing its first Workshop on Subsurface Intelligence to be held on 11-12 November 2019 in Manama, Bahrain. The initiative aims to bring together bright minds in the field of subsurface intelligence (SI) from E&P Companies together with academia to exchange ideas and experiences in seeking to develop a road map for the future. The object of IS is to create high definition representations of the petroleum system where uncertainty is minimized, or the intrinsic uncertainty is quantified. SI couples state of the art technologies (including super-computers, data sciences and AI) and deep knowledge of geoscience fundamentals to achieve the best constrained predictions for hydrocarbon prospects, producing fields and reservoirs. Success in SI depends on the effective

Drone in the desert.

integration of human knowledge and skills with computer-generated models of the subsurface based on the suite of geophysical and geological datasets available to the industry from both the surface and sub-surface. With the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution, technologies and techniques

such as cloud computing, machine learning and advanced software algorithms, and hardware engineering are rapidly becoming integral to the petroleum business. Furthermore, with geoscience knowledge arguably at its all-time peak, the time is right to adopt a different mindset and shift to the new paradigm of SI. This is where practitioners can estimate, and continually revise, uncertainty in a more quantitative manner throughout the lifetime of a project leading to a more informed decision-making process. The Technical Committee invites practitioners, innovators and industry experts to contribute to this workshop and submit an abstract of 2-4 pages in length. Abstracts should be submitted via the EAGE website using the downloadable template. The deadline for abstract submission is 30 April 2019.

New chapter begins for Australian students at Curtin University

Team members of the EAGE SC Curtin University.

The New Year has ushered in a new EAGE student chapter at Curtin University, Perth, Australia. This follows six months of rigorous effort by the student community working in the exploration geophysics and petroleum engineering disciplines at Western Australia School of Mines (WASM), Curtin University. The result has been the successful opening of a student chapter in collaboration with EAGE. The inauguration was held on 17 January 2019 in the presence of the student chapter office bearers, other faculty members and students of the university. Prof 8

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Andrej Bona, who acts as the faculty advisor of EAGE Curtin University Student Chapter, conveyed his best wishes for the success of the Chapter. Partha Pratim Mandal, the president of the Chapter said: ‘This is one of the chapters thoroughly dedicated to geosciences where students will get direct benefit through connection with global geoscientists and engineers. The present office bearer team members (Nilesh Kumar Jha, Mohammad Atif Iqbal, Zixing Qin and Gonzalo Ceron) and Alexy Yurikov (research scholar, exploration geophysics) contributed significantly in the Chapter formation and inauguration event. Introductory speeches at the ceremony were given by Sofya Popik, PhD student, exploration geophysics and Lukman Johnson, PhD student, Petroleum Engineering. They all extolled the merits of EAGE and the value of the Chapter to students. Both talks were very relevant to present ongoing

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geoscience research activities such as the implications of CO2 injection and unconventional resource exploration. Curtin University students say the vision of the Chapter is to engage with local and global industry as well other geoscience organization such as ASEG, PESA, SPE and SEG through organizing technical events, and workshops as well as mentoring and other relevant activities which directly benefit students to achieve their future goals. The mission is to narrow the communication gap between students, industry and research organizations and provide opportunities for students to enhance their technical and professional skills. Curtin University is Western Australia’s largest and most culturally diverse university with Australia’s third largest international student population. It is ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018.


EAGE NEWS

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Copyright © 2019 Schlumberger. All rights reserved. 18-SE-502966 FIRST

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EAGE NEWS 

Ukraine geoscientists prepares for busy year This year several EAGE events will be held in Ukraine. They will appeal to anyone interested in familiarizing themselves with the country, meeting with like-minded professional colleagues and of course connecting with Local Chapter Kiev. Things kick off with the longstanding conference ‘Geoinformatics: theoretical and applied aspects’ being organized in Kiev for no less than the eighteenth time on 13-16 May. This event is likely to be attended by over 250 international participants and is dedicated to innovative technologies in earth sciences.

The conference will feature presentations by both students and young professionals. Along with the scientific programme, participants will be offered an interesting cultural programme. At the conference evening, the sincerity and hospitality of Ukrainian villages will be in evidence plus the taste of the classical local cuisine. On 17-20 June, the city of L’viv, the pearl western Ukraine, will be the venue for the 1st EAGE Workshop on Assessment of Landslide and Debris Flows Hazards in the Carpathians. This workshop will focus on monitoring and

Local Chapter on a field excursion to the Chernobyl zone.

Topics up for discussion include geoinformatics in nature management, governance and education, creation of integrated geological databases, data mining and decision support systems, mathematical methods and computer technologies for geophysics and geology, geoinformation research for petroleum and mineral exploration geological modelling, remote sensing in geosciences, application of unmanned aerial vehicle for modern geoinformation research and geoinformation support monitoring of hazardous natural and anthropogenic processes.

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modelling processes using integrated techniques, with the aim of highlighting their relevance for building, transport and recreational infrastructure. Part of the discussion will be about what needs to be done to minimize the risk of natural hazards in mountain regions. More than 30 specialists are expected to attend the workshop. A one-day field trip will complement the event and introduce participants to Mukachevo and the surrounding L’viv and Transcarpathian area. This location features active developments of landslide phenomena, debris flows, karst,

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floods and side erosion of river beds. Field equipment for the assessment of geohazards will be demonstrated here. On route participants will cross several structural and tectonic zones of Ukrainian Carpathians, including Subcarpathian Foredeep Trough, Folded Carpathians and Transcarpathian Deep Fault. There will be an the opportunity to see reference cross-sections of Cretaceous and Paleogene flysch deposits and Neogene volcanic suites. During the tour, participants will study landslides, debris flows and other geohazards, concluding with a city tour and a Ukrainian style dinner. Later in the year on 12-15 November, the 13th International Conference on the Environment (MGPECE) will take place at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev. It will involve new approaches to using geological and geophysical methods as well as ecological analysis. In Ukraine, as in many European countries, discussions have actively begun regarding the development of seismic safety systems, as well as data-analytical systems for environmental monitoring of the atmosphere, surface and ground water, soil, landfills of highly radioactive and high-toxic wastes. Traditional topics to be presented will include: advanced technologies for geophysical monitoring, modelling of natural hazards and new technologies for risk minimization and prevention, GIS for monitoring of natural hazards, geophysics in engineering geology, soil science, archaeology, and assessment and prediction of landslides and mudflow risks on regional and local scale. During the conference, which is normally attended by over 200 delegates, a field excursion to the Chernobyl exclusion zone will take place, plus a tour to the State-owned EcoCentre and a visit to the observation deck of the New Safe Confinement. Students and young scientists are welcome to join.


EAGE NEWS

Jump start for Aberdeen Local Chapter 2019 programme! Aberdeen Local Chapter’s 2019 programme of events got off to a flying start with a fascinating description of naturally fractured reservoirs and some of the challenges faced in their development. The presenter was Dr Tim Wynn, lead geologist at AGR. Dr Wynn made a comparison between naturally fractured reservoirs and extreme sports such as BASE jumping and wingsuit flying. He argued that both are high-risk and require speed, effort, height and lots of specialized equipment. He then went on to describe several case studies from fractured reservoirs in the UK North Sea. Members of the audience left with fresh insights into multi-disciplinary working in characterizing these challenging reservoir types. Fifty people including many students attended the event at the University of Aberdeen, which fosters collaboration between the Local Chapter and the newly formed Student Chapter at the University. There was also a live broadcast to the Oslo Society of Exploration Geophysics (SEG) section members. BP, which has a keen interest in fractured reservoirs through its Clair Field development, West of Shetland, sponsored the event.

The Aberdeen local section has already established its programme of events for the year with talks on spectral decomposition, 4D acquisition, shallow seismic and carbon capture and storage planned. It continues to build on the partnership with the PESGB and will host two joint events in March and October. Plans are also progressing for EAGE Education Days and Education Tours in the second half of the year. The SPE’s Seismic2019 conference on 14-15 May at Aberdeen’s Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) will provide a great opportunity to meet Local Chapter members. Paul Mitchell, president, will chair the conference for a second year. Local Chapter members are very active on the conference organizing committee and play a key role in building the technical programme and promoting the conference. EAGE is a supporting partner for the conference and, through the Local Chapter, will sponsor the conference evening social event. 2019 promises to be another exciting year for the Local Chapter and looks forward to continue growing the geoscience community in Aberdeen, bringing

First presentation of the year.

a range of exciting events and building on their collaboration with other local societies.

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As an EAGE member, you have free online access to a journal of your own choice. But did you know that it is also possible to subscribe to other EAGE scientific journals for a modest fee?

