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Westwood: ‘Future commercial success depends upon integration of data’

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Oilfield Technology,

No single technology will provide a ‘silver bullet’ to the challenges faced by Norway’s oil and gas industry, according to a new report out today from research consultancy, Westwood Global Energy Group (Westwood). It says that future exploration success depends upon better integration of all data across geoscience disciplines.

Norway faces sizeable challenges due to increased basin maturity and decreasing average discovery sizes. The industry has been searching for technologies that can decrease cycle time and increase success rates in order to increase efficiency.

Today’s report is the result of a four-month research project for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), which examines whether advances in exploration technology and geosciences could increase exploration efficiency on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). The research examines several technologies including quantitative seismic analysis and electromagnetic techniques as well risk and uncertainty analysis and new ways of working.

It concludes that:

  • Whilst technical success rates are improving, commercial success rates have decreased. However, the industry is getting better at finding small accumulations.
  • The industry continues to overestimate success case volumes.
  • The right technologies applied correctly and integrated effectively across disciplines can make an impact. Attention to detail and integration of data, analysis and interpretation from all sources are essential.

Westwood’s report made several recommendations including the creation of industry guidelines to provide consistent techniques for estimating prospect chances of success. It also urges greater data sharing across the Norwegian industry (oil companies, service companies and regulators) and with other regions including UKCS.

A selection of the findings was presented to oil and gas executives as part of an NPD Exploration Technology Seminar in Valhall, Norway.

Graeme Bagley, Associate, Global Exploration Research at Westwood Global Energy Group, says: “Our analysis shows that there are no silver bullets when it comes to technology.”

“Integration is key. We know, for instance, that the availability of high quality, high resolution seismic data has led to new understanding of depositional systems. Integration of seismic with outcrop, well and production data has opened up at least one new play on the NCS. Attention to detail and integration of data from all sources is key.”

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