Opinion

Take Unconventionals Offshore!

Posted by David Bamford

26-Mar-2017

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Conventional petroleum provinces in NW Europe range from mature to very mature, and thus it seems that future will be defined in terms of shale oil/gas and “marginal discoveries” (the OGA estimates that there are ~350 unsanctioned discoveries in the UKCS).

However, let me introduce to you the intriguing possibility that these two types of opportunity could work in the same place and thus support each other.

And where do I mean?

Yes, I do mean offshore in the UKCS!

Just to deal with a couple of practicalities, there are extensive facilities out there, the alleged threats to water supply, from fraccing, do not exist, and I doubt demonstrators are going to row out to the facilities to blockade supply boats, rigs etc.

Of course the feeling has always been that the economics would be hopeless but is that still the case?

A few brave companies took UKCS acreage in the 28th Round, seeking out places where the Kimmeridge Clay might offer some sort of shale oil “sweet spot”.

At a recent Finding Petroleum event, Kimmeridge Energy and Advisian described a significant next step that they had achieved by undertaking a ‘surgical' analysis of two marginal conventional discoveries on the former's 28th Round acreage, underpinning these with Kimmeridge Clay shale oil potential, and demonstrating an economically feasible development using subsea equipment, hooked up probably to an unmanned minimum facilities platform, tied back to existing infrastructure.

All very do-able provided the infrastructure isn't decommissioned…..but that is for another day!



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North Seashale oilMarginal DiscoveriesUKCSUS Infrastructure Holdings

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