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EAGE NEWS 

Eventful year for EAGE Local Chapter Madrid EAGE Local Chapter Madrid has got off to 2019 with renewed enthusiasm and plans a number of activities for Spanish geoscientists in the coming months. Events started in January when Dr Miquel Poyatos, clastic sedimentologist from the University of Oslo (Department

of Geosciences), was invited by the Local Chapter and AGGEP (Association of Spanish Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists) to give a keynote lecture at Repsol headquarters. Dr Poyatos delivered a well-received explanation of the fundamentals of sediment distribution in exhumed basin mar-

gin successions with particular emphasis on clinothem architecture. Several other plenary talks and fieldtrips are scheduled throughout the year when Local Chapter Madrid and AGGEP members will have the opportunity to connect, share experiences, and have fun!

Dubai workshop on how HPC is adapting to the latest industrial revolution

The Call for Abstracts is now open for the Fourth EAGE Workshop on High Performance Computing for Upstream in the Middle East taking place on 7-9 October in Dubai. The hope is that we can continue the valuable and informative dialogue which has distinguished this series. As compared with many other industries, the energy business undoubtedly exploits the largest High-Performance-Computing capacity (HPC). It

plays a central role in seeking higher productivity, lowering costs and making better use of our data through high-performance simulation and data analytics. This is especially true while our industry experiences change through the fourth industrial revolution (4IR): digitalization. Algorithms performing as fast as possible on the best available hardware either on location or in the cloud have a direct role and impact on many of the decisions shaping our business. The overlap and

cross pollination opportunities between data analytics, big data, AI, simulation and HPC is the underlying theme of this fourth rendition of our workshop with the theme of ‘HPC through the 4th Industrial Revolution’. The technical committee invites industry experts, practitioners and academia to submit abstracts before 1 May 2019. Please visit the workshop website for more information on topics of interest and how to submit your paper.

The EAGE Student Fund supports activities that help bridge the gap between the university and professional environments for students of geosciences and engineering. Thanks to our Student Fund contributors we can continue supporting students around the globe and through this securing the future of our industry. For more information to become a Student Fund contributor, please visit eagestudentfund.org or contact us at students@eage.org. SUPPORTED BY

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CROSSTALK BY AN D R E W M c BAR N E T

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Sun also rises over China Two of the most eye-catching oil industry news developments of today is seldom told. The details are complicated and hard to access the last nine months have a common thread, one which may come from a notoriously opaque, ideologically driven society. as a surprise to the uninitiated, but not so much to those who follow We are apt to forget that China was relatively late into the the fortunes of the business more closely. business considering its plentiful indigenous resources. The Daqing The common dominator is of course international success field, still the country’s biggest producer, was only discovered in registered by companies from China. Last July Abu Dhabi National 1959. Its reservoirs in Mesozoic Cretaceous terrestrial sandstone Oil Company (ADNOC) awarded contracts worth $1.6 billion to proved for the first time that oil could be found in non-marine the Chinese geophysical contractor BGP, subsidiary of the China depositional basins such as the Songliao Basin. As Mu Liu of National Petroleum Company (CNPC). The project is no question the Petroleum History Institute, Missouri City, Texas points out the ‘world’s largest continuous 3D onshore and offshore seismic in a 2018 AAPG presentation, the mobilization by the Ministry survey’. Some 30,000 km2 offshore and 23,000 km2 onshore of 2D of Petroleum that followed the discovery was extraordinary. It and 3D data will be acquired in the project scheduled to complete coincided with the decision by the Soviet Union to halt technical in 2024. and economic aid leaving the Chinese an outsize DIY exercise for In January this year operator CNOOC and partner Total which they were game. By 1964, the field was delivering almost announced the Glengorm discovery in the Central North Sea, half of China’s oil, at that time making the country self-sufficient estimated to contain 250 mmboe of gas and condensate. Analyst in oil. The field maintained a production plateau of 1 million b/d of Wood Mackenzie said this was the largest UK gas discovery since oil for 27 years between 1976 and 2002, Dr Liu’s specific interest Culzean in 2008, among other things showing is to whom the credit for the Daqing find that there is still life in some of the more ‘Chairman Mao Zedong appropriately translatable as ‘Celebration’ - can mature UK waters. The eventual find was not be attributed, concluding that geologists Li got a first taste of for the want of trying, as CNOOC had drilled Siguang, Huang Jiqing and Xie Jiarong were the prospect twice in 2017. Worth mentioning energy insecurity as the key contributors. too, the company was ranked fifth in the world Since those early days China’s energy early as 1950.’ by exploration volumes discovered in 2018, economy has undergone a massive transformaaccording to Wood Mackenzie’s Dr Andrew tion into the world’s second largest oil consumLatham. CNOOC is a 25% partner in the prolific Stabroek block er topped only by the US. China is the biggest oil importer with a in Guyana where 5 billion boe has been identified since 2015, and 68% dependency in 2017, the highest in its history, and it currently the company has found 1.5 billion boe offshore China since 2017. hovers around fifth in the largest oil producing country rankings. There is of course nothing new about the presence of China’s Over the last half century, China’s large manufacturing-based oil industry out in the oil world, mainly represented by the ‘Big economy has primarily been fuelled by coal. From 1990 to 2015, Three’ in order of size: CNPC, parent of PetroChina, China China increased its coal consumption from 1.05 billion tons to Petrochemical Corporation (parent of Sinopec) and CNOOC which 3.97 billion tons. In 2016, coal made up 62% of China’s energy has under its wing China Oilfield Services (COSL), a competitor to use. Since 2011, China has consumed more coal than the rest of BGP in the offshore seismic market. Yet the story of the Chinese oil the world combined, hence is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide. industry in a people’s republic, and how these companies rapidly The air pollution issue and need for a change in the energy mix grew into the giant and increasingly influential enterprises they are has led China to make massive investments in renewables, notably

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hydro-electric epitomized by the Three Gorges Dam project, as forays in countries such as Thailand, Peru, Sudan, Khazakstan, Iraq well as solar and wind energy. China has pledged to source 10% of and Venezuela until a hiatus around the 1999-2000 oil crisis. its energy demands from natural gas by 2020, is extremely active When outbound investment returned to favour, the limits in the LNG market, and is adding to its nuclear capacity. Up its to China’s investment aspirations were revealed when its $18.5 sleeve, there are also the world’s largest, but problematic, shale billion bid for US-based Unocal floundered amid protectionist reserves to tap. and national security objections in Washington. These won the None of this alters China’s oil vulnerability. According to an day and allowed Chevron to take over the company with a lower assessment by the ChinaPower project of the Washington-based offer. More recently CNOOC was more fortunate with its $15.1 Center for Strategic and International Studies, ‘Power can be billion takeover in 2017 of Nexen with no objection from Canadian derived from a country’s ability to leverage its resources toward regulators. economic and political gains. Conversely, dependency on foreign Dr Meidan unravels in almost excruciating detail the constant resources—such as energy—restricts policy options’ internal wrangling in the controlling central bureaucracy between The Middle East represents an important energy security the market-oriented and conservative elements. This resulted in concern for China. Already roughly half of China’s oil imports frequent restructuring, reforms, leadership reshuffles and policy come from the region and the International Energy Agency predicts hesitations, not to mention massive corruption scandals, among that China will double its Middle East imports by 2035. In recent other things regarding the actual return on foreign investments. years both Iran and Iraq have become important sources of crude. She predicts that, with domestic production facing gradual decline, China has been diversifying its oil portfolio worlwide, most greater emphasis on oil trading opportunities in the future but a conspicuously by investment in Africa although the potential more cautious approach to spending on assets abroad. reserves do not compare with the Middle East. China has pursued In this context BGP must be one of the great success stories a strategy of offering economic development loans to African states of the Chinese oil industry if only for surviving where most of its in exchange for access to oil. international rivals have fallen by the wayside. How the oil shortage reality dawned on The comparison is not entirely fair because ‘BGP must be one successive regimes in China is well captured in the company operates under a state-controlled of the great success entity in CNPC and arguably fulfills a strategic a 2016 study by Michal Meidan, The structure of China’s oil industry: Past trends and future stories of the Chinese objective beyond the entrepreneurial. Even if prospects, published by the Oxford Institute for it has enjoyed a measure of protection from oil industry.’ Energy Studies. She provides an erudite, deep market volatility, the company’s record in the dive into the internal agonizing by successive onshore seismic sphere has been enviable. It Chinese regimes over the challenge of oil development at home had over 30 years of operating crews at home before it began a and, eventually, the doctrinal correctness and changing perspecfirst survey overseas in Ecuador in 1994. But by 2003 on its own tives on the potential benefits of overseas operations. reckoning it had become the largest land and shallow contractor in Chairman Mao Zedong got a first taste of energy insecurity the world. as early as 1950 during the Korean War when a western-inspired Not always blessed with stat- of-the-art equipment, BGP anti-communist oil embargo forced the country to depend on gained market share by offering low priced services, a large workeastern European and Soviet exports. As part of the Mao’s Soviet force and a willingness to work in countries regarded by traditional model industrialization programme a Ministry of Petroleum was western-oriented seismic companies as difficult by way of politics, established with the brief to intensify the quest for domestic oil security or terrain. Outside North America, the company dominates resources. Oil production in the 1960s and 1970s was rapid but not the international onshore market and has long experience in the efficient, lacking the most modern technology and hampered by lucrative Middle East, where WesternGeco and CGG have recently the behavioural demands of the Cultural Revolution. In the wake withdrawn. of the economic reforms introduced after Mao’s death in 1978, Offshore, it has been a different story with the company the big three national oil entities came into being. In 1985 foreign apparently reluctant to pour money into towed-streamer acquisition oil companies were invited to participate in the development of systems. However, four of its fleet of six vessels regularly provide China’s oil resources, particularly offshore, with a number of seismic data in the international marketplace, often for multi-client international bidding rounds. projects where a competitive price wins the acquisition contract. Between 1991 and 1997 China took its first steps in internaBGP clearly regards itself as better suited for the ocean bottom tional oil and gas ventures. The first move saw CNPC participate seismic market, with a fit for purpose or availability approach to in an UN-sponsored oil sand project in Alberta, Canada in 1991 the equipment it uses. The company is currently active offshore resulting two years later in the first barrel of overseas crude in ChiNigeria and in the Caspian Sea, and now takes on the massive nese history. CNPC led most of the subsequent foreign investment ADNOC survey. There is no Chinese puzzle about its intentions.

