Elephants are Extinct

The future of the Norwegian Continental Shelf to a large degree depends on the discovery of small fields. The Geological Society of Norway has taken the initiative by organizing a conference dealing with the challenges in defining such prospects.
This article appeared in Vol. 10, No. 4 - 2013


Production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf since Ekofisk was put on stream in 1971. Several giants like Ekofisk, Statfjord, Troll, Snorre and Oseberg all gave significant contributions in the 80s and 90s, but a rapid decline in oil production can be observed since 2000. Future production will therefore largely depend on small and medium-sized fields. Source: NPD While the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) is certainly a world class petroleum province, it is also true that the discoveries – with a few important exceptions – are getting smaller within both the mature (APA acreage) and frontier areas.

The age of the giants is gone. This is what the players on the NCS are all faced with. This is what they have to base their exploration strategy on – and this is what the future on the NCS is all about. Explorationists will have to deal with increasingly smaller prospects that require sophisticated geophysical and geological analyses to be defined.

This is why the Geological Society of Norway invites explorationists to take part, share their experiences and update their geological insight in a two-day conference which will focus on recent discoveries on the NCS (the last three years), including both technical and commercial discoveries. The main focus of the program will be a systematic review of wells, discoveries and fields (PDO accepted). The idea is for oil finders to tell ‘the story behind’, including data acquisition, prospect definition, discovery and appraisal wells, source and reservoir rocks, trapping mechanism, particular challenges and reserve estimates.

In parallel with the conference, in a separate poster session, oil companies and service organizations are invited to present prospects on the NCS. These might be prospects in open acreage defined by seismic, or prospects in existing licenses available for farm-ins. This will be the very first prospect fair and exhibition dealing solely with the NCS, and it is expected that players will use this opportunity to attract interest in their exploration ideas. It will take place in Fornebu in Oslo on May 14–15, 2014.

The overall idea is that this is the first of a series of biennial conferences and exhibitions covering this subject. In this way, a regular forum will be established for explorationists to discuss results from important wildcats, even if they do not turn into ‘goldmines’. Everybody will be winners – not least the Norwegian Continental Shelf.


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