Despite previous disappointments, geologists can now demonstrate the probable presence of prolific source rocks, good reservoir rocks and huge structures in an area that is now open for licensing.
Vol. 3, No. 6
While hydrocarbon resources are said to be scarce nowadays, it is comforting to know that there are still many unexplored geological provinces around the world. In fact, it is sometimes necessary to point out that frontier exploration acreage does still exist.
After an impressive career in research institutes in the USA, Canada and France, Dr. John Ludden has now taken on the challenging role of Executive Director of the British Geological Survey. We talk to him about his career and his hopes and plans for the institution.
Biosteering – guiding the drillbit using microscopic fossils – has proved to be a useful technique when drilling in complex reservoirs. Examples from the Norwegian Sea demonstrate how the biostratigrapher needs to work in close cooperation with both the technician preparing the samples and the well site geologist.
Major improvements have been made over the last two decades in measuring drilling parameters (MWD) and logging formation characteristics (LWD) whilst drilling. During the logging of two North Sea fields, the advantages and quality of real time data in horizontal wells have been fully demonstrated.
The 2003 discovery of the Covenant oil field could open up a billion-barrel oil province in an area nearly 200 km from the nearest significant production. Prior to the discovery, this geologic complex area had been explored and drilled for over 50 years without a find.
After a period of decline, exploration for hydrocarbons in British waters is experiencing a new lease of life. This is due in part to high oil prices, but is also in response to UK government initiatives aimed at arresting activity decline curves.
A few days of holiday can be well spent by walking leisurely through an almost complete Mesozoic succession along the south coast of england. Outcrops of colourful shales, sandstones and carbonates can be studied without the need for detailed prior knowledge. The rest of the family will also enjoy abundant fossils, beautiful beaches, lagoons and numerous bays, as well as small, picturesque towns next to the cliffs.