Views expressed in Crosstalk are solely those of the author, who can be contacted at andrew@andrewmcbarnet.com.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

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APA licensing round sparks seismic survey bonanza A raft of seismic surveys will be commissioned as work programme commitments on the Norwegian Continental Shelf after the country offered 83 production licences after its Award in Predefined Areas 2018 (APA 2018). The 83 production licenses are distributed over the North Sea (37), the Norwegian Sea (32) and the Barents Sea (14). Thirty three oil companies have been awarded ownership interests. Twenty one of these companies will be offered operatorships. The APA licensing rounds cover the most explored areas on the Norwegian shelf. As a consequence of the fact that exploration has been going on for decades, the majority of the North Sea, large parts of the Norwegian Sea and an ever-increasing area in the Barents Sea is today included in the APA-rounds. The Companies awarded licences/operatorships are: Aker BP (21/11); AS Norske Shell (4/2); Capricorn (1/0); Chrysaor (2/0); Concedo (3/0); ConocoPhillips (3/3); DEA (9/3); DNO (18/5); Dyas (1/0); Edison (4/2); Equinor (29/13); Faroe (8/4); Idemitsu (1/0); INEOS (6/2); Inpex (3/0); Lime (1/0); Lundin (15/9); M Vest (4/0); MOL (1/0); Neptune (9/4); OKEA (4/3); OMV (11/6); Pandion (2/0); Petrolia NOCO (5/1); PGNiG (3/2); Repsol (4/2); Source (2/0); Spirit (9/2); Suncor (4/2); Total (2/1); Vår Energi (13/4); Wellesley (6/0); Wintershall (6/2).

Consortiums required to acquire 3D seismic include Equinor (70%) and M Vest (30%) on 971;DNO (60%) and Source (40%) on 975; Vår (60%) and Suncor (40%) on 980;Equinor (40%), Petoro (20%), Total (20%) and Faroe (20%) on 983;Petrolia (60%) and Ineos (40%) on 1013; Vår Energi (30%) Petoro (20%) and Equinor (50%) on 1025 S; and DNO (60%) and Lundin (40%) on 991. Consortiums required to acquire and reprocess 3D seismic data include Okea (30%), Petoro (20%) and Crysaor (50%) on 983; and Suncor (40%), Lundin (20%), DNO (20%) and Vår (20%) on 987. Neptune (40%), Concedo (30%), and Petrolia NOCO (30%) on 992; Suncor (50%), Petoro (20%) and Neptune 30% on 993; Neptune (40%), Petrolia NOCO (30%) and DNO (30%) on 994; and DNO (60%) and Inoes (40%) on 995. Consortiums required to acquire new broadband 3D seismic an EM feasibility study include Vår (40%), Petoro (20%), BP (20%) and Pandion (20%) on 985; OMV (60%) and Inpex (40%) on 1016; PGNiG (50%) and Equinor (50%) on 1017; and Edison (50%) and Lundin (50%) on 1023. Consortiums required to carry out G&G studies are: Faroe (20%) and BP (80%) on 019H; Equinor (50%) and BP (50%) on 272; Lundin (65%), OMV (20%) Wintershall (15%) on 338; Lundin (50%) FIRST

Inpex (40%) DNO (10%) on 767B; ConocoPhillips (40%), DEA (20%), BP (20%), Equinor (20%)on 782SD; PGNiG (40%), DEA (30%) and BP (30%) on 838B;Faoroe (45%), Shell (40%) and Spirit (15%) on 969; Okea (79%) and Crysaor (21%) on 974;Lundin (50%) Petoro (20%) and Repsol (30%) on 976;BP (60%) and Vår (40%) on 977; BP (60%) and Vår (40%) on 978; BP (60%) and Vår (40%) on 979; Lundin (60%) and BP (40%) on 981; Equinor 40%, Welllesley Petroleum 30% and DNO 30% on 990; BP (60%) and Vår (40%) on 1005; Equinor (60%) and Lundin (40%) on 1011; Equinor (40%) Shell (35%) Spirit Energy (25%) on 1012;Equinor (70%) Wellesley Petroleum (30%) on 1014; OMV (40%), Wintershall (30%) and Equinor (30%) on 1018; Equinor (50%), OMV (20%), Wintershall (20%) and M Vest Energy (10%) on 1019; BP (40%), Equinor (30%) and Petoro (30%) on 1026; BP (50%); Petoro (20%) and Equinor (30%) on 1028; and BP (50%) Equinor (50%) on 1030. Consortiums required to reprocess 3D seismic data are: Vår Energi (65%) and Equinor (35%) on 229 F; Faroe (40%), Petoro (20%), BP (20%) on 968; OMV (50%), Petoro (20%) and Neptune (30%) on 970; Total (60%), BP (40%) on 982; Lundin (40%) DNO (30%) and Vår (30%) on 988; Shell (50%) and Equinor (50%) on 996; Shell (35%), Ineos (35%) BREAK

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and Equinor (35%) on 997; Equinor (70%) Neptune (30%) on 999; Equinor (70%) and Faroe (30%) on 1006; Faroe (40%), OMV (20%), Spirit (20%) and Equinor (20%) on 1007; DEA (60%) and Vår Energi (40%) on 1010; BP (40%), Concedo (30%) and DNO (30%) on 1022. Consortiums required to acquire modern 3D broadband seismic include: DNO (60%) and Equinor (40%) on 967; DNO (40%), Source Energy (30%) and Vår (30%) on 984; DEA (40%), Lundin (30%) and Concedo (30%) on 989; Spirit (40%), Lundin (30%), Petrolia NOCO (20%) Neptune (10%) will acquire newly reprocessed 3D seismic on 998.

Consortiums required to acquire and reprocess 3D seismic data include Neptune (40%); Suncor (30%), DEA (30%) on 1000;ConocoPhillips (60%); OKEA (20%) and Vår (20%) on 1001; Edison (60%) Neptune (40%) on 1002; OKEA (60%) and Wellesley (40%) on 1003; Lundin (40%), Inpex (20%), DEA (20%) and DNO (20%) on 1027;and Lundin (40%), DNO (40%) and Spirit Energy (20%) on 1029. OMV (70%) and Wintershall (30%) will acquire and reprocess geophysical data on 1004 Consortiums required to acquire 2D seismic are Ineos (70%) and DNO (30%) on 1015; and Wintershall (40%) OMV (25%) and Equinor (35%) on 1020.

