Statoil, along with a group of 16 oil and gas companies, has undertaken a project for joint seismic acquisition in the south-eastern Barents Sea.

Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, which established the project on the request of the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE), will jointly acquire seismic 3D data from the blocks in the Barents Sea.

The blocks represent the first new area to be opened on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) since 1994 and are scheduled to be announced in the 23rd licensing round for the region in 2014.

According to Statoil, the coordinated seismic acquisition offers good data quality with the usage of the companies’ collective professional expertise within geological understanding and seismic acquisition and processing.

Statoil NCS exploration senior vice president Gro Haatvedt said the initiative lays the foundation for fewer, well-planned operations, thus reducing acquisition costs and potential disadvantages for the fishing industry.

"Interest in the Barents Sea has increased considerably in recent years, due in part to the discoveries in the Johan Castberg area," Haatvedt added.

"High-quality 3D data will be important to the industry in order to increase understanding of the area’s potential."

About 30 companies have shown interest in participating in the project and more are expected to engage after the authorities circulate the 23rd round nominated blocks for public consultation.

The companies are planning to start the seismic surveys in April 2014 and conclude them in the autumn of the same year.

Statoil operates the project with partners BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Det norske oljeselskap, Eni, GDF Suez, Idemitsu, Lukoil, Lundin, Norske Shell, PGNiG, Repsol, Spike, Statoil, Suncor, VNG and Wintershall.

Image: Seismic vessel Ramford Vanguard. Photo courtesy of Ole Jørgen Bratland.

Nri energy