The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has awarded four new contracts worth approximately £1 million to Shearwater GeoServices, Geokinetics, DMT Petrologic and Quality Seismic to supply more than 10,000 kilometres (km) of reprocessed proprietary 2D seismic data of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) as part of the UK Government funded seismic acquisition programme.

This reprocessed legacy seismic is located in the Anglo-Paris basin offshore, the Wessex and Weald Basins onshore, the South West Approaches (including deep imaging data from the British Institutes Reflection Profiling Syndicate - BIRPS), the Solway Firth, the Unst Basin and the East Shetland Platform. It is scheduled to be openly released to the industry in 2017 alongside the recently acquired new seismic, gravity and magnetics data of South West Britain and East Shetland Platform.

Dr Nick Richardson, OGA Exploration and New Ventures Manager, said: “This combined seismic dataset covers an offshore area equivalent to twice the United Kingdom’s landmass (approximately 500,000 square kilometers) and provides an unprecedented dataset to stimulate exploration activity. These data have the potential to unlock areas that have not been explored for decades and will support the evaluation of acreage to be made available in future OGA licensing rounds.”

Over the last two years, the UK Government has provided £40 million of funding for seismic acquisition programmes which the OGA has been using to build a regional database of seismic data in under-explored areas of the UKCS. This has included two new seismic campaigns covering the Mid North Sea High and the Rockall Basin in 2015/16 and the East Shetland Platform and South West Britain in 2016/17. The OGA has also announced several programmes of legacy seismic reprocessing to extend and complement the coverage to other areas including the Mid North Sea High (2015/16), the Rockall Basin and West of Britain (2015/16) and in 2016/17, Southwest Approaches, Northern Approaches and Bristol Channel, Cardigan Bay and Celtic Sea, Morecambe Bay and East Irish Sea, the East Shetland Platform and North Western Britain including the Minches and the Firth of Clyde.

The OGA has also recently announced two Invitations to Tender for geotechnical studies in the East Shetland Platform and South West Approaches. These tenders mark next phase of the 21st Century Exploration Road Map. The closing date is 28th November. More information can be found here:


Notes to editors:

  • The 2015 UK Government funded seismic programme acquired 20,000 km new seismic data in the Rockall Trough and Mid-North Sea High areas. In addition, nearly 15,000 km legacy data (of which 3000 km was reprocessed) was also made available from the same areas. Together, these datasets were published under the Open Government Licence on 31st March 2016.
  • The 2016 seismic acquisition programme focused on South West Britain and the East Shetland Platform. Contracts were awarded to WesternGeco and PGS respectively and over 13,500 km data was acquired from July to October 2016.
  • In August 2016, contracts to reprocess over 16,000 km legacy multi-client seismic data were awarded to Schlumberger and Down Under Geophysical in collaboration with Geopartners.
  • The current announcement adds a further 10,000 km legacy proprietary seismic data in contracts awarded to Shearwater Geoservices, Geokinetics, DMT Petrologic and Quality Seismic.
  • Data is available to download via Common Data Access (CDA)
  • Common Data Access (CDA) is an operating subsidiary of Oil & Gas UK, set up in 1995 to provide cost-effective data management services to its members and to the UK oil industry in general.
  • The OGA recently closed the 29th Offshore Licensing Round which was focused on the frontier areas of Rockall and Mid-North Sea High
  • The OGA’s Exploration Strategy can be found here.

For more information please contact:

Leona Minellas

Communications Manager

Oil & Gas Authority

Tel: +44 (0) 300 020 1072