DEA (50%) and DNO (50%) will reprocess 3D seismic and consider acquisition of reprocessed 3D seismic on 1021. Repsol (70%) and DNO (30%) will reprocess 3D seismic and on making a decision acquire 3D seismic data or drill or drop on 1024. Spirit Energy (40%), Petoro (20%), BP (20%) Equinor (20%) will acquire EM data on 1031. ‘This is the largest licensing award on the Norwegian continental shelf. 53 years after the first licensing round, this new record confirms the industry’s belief in continued value creation and activity in Norway,’ says Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Kjell-Børge Freiberg (FrP).

PGS processes promising offshore Nigeria dataset PGS is producing the first 3D PDSM dataset in Nigerian waters in Q2 2019 at its UK imaging centre.

PGS uses the Cray supercomputer.

The reprocessed dataset will cover the newly relinquished blocks OPL321 and OPL323, and also data acquired in 2004 over blocks OPL314 and OPL315. Sitting at the meeting point between the Benin Embayment and the Benue Trough, this survey (renamed MC3D OPL 314/315/321/323) is the missing link that enables integrated exploration of the northern and eastern Gulf of Guinea, joining the West Africa Transform Margin to the Niger Delta Basins. The area has many similarities to the JDA and Sao Tome and Principe, an exploration hotspot to the southeast of the Niger Delta. Large dextral regional transform faults, such as the Chain Transform zone, have a big influence on the tectonic regime. The northern shoulder of the Niger Delta contains almost all regional structur18

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al domains related to shale tectonics in the region (except the highly deformed and thrusted shale diapiric domain). There is evidence that sediments coming from the north, through the Avon canyon, have contributed to the filling of the accommodation space together with others coming from the east through the Opuama canyon providing multiple sediment input from at least two different catchment areas. The Sub-Akata sediments comprise distinctive stratigraphy, syn-rift tilted fault blocks and inverted syn-transform structures. The dominant and prolific petroleum system in neighbouring blocks produces from the Agbada Formation turbiditic reservoir unit underlain by the oil mature Akata Shale marine source rock. From the 1990s to as recently as March 2018, many fields have been discovered to the south and east, including the giant Bosi (1996), Erha (1999) and Oyo North (2018). The last exploration efforts identified a minimum of eight prospects within this petroleum system with billions of recoverable barrels of oil located in the blocks covered by the present depth reprocessed survey. Numerous deepwater channel complexes and shale-cored folds of multi-kilometric scale extend throughout the survey area forming the cornerstones of

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the Post-Akata exploration. The Sub-Akata exploration is revisited using the Sub-Akata seismic package new imaging. Structures at the Base Akata level are obvious traps that the depth migration reveals. The exciting untested Sub-Akata play comprises a potential Sub-Akata source rock, syn-rift and syn-transform structures, filled and draped by syn-kinematic Upper Cretaceous clastic sediments, and intraformational shales acting as seals. The wrench zone overall morphology and the complex fault networks associated with the long-lived major Chain transform fault are key structural observations that are better imaged and accurately positioned in the depth domain. Post and Sub Akata plays evaluations will benefit from the new structural analysis of the above structural observations. Revitalization of the data will be achieved using the latest processing and imaging algorithms. A suite of optimized denoising algorithms, coupled with a full deghosting sequence, will improve the data bandwidth and signal-to-noise ratio. The multiple attenuation sequence will use a combination of 3D techniques to eliminate complex multiples. A full velocity model building sequence in the depth domain, together with a depth migration, will improve the image integrity in this structurally challenging environment.


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Exploration set for steady improvement in 2019 says Wood Mackenzie Research from Wood Mackenzie shows that explorers’ success in 2018 reflects a disciplined approach that is set to continue this year. Dr Andrew Latham, vice-president, global exploration, said: ‘Last year conventional exploration returns hit 13% – the highest calculated in more than a decade. As discoveries in 2018 are appraised and projects move through the development cycle, we expect these economics to improve further.’ In 2018, exploration added at least 10.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in conventional new field volumes. This was split 40:60 oil to gas. Dr Latham added: ‘These volumes are currently the lowest for several decades, but we expect they will increase.’ Three play-opening discoveries were the Ranger and Hammerhead on Guyana’s prolific Starbroek Block, and the Dorado find, which confirms a new liquids play in the Roebuck sub-basin, offshore Australia. Last year also saw three giant finds: Novatek’s 11.3 trillion cubic feet North Obskoye gas find offshore Russia, the Calypso gas discovery, offshore Cyprus, and Guyana’s Hammerhead. This trio, together with the 18 large discoveries

made last year, account for 80% of the total discovered resources. In 2019 Dr Latham said that Latin American plays will account for one third of global large and giant prospects scheduled for drilling. This region will also see one-third of the potential play-opening wells. Exceptional reservoirs in Brazil, Guyana and Mexico will attract the most investment. He added that southern and western Africa will also see a resurgence in offshore exploration. ‘Worldwide, we expect 2019 discoveries to add around 15 billion-20 billion boe of new resource.’ Dr Latham singled out five wells in particular as ones to watch. Top of the list is Peroba, a giant pre-salt prospect in Brazil’s Santos basin, estimated to hold 5 billion boe. Peroba lies on trend with the giant Lula discovery. If the well is successful, partners Petrobras, BP and CNODC are likely to be sitting on a very significant find. Next is Brulpadda-1, in South Africa’s frontier Outeniqua basin, operated by Total, which holds an estimated 1 billion boe. Nour-1, in Egypt’s prolific Nile Delta, is currently drilling. If Eni and its partners are successful, Nour could have an impact on other projects in

the region, especially as its near-shore location means it could be brought on stream quickly, strengthening Egypt’s gas export prospects. Nour’s resource is estimated to be about 860 million boe. Chevron Kingsholm-1 prospect in the US Gulf of Mexico’s prolific Mississippi Canyon holds an estimated 300 million boe. The Jethro prospect on the Orinduik Block, offshore Guyana, is on acreage adjacent to ExxonMobil’s prolific Stabroek Block and will target a 200 million boe prospect in the same play as the recent Hammerhead find. Total’s Venus-1 well, in a giant Cretaceous fan play in Namibia’s ultra-deep offshore has the potential to be the year’s largest discovery. However, the exploration sector will continue to be an exclusive club in 2019. Fewer companies are drilling fewer wells. ‘Even as average exploration returns rise to double digits, newcomers will be few and far between. If anything, the current corporate landscape will continue to narrow,’ Dr Latham said. Despite a stronger oil price and lower cost base, global exploration and appraisal spending for 2019 will stay close to its 2018 level of just under $40 billion,’ Dr Latham said.

Equinor completes purchase of electricity trader Equinor has completed the $460 million acquisition of the Danish company Danske Commodities (DC). This acquisition of one of Europe’s largest short-term electricity traders, which is also active in short-term gas trading, green certificates trading and provides energy market services, supports Equinor’s development as a broad energy company. ‘The acquisition of Danske Commodities strengthens our ability to capture

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value from our production of renewable electricity and supports our aim to grow in profitable new energy solutions. DC’s market presence and expertise in energy trading complements Equinor’s position as the second-largest supplier of natural gas to Europe and as one of the world’s largest net-sellers of crude oil,’ said Irene Rummelhoff, Equinor’s executive vice-president for marketing, midstream and processing.

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As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equinor, Danske Commodities will continue to operate under its own name and brand while increasingly collaborating across relevant commercial and operational activities with Equinor. The transaction also includes smaller contingent payments that are depending on Danske Commodities performance over the next couple of years.


INDUSTRY NEWS

UK launches Supplementary 31st Offshore Licensing Round The UK Oil and Gas Authority has launched the Supplementary 31st Offshore Licensing Round, offering up to 300 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) in the Greater Buchan Area. Situated in the Outer Moray Firth in the North Sea, the region features 5800 km2 of unlicensed acreage, which includes a number of undeveloped discoveries and prospects. The Buchan Field first came online in 1981 using the Buchan Alpha floating drilling rig, which has been removed from location. However, significant oil and gas resources are estimated to remain in the Buchan reservoir and the Greater Buchan

region, making it a valuable area of the North Sea. To maximize economic recovery of the remaining resources, the OGA wishes to develop an Area Plan with industry linked to a licensing round. The Supplementary Round has been supported by advanced release of substantial information and data, including seismic data packages. The OGA is continuing to make more and more data openly available and this dataset included well data for 154 wells, 3D seismic surveys, relinquishment and technical reports. To date, there have been 1122 downloads from the OGA’s website,

totalling 7.4 terabytes of data by 34 different companies. Dr Andy Samuel, chief executive of the OGA said: ‘We are encouraging prospective operators to look beyond individual opportunities and actively partner with other companies to establish a mutually beneficial Area Plan realising the full economic potential in the area.’ A newly created ‘Buchan Field Production Dashboard’ is also available on the OGA’s Open Data site which shows the entire production profile since 1981. This can be viewed via the link: http:// data-ogauthority.opendata.arcgis.com/ pages/buchan-sup-round-dashboard.

