Untapped Potential

The UK Sector of the North Sea still has significant commercial potential, particularly gas in the Southern North Sea – there are opportunities as well as 50+ years of data and knowledge. There are multiple undeveloped discoveries, fields that have not been fully drained and opportunities to explore play concepts that expand from established fields into a wider footprint.

Since gas was first discovered in 1965, many hundreds of seismic surveys have been acquired and thousands of exploration, appraisal and development wells have been drilled. The resulting data from this activity is vast.

Other Factors That Make the Basin Attractive

UK Demand
There is an ongoing domestic market for gas – the May 2019 report by the Committee on Climate Change set out the role for natural gas in the future UK energy mix. It Committee forecast that the UK would require 600 TWh (55bcm) of natural gas up to 2050 to meet net zero.  Even though this enormous requirement assumes a 32% reduction in UK gas demand from today. 

The UK Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) has made a huge amount of data freely available from 60 years of exploration, development and production. Significant data sets include the newly released, Southern North Sea (SNS) seismic Megasurvey which represents around 23,000 km2 of 3D post-stack seismic data; and wireline data from over 2,000 wells.

Existing Infrastructure

With the mature status of the producing fields in the basin, there is access to a network of export pipelines and other infrastructure which provides a range of opportunities to commercialise discoveries. There is a trained and experienced workforce and an established supply chain.

The United Kingdom has a stable political and fiscal regime and leads the world in the regulation of offshore operations. The development of large offshore wind farms has created the first time opportunity for collaborative gas to wire projects (GTW). Instead of transporting gas via pipelines to shore, it is used to generate electricity offshore with the power tied into the wind farm transmission cables.  Allowing the offshore facility to supply electricity 24 hours a day regardless of wind conditions.

Painted Wolf Team: Perfectly Adapted to this Environment

To find commercial hydrocarbons, the particular subsurface challenges of each major province need to be solved. In the Southern North Sea, the Painted Wolf team is uniquely equipped to solve these challenges and create value ahead of other E&P companies. Our team has, and are now using, their technical expertise to interrogate all available datasets to unlock new opportunities.

Our Methods

 Techniques we are using to identify these opportunities and create value include:

Depth Conversion
Large traps are usually obvious on modern datasets but in the Southern North Sea exploration wells have tested these long ago. To reveal more subtle, undrilled traps the Seismic data requires conversion to a different format.  We are experts in this depth conversion process.
Generate Robust Correlations
Different components of the stratigraphy of this gas province have better reservoir potential than others.   Determining how these good reservoirs are manifest in one well relative to another, and how the characteristics vary across the province requires a high level of specialist technical skill.  The Painted Wolf team has the specialist experience to generate the robust correlations required.
Detecting Missed Play Opportunities
It is not always apparent, when the drill bit reaches a reservoir, whether it is gas charged.  Many historic wells, plugged and abandoned as a dry hole, in the context of modern understanding can be seen as penetrating a gas charged reservoir – a missed gas play.  Detecting missed plays is highly sensitive to the input parameters used in the petro-physical evaluation of wireline logs. The Painted Wolf team is highly experienced and successful in this type of evaluation.

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