Could a single plant species have really changed the Earth from a greenhouse world towards the modern icehouse state – and what are the implications of this for both petroleum exploration and climate change?
Vol. 4, No. 4
Could a single plant species have really changed the earth from a greenhouse world towards the modern icehouse state – and what are the implications of this for both petroleum exploration and climate change?
The search for oil and gas in the Arctic started more than 50 years ago, and several basins have proven productive. The most prolific province has certainly been the North Slope of Alaska, with Prudhoe Bay being the flagship oilfield of not only Alaska but also the entire U.S. and North America.
Having produced over 15 Bbo (2.4 Bm<sup>3</sup>), Arctic Alaska is one of the most prolific oil producing regions in North America, yet most of the area remains sparsely explored. The huge resource potential is attracting new companies and exploration dollars into frontier areas.
The Laptev Sea Basin is a frontier Arctic basin explored by regional seismic only. Its thick sedimentary cover is thought to contain numerous potential reservoirs, seals and mature source rocks, and structural traps are probably abundant. The Lena river Delta is of special interest for hydrocarbon entrapment.
Interest in this huge geological province has grown strongly over the last few years following the development of the Snøhvit field, the discovery of the Nucula field earlier this year and a genuine belief that there is more oil and gas to be found where both multiple source rock horizons and reservoir layers have been proven.
This case study from the Luva gas field in the Norwegian Sea clearly demonstrates the potential of controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) technology for hydrocarbon exploration purposes. The example also illustrates the complexity associated with the processing of such data.
From being a tool mainly for the prediction of petroleum maturation, basin modeling has become a fundamental process in almost all aspects of the analysis of petroleum systems.
PGS claims to have built a marine seismic streamer that is capable of removing receiver ghosts, thereby enhancing frequency bandwidth and seismic resolution. If proven by full-scale field tests, this could be a major break-through in seismic acquisition.