Mergers and acquisitions will continue to decline says research analyst Volatile oil prices and bearish equity markets are impeding deal flow in mergers and acquisitions, making companies rethink near-term strategies, said M&A Research. In Q4 2018 deal count dropped to its lowest level since Q1 2015, with December the slowest month since January 2015. Greig Aitken, director, M&A research, said: ‘It is difficult to see 2019 being a bumper period for upstream M&A. If volatility cedes to stable but lower oil prices, history suggests we’ll see a relatively sluggish year – we tend to see more deals when confidence and investment are high. ‘That said, in any environment there are always motivated sellers and opportunistic buyers, players looking to re-engineer portfolios and companies with the desire and capacity to make counter-cyclical moves. Acquisitions can still be expected – both bolt-ons to existing operations and more material purchases in core target areas.’ Since the downturn, the majors have worked exceptionally hard to focus businesses on long-life, low-cost growth

assets, said M&A Research. That will continue this year, Mr Aitken said, adding: ‘Expect more country exits, more portfolio high-grading and more exits from legacy assets.’ Aitken added: ‘Most North American-headquartered independents have become increasingly North America-focused in recent years. We expect concentration to increase in 2019. In a low price environment, companies may rein in budgets so capex is organically funded, but overseas disposals will support balance sheet strengthening and shareholder distributions.’ A continued focus on discipline means that a recent uptick in corporate-level consolidation will likely gather pace. ‘Moreover, three years of discipline has failed to provide tangible rewards for many shareholders; a late 2018 sell-off has left many companies trading at, or close to, multi-year lows. Small and midcaps will be the primary targets. But combinations between large independents should not be ruled out. North America is likely to be the hub of consolidation, due FIRST

to the unrivalled diversity of its corporate landscape,’ he added. The E&P share price slide presents a unique opportunity. There are potential bargains out there – good-quality companies which are undervalued due to cyclical, external factors, said M&A research. Aitken said: ‘The question is, who’s in the best position to take advantage of this? Cash buyers would certainly accrue the biggest benefits, by avoiding paying for acquisitions using similarly under-valued stock. That requires a balance sheet which is strong enough to withstand a period of low prices. ‘Some national oil companies (NOCs) may have the firepower to bargain hunt, but there is no sign that the Chinese NOCs still have the appetite for big deals. Other Asian and Middle Eastern NOCs are more likely candidates, based on recent form and clear intentions. ‘Private equity, sovereign wealth funds and other investors are well placed. Discounted market valuations are exactly the type of scenario in which these companies can generate value.’ BREAK

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UK decommissioning could cost British tax payer $31 billion

Decommisioning of the Welland platform in the North Sea.

The UK government estimates that decommissioning the UK’s offshore oil and gas infrastructure will cost taxpayers $31 billion, although the actual cost is highly uncertain according to a report by the National Audit Office. There are currently around 320 fixed installations – such as oil platforms – in the UK, primarily in the North Sea. To date, operators have recovered more than 44 billion barrels of oil and gas, but

reserves are running out and tax revenues from production have declined significantly over the past decade. Oil and gas operators in the UK have spent more than $1.3 billion on decommissioning their infrastructure since 2014. The UK government allows operators to recover some of this expenditure through tax reliefs, by deducting costs from their taxable profits and potentially claiming back some taxes they have previously paid.

Tax revenues from oil and gas have declined from a recent high in 2011-12 due to lower oil and gas prices and operators incurring high levels of expenditure that is tax deductible. In 2016-17, the government paid out more to oil and gas operators in tax reliefs than it received in revenues, resulting in total repayments of $380 million. The Office for Budget Responsibility expects net annual receipts from the oil and gas sector to recover slightly, rising from $1.6 billion in 201718 to a projected $3.2 billion in 2022-23. The UK Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) estimates that decommissioning will cost UK operators a total of between $60 billion and $100 billion. The UK Inland Revenue forecasts that associated tax reliefs will cost the UK taxpayer approximately $31 billion from 2018-19 to 2062-63. The total cost of decommissioning to taxpayers could be higher because the government is ultimately liable for the cost of decommissioning assets that operators lack the financial resources to decommission. The UK government has acted to mitigate this risk by requiring nine operators to set aside a total of $1.1 billion to pay for decommissioning in the future.

Ion starts big reimaging programme offshore Brazil Ion Geophysical is shooting a 2D multi-client reimaging programme offshore Brazil. The first phase of the  Farofa programme covers acreage in the deepwater Campos basin that will be available for licensing in Brazil’s upcoming Round 16 in October.  The programme will reimage ~10,000 km of existing data using the latest technology to provide an updated view of the outboard salt basin area. This programme will extend the Picanha 3D

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programme into the Round 16 area. The limited 3D data available in this area of Round 16 makes the Farofa dataset critical in providing valuable insights of the presalt potential. Initial data is expected to be available in Q1 2019 and the programme is anticipated to be completed in May 2019. ‘Brazil has continued to draw strong interest from large E&P companies, attracting an astounding $5.5 billion in signature bonuses in less than two years,’ said Joe Gagliardi, senior vice-president of Ion’s

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E&P Business Development. ’The Round 16 area covered by the Farofa programme has extremely complex salt bodies that overlie and mask the extent of the presalt play. The complex nature of this area creates challenges in imaging relative to the inboard part of the Campos Basin, making it an exciting opportunity for new exploration. After the survey Ion will hold 75,000 km2 of 3D data and 85,000 km of 2D data offshore Brazil. 


INDUSTRY NEWS

BP invests in AI for modelling and interpretation BP Ventures has invested $5 million in Belmont Technology in a bid to bolster the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) and potentially reduce data collection, interpretation and simulation by 90%. The Houston technology start-up has developed a cloud-based geoscience platform using AI. The platform has a string of capabilities including specially designed ‘knowledge-graphs’. BP experts feed the platform geology, geophysics, reservoir and historic project information. It intuitively links that information together, identifying new connections and workflows, and creating a robust knowledge-graph of BP’s subsurface assets. Much like data searches available in the consumer domain, BP experts can then interrogate the data, asking

the powerful knowledge-graph specific questions in natural language. The technology then uses AI neural networks to interpret results and perform rapid simulations. David Eyton, BP’s group head of technology, said: ‘This AI-based platform, which we’ve nicknamed Sandy, is expected to unlock critical data for our subsurface engineers at a much accelerated pace. Our experts will ask it questions about our reservoirs such as, ‘What factors control production in the Chirag field?’. Sandy will then interpret our data, including mapping out many more scenarios than are currently constructed, helping us make faster, better more informed upstream decisions.’

BP’s investment will enable Belmont Technology to expand its workforce, extend Sandy’s capabilities and accelerate the deployment of its product. Belmont Technology’s CEO, Jean-Marie Laigle, said: ‘Our technology enables real-time thinking for subsurface engineers, helping to transform the way teams work, analyse data, understand situations and generate novel ideas.’ This investment follows BP’s previous deals in cognitive computing, including $20 million funding of AI company Beyond Limits. That investment is helping to deploy AI technology previously used in deep space exploration missions in offshore exploration, to accelerate operational insight and process automation across operations.

US unconventional drilling set to grow by 8% this year The US unconventional industry continues to see increasing completion intensity per well, driving spectacular production growth, but the industry is reaching the technical limits of what is possible, according to research from Energent. US operators are showing little sign of reducing drilling programmes in the short term. In a $60/bbl WTI oil price scenario, drilling will increase by 8% to more than 20,000 wells this year, according to Westwood’s new US Drilling and Completion Q4 2018 Outlook. With WTI prices of $52/ bbl, WTI growth in 2019 will likely stall. Despite bottlenecks in the Delaware basin, other basins are ramping up activity, especially the Eagle Ford, Williston and MidCon. Drilling activity in the Williston increased by 36% Y-o-Y in 2018, while the Eagle Ford and MidCon increased by 43% and 23%, respectively. In 2018 the US active land rig count was up 17% overall. Operators will continue to adopt ‘spudder’ rigs to drill the vertical portion of the well and a high-

spec rig to drill the horizontal to gain efficiencies and reduce costs. An average pad consists of 4.7 wells in the DJ-Niobrara basin and 3.1 wells in the Williston. Westwood anticipates further adoption of multi-well pad drilling and factory drilling in the Permian and MidCon. Westwood expects a fall in rig and well count in late 2019 when the additional take-away capacity comes online in the Permian — bringing new oil and gas off-take capacity of 1.4 mmbpd and 4 bcfpd, respectively. Westwood expects to see total US DUC inventory reaching a peak of 10,300 in Q3 ’19, then gradually declining to 4600 by 2022 as the completion activity outpaces drilling. Westwood analysis shows that the US average lateral length increased by 4% (90 m), compared with 8% (170 m) in 2017, suggesting that operators may be reaching technical, acreage, or economic limits. In the DJ-Niobrara, it sharply decreased from 21% (425 m) increase to 3% (73 m) increase in 2018. Similarly in FIRST

the Eagle Ford, average lateral length only increased by 5% (97 m) in 2018, compared to 8% (158 m) in 2017. Lastly, the Permian basin also increased 5% (112 m) in 2018 compared to 6% (140 m) in 2017. Assuming a $60-70 WTI oil price range over the next few years, completion activities look set to grow through to 2022 in the US.

