OGA joins cross-border project to explore Southern North Sea potential

UK’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has joined the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) on the on-going Hypo-Lias project to explore hydrocarbon potential of Jurassic rock formations across the Southern North Sea (SNS).

OGA said on Monday that the project, executed as part of the Dutch TKI Upstream Gas program, was sponsored by Energie Beheer Nederland, NAM, and Norwegian oil major Statoil.

Hypo-Lias is defined as a project which covers not only the Netherlands but also parts of Norway, the UK, and Denmark. With the OGA joining the project, the project further extends its collaborative reach. All OGA-sponsored research will be publicly available after completion.

Upon joining the project, the OGA will specifically sponsor additional research focused on the South Western Approaches and East Shetland Platform.

Jo Bagguley, Principal Regional Geologist at OGA, said: “The Hypo-Lias project enables us to collaborate with our Dutch colleagues and share cross-border learnings. The results of the UK part of the project will complement the seismic data that has been acquired by the OGA in the South West Britain and East Shetland Platform areas. This will further our understanding of the exploration potential in these frontier areas of the UK Continental Shelf.”

Friso Veenstra, TNO Business Development Manager for Exploration, added: “We are delighted to see OGA joining the project, which is an illustration of the quality and value of the exploration research work done within TNO’s Applied Geosciences team. As a result of OGA’s contribution, the Hypo-Lias project will have a greater and more immediate impact.”

OGA’s exploration strategy includes working with the industry to enhance exploration investment, integrate exploration into regional development plans, acquire and publish new geophysical data, and license underexplored and more mature areas of the UKCS.

The 2016 seismic acquisition program was announced in January and contracts for the program of the South West Britain and East Shetland Platform areas were awarded to WesternGeco and PGS, respectively. The acquisition program began in the summer of 2016 and finished in October 2016. Data is expected to be released to the industry in the third quarter of 2017.