IOG in seismic remapping of Southern North Sea portfolio

Independent Oil and Gas plc (IOG), the North Sea focused oil and gas company, has started the 3D seismic remapping project over its Southern North Sea gas portfolio.

The company says that the first results are expected by the end of May.

IOG has decided to complete the remapping work over its portfolio in three phases:

– Core SNS area including Elgood, Cronx and Blythe;

– Skipper oil licence area;

– Prospective SNS area including Truman, Harvey and Hambleton.

Core SNS area including Elgood, Cronx and Blythe

IOG has commissioned Baker Hughes Incorporated’s Reservoir Development Services (RDS), which maximizes profitability for E&P operators by providing the expertise to improve reservoir understanding, engineer value-added solutions and efficiently manage a field, to complete this remapping project on the 3D seismic data it purchased last year as part of IOG’s 28th Licensing Round application. The output will be a consistent set of maps across the whole area showing the Rotliegendes, Carboniferous and Hauptdolomit hydrocarbon bearing horizons.

Cronx and Elgood

According to the company, the work should remove uncertainties relating to the mapping and commercial volumes in both discoveries. IOG anticipates that this work would subsequently facilitate an upgrade from 2C resources to 2P reserves. This would be subject to an updated Competent Persons Report (CPR) and would be expected also to require demonstration of a commercial development plan and funding to allow such an upgrade.

IOG estimates that its 2P reserves could be more than doubled by this remapping project. Currently IOG’s 2P reserves in Blythe are 17.2 BCF or 3 MMBOE (net share).

IOG continues to work on the potential co-development of Cronx and Elgood and is in discussions regarding the funding of the well on Cronx, which is required for the completion of the Cronx acquisition.


The remapping work commissioned by IOG will also provide a better understanding of the gas in the Carboniferous beneath Blythe and the oil in the Hauptdolomit above Blythe. The evaluation of these horizons is being carried out by IOG and is not part of the joint venture work programme.

In addition to the commercial rates tested (in excess of 15 MMcfd) from the Blythe discovery from the Rotliegend interval, gas has tested to surface from the Carboniferous beneath the Blythe field at rates up to 1 MMcfd from three separate zones, rates which have previously been considered non-commercial.  However, similar Carboniferous reservoirs elsewhere in the SNS have been fracture stimulated in horizontal wells with multiple intervals to achieve very significant improvements in flow rates. A better understanding of this gas bearing horizon will add to IOG’s Hub strategy if commercial in place volumes can be demonstrated, the company said.

The Hauptdolomit horizon above Blythe has tested oil to surface at rates up to 1,000 bopd in two separate wells. These rates may be commercial and IOG says that the remapping work should help establish the size of this resource.

The operator of Blythe remains on track to submit the FDP application for the proven reserves in the Rotliegendes horizon on Blythe by September 2015.


Skipper Oil Licence Area

IOG is considering a similar 3D seismic remapping project with Baker Hughes RDS on Skipper. There is a potential Lista/Heimdal channel sand beneath the Skipper discovery between the two prospects in the Maureen and Dornoch which are beneath the Skipper discovery. This is an analogue of the main hydrocarbon bearing interval in the Mariner field which is just 35km to the north of Skipper. IOG anticipates commissioning and completing this remapping project before finalising the Skipper appraisal well design.

The primary aim of the Skipper appraisal well is to obtain good quality oil and core samples from the Skipper reservoir. If the work on the potential new channel sand is encouraging, IOG says that this will also be tested along with the prospects in the Maureen and Dornoch intervals.


Prospective SNS area including Truman, Harvey and Hambleton

According to the company, this additional work is also expected to be completed by Baker Hughes RDS in due course. The high level objectives would be to demonstrate commerciality or otherwise of the Harvey and Hambleton discoveries and to better define the Truman prospect.

Mark Routh, CEO and Interim Executive Chairman of IOG said:

“We are delighted to progress this essential remapping work with the geophysical experts at Baker Hughes RDS. If successful, and subject to a new CPR and funding, our 2P reserves could be more than doubled. The remapping of the Blythe Carboniferous gas is also very exciting. I have experience of gas developments in the Carboniferous.

“The Kew field which flowed at similar rates (0.4 MMcfd from a vertical unstimulated well) produced at rates in excess of 40 MMcfd after a successful horizontal multi-zone fracture stimulated well. We look forward to sharing the results of our technical work in due course and also news of our funding plans.”

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