US rig count is up by 17%.

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CGG and TGS shoot joint survey in Barents Sea

CGG and TGS have announced the Greater Castberg TopSeis survey in the Barents Sea. The 5000 km2 survey, acquired and

processed with CGG’s TopSeis acquisition and imaging technology, will include the highly prospective Castberg area, and cover existing and newly awarded licences in addition to open acreage with several play models in multiple geological layers. The acquisition is expected to start in late Q2 2019 with final delivery to clients in Q4 2020. Kristian Johansen, CEO, TGS, said: ‘The survey sits in the right place of the

Barents Sea, and production licenses will start producing from this area in 2022.’ Sophie Zurquiyah, CEO, CGG, said: ‘Our unique TopSeis solution combines an innovative source-over-spread acquisition geometry with CGG’s advanced imaging technology. This enables our clients to delineate shallow-to-intermediate depth targets in the Barents Sea, which are not resolved by conventional methods.’

Seismic survey offshore Sierra Leone supports licensing round GeoPartners is shooting a 2D seismic survey offshore Sierra Leone to support the 4th Offshore Petroleum Licensing Round planned for later this year. The survey will comprise more than 9000 km of new data and cover the full extent of the offshore area available in the

licence round. A subset of the data will be available for companies participating in the upcoming licence round in Sierra Leone.. Jim Gulland, director, GeoPartners, said: ‘The new survey is the first to cover the entire offshore area from

shallow to ultra-deepwater, providing ties to all existing wells and allowing a complete evaluation of the available acreage. Sierra Leone has proven oil discoveries and this new long-offset survey will highlight the potential of this underexplored area’.

EMGS reports improved Q4 revenues of $13.4 million EMGS has recorded a fourth quarter 2018 net loss of -$7.1 million on revenues of $13.4 million, compared to a net loss of -$11.1 million on revenues of $6 million in the third quarter of 2018 and a net loss of -$6.6 million on revenues of $10.8 million in Q4 2017. The company’s fourth quarter operating loss of -$6.3 million compared with -$9.7 million in Q3 2018 and -$10.7 million in Q4 2017. The company recorded EBITDA of $0.6 million, down from $1.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 but up from a third quarter loss -$4 million in Q3 2018. Contract and other sales totalled $7 million, while multi-client sales amounted to $6.4 million in the fourth 24

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quarter 2018, compared to $1.3 million for contract and other sales and mulit-client sales of $4.7 million in the third quarter of 2018 and $1.7 million for contract and other sales and $9.2 million for multi-client sales in Q4 2017. The company increased its quarterly expenses, including operational costs and multi-client investments, from $11.3 million in the fourth quarter last year to $13.2 million this quarter. Free cash decreased by $3 million from the previous quarter During the quarter, the Atlantic Guardian embarked on an $8 million proprietary contract in South America. The BOA Thalassa has been idle. ’While the market outlook for oil services remains challenging, we are pleased

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BOA Thalassa.

that increased interest outside of Norway has translated to increased commercial activity, resulting in a positive EBITDA for the quarter,’ said Bjørn Petter Lindhom, CEO of EMGS.


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INDUSTRY NEWS 

PGS reports record multi-client late sales in improved results PGS has reported a net loss of $4.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 on revenues of $270 million, compared with a net loss of $28.6 million on revenues of $163 million in Q3 2018 and a net loss of

enabled us to deliver segment multi-client revenue growth of 22% and achieve the highest multi-client late sales in PGS’ history,’ said Rune Olav Pedersen, president and chief executive officer. ‘Despite the

$191.5 million on revenues of $236 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The company recorded an operating profit of $26 million, compared with an operating loss of -$10.4 million in Q3 2018 and an operating loss of -$159 million in Q4 2017. Of the company’s segment revenues of $245 million, contract seismic was $41 million, multi-client prefunding revenue was $34 million, multi-client late sales were $164 million - a record and imaging $6 million. This compares with $40.5 million of contract sales, $107 million of multi-client prefunding, $70 million of multi-client late sales and $10 million in imaging in Q4 2017. ‘We have continued to invest in the multi-client library through the downturn. In a gradually recovering market this has

oil price volatility in Q4 we experienced strong and diverse customer interest for our data library. ‘The contract market was still challenging in 2018. We achieved higher pricing for contract work, compared to 2017, but were hurt by low vessel utilization, particularly in Q4. ‘We have delivered a substantial cost reduction and achieved our main financial target for 2018 of becoming cash flow positive after debt service. ‘We expect the seismic market in 2019 to continue the improvement trend experienced during 2018. In the contract market we experience higher activity, improved visibility and better prices as we move into 2019. Revenue growth and lower costs will position us to improve cash flow further this year.’

For the full year of 2018 PGS reported an operating profit of $36 million on revenues of $845 million compared to an operating loss of $148 million on revenues of $839 million in 2017. Total Segment multi-client revenues of $654.3 million, up 22% compared to 2017. Record Segment multi-client late sales revenues of $371.9 million, were up 58% compared to 2017 Cash flow from operations of $445.9 million, compared to $281.8 million in 2017. In 2019 PGS expects an increase in exploration and production spending to contribute to further recovery of the marine seismic market. Contract seismic is likely the activity benefiting most from the improvement, driven by more 4D acquisition and generally higher demand for new seismic data. PGS expects full year 2019 gross cash costs of approximately $550 million. 2019 multi-client cash investments are expected to be approximately $250 million. More than 50% of 2019 active 3D vessel time is expected to be allocated to multi-client acquisition. Capital expenditure for 2019 is expected to be approximately $85 million, which includes the reactivation of the vessel Ramform Vanguard. The order book totaled $163 million at 31 December, 2018 (including $59 million relating to multi-client), compared to $144 million at 30 September, 2018 and $135 million at 31 December, 2017.

Sercel enters health monitoring market Sercel has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Apave to deliver a structural health monitoring (SHM) solution. As part of the agreement, Sercel will use its sensor technology to develop an innovative solution for permanent structural monitoring that is designed to help operators of structures and infrastructure around the world with decision-making. 26

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Apave, a specialist in structural health monitoring, said that it wants to bring the solution to market in 2019 and begin commercial deployment in France in early 2020. Pascal Rouiller, CEO of Sercel, said: ‘SHM is a high-potential market and one that is particularly well suited for sensor technologies developed by Sercel.’

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Jean-Christophe Protais, CEO, APAVE, said: ‘Apave and Sercel have entered into a partnership that brings together innovative technology and tried and tested expertise for buildings and infrastructure. Through this alliance we will develop a solution for monitoring the integrity of buildings and structures in real time to prolong their life cycle.’


INDUSTRY NEWS

Oil majors report improved profits Oil majors’ fourth quarter 2018 results show dramatic improvements on the same period in 2017. Equinor has reported earnings of $4.4 billion and $1.5 billion after tax in the fourth quarter of 2018, up from $4 billion and $1.3 billion in the same period of 2017. For the full year, adjusted earnings were $18 billion, up 42% from $12.6 billion in 2017. IFRS net income was $7.5 billion, up from $4.6 billion in 2017. ‘In 2018 we sanctioned seven new projects, which will deliver more than 1 billion barrels of resources to Equinor at an average break-even price of $14,’ said Eldar Sætre, president and CEO of Equinor. Equinor delivered all-time high production in 2018 with an underlying production growth of more than 2%. It completed 24 exploration wells with nine commercial discoveries. Exploration expenses in the quarter were $417 million, up from $274 million in the same quarter of 2017, mainly due to higher seismic and drilling activity. Capital expenditure was $9.9 billion for the full year of 2018. In 2019 Equinor expects capex of around $11 billion.

