The UK’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has awarded new contracts through government funding ‘to continue to stimulate exploration activity on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS)’.

The UK’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) announced that it has awarded new contracts through government funding “to continue to stimulate exploration activity on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS)”.

These awards were made “after a highly competitive tendering process during Q1,” the OGA said in a statement published on its website. As part of these awards:

  • A consortium comprising Lloyd’s Register and IGI Ltd received a contract to fund the first year of a four-year UKCS Petroleum Systems Project. The consortium will compile a database of legacy geochemical data acquired across the UKCS over the past five decades.
  • Ikon Science received a contract to evaluate the rock physics and seismic amplitude responses of the underexplored Jurassic and Triassic plays of the Central North Sea and East Shetland Basin. These findings will be shared with the wider exploration community ahead of the 32nd Mature Licensing Round.

In an effort to “support industry further”, the OGA said it is also working with Agile Scientific to provide free geo-computing training courses aimed at providing subsurface practitioners working on UK licenses the opportunity to gain data science skills. These courses will take place in Aberdeen and London during Q3. The OGA is also working with Agile Scientific to host two machine-learning boot camps and subsurface hackathons.

“The award of this diverse set of contracts continues to demonstrate the OGA’s commitment to reviving exploration activity in the UKCS,” Jo Bagguley, principal regional geologist for the OGA, said in an organization statement.

“Products resulting from the contracts will make significant additional contributions to the seismic, well and map-related data packs already released by the OGA,” Bagguley added.

The UK’s chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, announced a $6.4 million (GBP 5 million) fund to help support North Sea exploration on September 25, 2017, during a visit to Aberdeen and Dundee.

“The oil and gas industry remains vital for the Scottish economy and the UK as a whole. The GBP 5 million funding I am announcing will help exploration to find potential new deposits, and boost prospects for jobs in Aberdeen and the surrounding area,” Hammond said in a government statement in September last year.

Last month the OGA released a report which showed that production efficiency on the UKCS had improved for the fifth consecutive year, rising to 74 percent. The 1 percent improvement from 2016 helped contribute an additional 12 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2017, or an extra 32,000 boe per day, according to the UKCS Production Efficiency in 2017 report.

During July, the OGA also launched the 31st Offshore Licensing Round, offering blocks in frontier areas of the UKCS. Companies have until November 7 to apply for blocks on offer in the 31st Round. Decisions are expected to be made in the first half of 2019.

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