Equinor expects to deliver around 3% annual production growth from 2019 to 2025. On the Norwegian Contintenal Shelf it expects to deliver record high production levels by 2025. BP has reported 2018 profits of $12.7 billion, more than double that

reported for 2017. The fourth quarter result was $3.5 billion. Return on average capital employed was 11.2% compared to 5.8% in 2017. Oil and gas production averaged 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent a day for 2018. Upstream underlying production, which excludes Rosneft, was 8.2% higher than 2017. Six Upstream major projects started up in 2018, making a total of 19 brought online since 2016. Chevron has reported earnings of $3.7 billion for fourth quarter 2018, compared with $3.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. Full-year 2018 earnings were $14.8 billion, compared with $9.2 billion in 2017. Fourth quarter 2018 revenues were $40 billion, compared to $36 billion in Q4 2017. Record annual net oil-equivalent production of 2.93 million barrels per day is 7% higher than a year earlier. The company is targeting growth 4-7% growth for 2019   Royal Dutch Shell has reported fourth quarter 2018 earnings of $5.7 billion. Full year earnings were $21.4 billion.

TGS shoots onshore 3D survey in Wyoming TGS has announced the Railgun onshore 3D seismic survey within the US Powder River Basin.

Railgun 3D will encompass approximately 680 km2 in Converse and Campbell Counties, Wyoming. The high-resolution survey is ideally located

in the high potential trend core of the basin where the prospective stratigraphic section of stacked reservoirs exceeds 1520 m in thickness. Unconventional targets include two world class source rocks, the Niobrara and Mowry, along with numerous historically productive tight sand formations including the Turner, Sussex, Shannon, Parkman, Frontier and Teapot, that are now being exploited successfully with unconventional technologies. Recording will commence in Q3 2019 and will be completed before the end of the year. The data will be processed by TGS. The Railgun 3D survey is complemented by TGS’ extensive

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geologic products which include a fully interpreted regional basin stratigraphic model that is analytics-ready, derived from an extensive library of high-quality well data. More than 41,000 LAS logs and over 145,000 raster logs are immediately available for the Powder River Basin. ‘TGS’ entry into the Powder River Basin is consistent with our strategy to identify prolific and high potential onshore plays where the application of modern seismic data can deliver significant benefits to the exploration and production of hydrocarbons,’ stated Kristian Johansen, CEO for TGS.

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INDUSTRY NEWS 

UK’s first horizontal shale gas well yields good results Cuadrilla has reported that flow-testing from the UK’s first horizontal shale well shows a rich reservoir of recoverable high-quality gas present. The company drilled through the shale rock more than 7500 feet beneath the Preston New Road exploration site in Lancashire in the north of the UK. Chief executive officer Francis Egan said: ‘We have also confirmed that the Bowland shale formation fractures in a way that, from US experience, is typical of an excellent shale gas reservoir. A complex fracture network was generated in the shale and sand injected into the fractures has stayed in place during flow back. Also the natural gas flowing to surface from the shale has a very high methane content, which means it could be delivered into the local gas grid for the benefit of local consumers with minimal processing required.’ A microseismic operating limit during hydraulic fracturing, set at 0.5 on the Richter Scale, had, however, severely constrained the volume of sand that could be injected into the shale rock.

Egan added: ‘We have only partially tested this well, with just two out of the 41 stages installed along the horizontal section fractured fully as designed, and less than 14% of the sand we had planned to inject into the shale rock put in place. Nonetheless the natural gas still flowed back from the shale at a peak rate of over 200,000 standard cubic feet per day and a stable rate of some 100,000 standard cubic feet per day.’ Cuadrilla estimates that, when compared to a typical North American 2.5 km-long producing horizontal shale gas well, with all of its stages fractured as planned, the data indicates a potential initial flow rate range of between 3 million and 8 million standard cubic feet per day. Cuadrilla plans to complete hydraulic fracturing of the PNR1 well, fracture the PNR2 well and carry out flow testing of both wells later this year. Egan said: ’We have acquired almost 40,000 micro-seismic data points during hydraulic fracturing operations on the PNR1-z well. We believe this to be the most comprehensive micro-seismic data

set ever collected at a shale gas well anywhere in the world.’ In addition to microseismic data, Cuadrilla recorded ground vibration levels throughout fracturing operations. The vast majority of those vibrations were less than 0.5 mm/second which the company has highlighted is up to 30 times lower than limits applied to other UK industrial operations, including quarrying and construction. Egan added: ’The potential for Lancashire and the UK has again been clearly demonstrated by the fracturing and flow-testing carried out at Preston New Road. We look forward to completing the job. ‘All we ask now is that we are treated fairly, with comparable seismic and ground vibration levels to similar industries in Lancashire and elsewhere in the UK who are able to work safely but more effectively with significantly higher thresholds for seismicity and ground vibration.’ Cuadrilla has now shut in the well and will monitor build-up as it continues to assess the results.

India launches third open acreage licensing round India is offering 23 oil and gas and coalbed methane blocks for bidding in the third round of Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP). OALP-III offers 23 blocks in 12 sedimentary basins, including five coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks. The total area on offer is about 31,000 km2. Last date for bidding is 10 April. OALP-III will run concurrently with OALP-II, where 14 blocks covering an area of close to 30,000 km2 are on offer. OALP-I, comprising 55 blocks covering an area of 60,000 km2, was tendered last October. The 14 blocks being offered in OALPII bid rounds cover an area of 29,333 km2 and bids close on 12 March. India had in July 2017 allowed companies to carve out blocks of their choice 28

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with a view to bringing about 2.8 million km2 of unexplored area in the country under exploration. Under OALP, companies are allowed to put in an expression of interest (EoI) for prospecting of oil and gas in an area that is not under a production or exploration licence. EoIs can be put in at any time of the year but they are accumulated twice annually. The blocks or areas that receive EoIs at the end of a cycle are put up for auction with the original bidder getting a 5-mark advantage. The first OALP round was launched in 2017. EoIs for the second round closed on 15 May, 2018 and the blocks were supposed to be put for auction by June but the round was delayed. EoIs in the third window also closed on 15 November,

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2018 with as many as 18 blocks and five CBM blocks, measuring 31,722 km2, being sought. About 90,000 km2 of India’s sedimentary basin was under exploration prior to these bid rounds. In two OALP rounds and two discovered small field (DSF) rounds, the area under exploration has more than doubled.

Launching OALP-II.


INDUSTRY NEWS

Shearwater wins big OBS contracts in the North Sea Shearwater has been awarded four ocean bottom seismic (OBS) surveys from Aker BP and Equinor.

WG Tasman.

The projects will be executed by two of Shearwater’s multi-purpose vessels using proprietary technology during the 2019 North Sea summer season. Aker BP has awarded Shearwater a multi-year OBS contract, with the first

BRIEFS CNNOC (50% operator), Total (25%) and Euroil (25%) have made a new discovery at the Glengorm Prospect, offshore UK Central North Sea. In water depth of 86 m, the exploration well in Licence P2215 was drilled to a total depth of 5056 m and encountered net gas and condensate pay zones with a total thickness of 37.6 m. Recoverable resources are estimated to be close to 250 million barrels of oil equivalent.

three surveys to be conducted in 2019 at the Frosk, Ivar Aasen and Valhall fields. The first survey is scheduled to start in Q2 and the total duration for the three 2019 projects is estimated at around four months. Equinor  has awarded Shearwater an OBS survey over the  Gullfaks field in Norway, with start-up in Q3 and an estimated duration of 1 month. ‘These awards secure backlog for the full North Sea summer season for two of our OBS vessel platforms and cement our strong position in the OBS market. We are pleased to see strategically important customers acknowledge this position by awarding additional projects for follow-on seasons,’ said Irene Waage Basili, CEO of Shearwater GeoServices. Shearwater will utilize the multi-purpose vessels WG Tasman and WG Cook on the surveys, using its Q-Seabed OBS system.

Polarcus has been awarded a 3D marine seismic acquisition project in West Africa. The project will start in Q1 2019 and last for six weeks. Polarcus has also been awarded a 3D survey offshore Mexico. The 45-day project is due to start in Q2 2019. ConocoPhillips  has ended exclusive talks with Ineos over a package of North Sea assets and will open up the sale to other bidders. The company is engaging with other parties for the oil fields in the UK. The assets are valued at $3 billion.

Ineos accuses UK of ‘shutting down shale’ Ineos has called for the UK government to ‘make shale workable or shut it down and not to use politically expedient, slippery back door manoeuvres to end shale’. The company said there are indications that there may be enough gas to make the UK self-sufficient in energy for a generation and stimulate huge investment, but that the industry is threatened by the government’s ‘absurd seismic thresholds’ for shale. UK planning policy remains ‘archaic, glacially slow, inordinately expensive and virtually unworkable’. In the US, where more than a million shale wells have been drilled, the seismicity limit is typically set at 4.0 on the Richter Scale. The UK Government has set the level at 0.5 with ‘no sound basis in science and betraying a total lack of understanding of the shale extraction process’, said Ineos.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has awarded Onshore Block 3  to Occidental Petroleum. Onshore Block 3 covers an area of 5782 km2 in the Al Dhafra region. Existing 3D seismic data already covers a large part of the block which, with its proximity to the Shah, Asab, Haliba and Sahl fields, suggests very promising potential.  Occidental will hold a 100% stake in the exploration phase, and invest $244  million.  ADNOC has the option to hold a 60% stake in the production phase.

Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS Chairman said: ’The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) seems to lack a basic understanding of the Richter Scale. It is a logarithmic scale. The limit within the United States is typically set at 4.0 – a level that the US Environmental Protection Agency feels is safe and will not lead to any damage to land, property or people. To put that into perspective, magnitude 4.0 is 3,162 times higher than 0.5 and 177,827 times stronger in terms of energy release. ‘Shale development has transformed the US economy in the last 10 years. Just one of 50 shales in the US, the Permian, is now producing twice the amount of gas that the UK extracts from the entire North Sea. ‘The government is shutting down shale by the backdoor and is betting the future of our manufacturing industry on windmills and imported gas from countries which are potentially unstable.’ FIRST

Total’s South African offshore gas condensate discovery in the Outeniqua basin could contain 1 billion barrels of total resources. Eni Australia has acquired a solar photovoltaic (PV) project near Katherine, in the Northern Territory of Australia, from  Katherine Solar Pty Ltd, a joint venture between Australia’s Epuron and the UK-based Island Green Power.

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INDUSTRY NEWS 

Cuadrilla loses fracking appeal for UK site

Cuadrilla site at Preston New Road.

The UK government has refused planning permission for fracking at a second site in Lancashire in the north of England. Cuadrilla’s application for Roseacre Wood

was refused by the local council and was the subject of a public inquiry. The company, already drilling at nearby Preston New Road, appealed,

but the secretary of state said highway safety issues have not been ‘satisfactorily addressed’ and refused planning permission. A spokesperson for Cuadrilla said: ‘We are naturally disappointed about the decision on Roseacre Wood and will examine the details in full before reaching a position.’ Cuadrilla submitted a planning application to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of natural gas from up to four horizontal wells to Lancashire County Council in 2014. Permission was denied in 2015 and Cuadrilla appealed this decision and the matter was subsequently heard at a public inquiry in early 2016. The inquiry was reopened in April 2018 to hear evidence on highway safety.

Egypt awards blocks in largest-ever gas licensing round Royal Dutch Shell, Eni, BP and ExxonMobil were among the winners in one of Egypt’s largest ever oil and gas exploration tenders. The awards marked ExxonMobil’s entry into gas exploration in Egypt, while Shell was handed the most concessions, three for oil and two for gas. The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Corporation’s (EGAS) bid round includ-

ed border areas in the Mediterranean Sea as well as land areas in the Nile Delta. Five gas exploration concessions were awarded to Shell, ExxonMobil, Petronas, BP, DEA and Eni. Neptune Energy, Merlon, Shell, Eni and state-controlled Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation’s (EGPC) were awarded seven oil exploration concessions in total in which 39 wells will

be drilled, Egypt’s petroleum ministry said. Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation’s tender included areas in the Western Desert, the Nile Valley, the Gulf of Suez and the Eastern Desert. Egypt expects investments of at least $750 million to $800 million in the first stage of exploration in the total of 12 concessions announced, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said.

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CALENDAR 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS 4-5 APRIL 2019

Second EAGE/ PESGB Workshop on Velocities

www.eage.org London, United Kingdom

March 2019 4-7 Mar

DGG Annual Meeting http://dgg2018.dgg-tagung.de

Braunschweig

Germany

17-21 Mar

SAGEEP 2019 www.sageep.org

Portland

United States

19-21 Mar

Second EAGE Workshop on Pore Pressure Prediction www.eage.org

Amsterdam

The Netherlands

25-29 Mar

6th EAGE Tyumen 2019 conference www.eage.org

Tyumen

Russia

26-28 Mar

International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) www.eage.org

Beijing

China

29-30 Mar

ISZA 2019 - 50 th Meeting of Young Geoscientists www.isza.hu

Ráckeve

Hungary

1-4 Apr

Second EAGE Workshop on Practical Reservoir Monitoring www.eage.org

Amsterdam

The Netherlands

4-5 Apr

Second EAGE/PESGB Workshop on Velocities www.eage.org

London

United Kingdom

8-9 Apr

EAGE/SPE Workshop on Shale Science 2019 www.eage.org

Moscow

Russia

8-11 Apr

20 th European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery (IOR 2019) www.eage.org

Pau

France

15-16 Apr

EAGE First Borneo Deepwater Symposium – Managing Deepwater Assets through Geosolutions www.eage.org

Bandar Seri Begawan

Brunei

22-26 Apr

Engineering and Mining Geophysics 2019, 15 th Conference and Exhibition www.eage.org

Gelendzhik

Russia

April 2019

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CALENDAR

22-26 Apr

Marine Technologies 2019 www.eage.ru

Gelendzhik

Russia

24 Apr

EAGE/DGMK Joint Workshop on Underground Storage of Hydrogen www.eage.org

Celle

Germany

25-26 Apr

DGMK/ÖGEW Spring Meeting www.dgmk.de

Celle

Germany

29 Apr 2 May

Sixth EAGE Shale Workshop www.eage.org

Bordeaux

France

6-8 May

39 th Euroheat & Power Congress www.euroheat.org/events/ehp-congress-2019

Nantes

France

7-9 May

Second EAGE Workshop on Deepwater Exploration in Mexico: Knowledge transfer and collaboration from shelf to deepwater www.eage.org

Cancun

Mexico

13-17 May

GeoConvention 2019 www.geoconvention.com

Calgary

Canada

19-21 May

Second EAGE Workshop on Pore Pressure Prediction www.eage.org

Amsterdam

The Netherlands

3-6 Jun

81st EAGE Conference & Exhibition 2019 Embrace Change - Creativity for the Future www.eage.org

London

United Kingdom

17-19 Jun

EAGE/AAPG Workshop on Reducing Exploration Risk in Rift Basins www.eage.org

Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia

17-20 Jun

First EAGE Workshop on Assessment of Landslide and Debris Flows Hazards in the Carpathians www.eage.org

Lviv

Ukraine

EAGE/SPE First Borneo Deepwater Symposium – Managing Deepwater Assets through Geosolutions www.eage.org

Bandar Seri Begawan

Brunei

May 2019

June 2019

July 2019 29-30 Jul

August 2019 18-23 Aug

Goldschmidt 2019 www.goldschmidt.info/2019/

Barcelona

Spain

19-22 Aug

16th International Congress of the Brazilian Geophysical Society & EXPOGEf www.sbgf.org.br/congresso/

Rio de Janeiro

Brazil

September 2019 2-5 Sep

2 nd Australasian Exploration Geoscience Conference (AEGC2019) www.2019.aegc.com.au

Perth

Australia

2-6 Sept

Fourth EAGE Conference on Petroleum Geostatistics www.eage.org

Florence

Italy

2-7 Sept

29 th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry www.imog.eaog.org

Gothenburg

Sweden

8-12 Sept

Fifth International Conference on Fault and Top Seals 2019 www.eage.org

Palermo

Italy

8-12 Sept

EAGE Near Surface Geoscience Conference and Exhibition 2019 www.eage.org

The Hague

Netherlands

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Cuba Re Ree-launches Offshore Oil Exploration on Multi ti-Client 2D Seismic for a New Exploration Journey ey A fresh look at a clear image ge

BGP has acquired 26,880 km of multi-client 2D seismic data in the offshore Cuba , as well as gravity and magnetic. PreSTM and PreSDM data set is available now. The new data reveal significant exploration potential of the Cuba Exclusive Economic Zone (CEEZ). The above section shows a series of structural traps in the thrust belt of CEEZ, which have favorable reservoir and seal assemblage, and the newly drilled oil well near this area has proved its potential. A reflection of reef is quite clear, and there is also a flat spot reflection in this section, which probably indicates the existence of hydrocarbon. With these new understandings and discoveries in this area, it is time to take a fresh look at CEEZ. The first Offshore License Round will be launched in April, 2019. multiclient@bgp.com.cn

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OPEN FOR BIDDING (24 BLOCKS)

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