The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has joined the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) on the on-going Joint Industry Research project, ‘Hypo-Lias’, to explore the hydrocarbon potential of Jurassic rock formations across the Southern North Sea (SNS).

This research project, executed as part of the Dutch TKI Upstream Gas programme, is already sponsored by EBN, NAM and Statoil. Upon joining the project, the OGA will specifically sponsor additional research, focused on the South Western Approaches and East Shetland Platform areas which are also the subject of the UK Government 2016 seismic acquisition project.  

‘Hypo-Lias’ was originally defined as a project which covers not only the UK and Netherlands, but also parts of Norway and Denmark. With the OGA joining the project, ‘Hypo-Lias’ further extends its collaborative reach. All research outcomes from the research sponsored by the OGA will become publicly available after completion, substantially boosting future joint research opportunities with a consistent focus on sustainable and competitive offshore gas exploration and production.

Jo Bagguley, Principal Regional Geologist at the OGA, said: “The OGA is committed to promoting exploration opportunities in the UK through both regional and targeted approaches. The Hypo-Lias project enables us to collaborate with our Dutch colleagues and share cross-border learnings. The results of the UK part of the Hypo-Lias project will complement the seismic data that has been acquired by the OGA in the South West Britain and East Shetland Platform areas. This will further our understanding of the exploration potential in these frontier areas of the UK Continental Shelf.”

Friso Veenstra, TNO Business Development Manager for Exploration, added: “We are delighted to see OGA joining the project, which is an illustration of  the quality and value of the exploration research work done within TNO’s Applied Geosciences team. As a result of OGA’s contribution, the Hypo-Lias project will have a greater and more immediate impact.”

For more information on this project, or contacts with one of the aforementioned companies, please contact Friso Veenstra ( at TNO or Jo Bagguley ( at the OGA.


  • The OGA's Exploration Strategy, developed with strong input from the industry and government, describes its approach to revitalising exploration. This includes working with the industry to enhance exploration investment, integrate exploration into regional development plans, acquire and publish new geophysical data, and licence underexplored and more mature areas of the UKCS.
  • The 2016 seismic acquisition programme was announced by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, during a visit to Aberdeen in January as part of a wider package of measures to support the oil and gas sector.
  • Contracts were awarded to WesternGeco and PGS for the South West Britain and East Shetland Platform geophysical surveys respectively. The acquisition programme began in summer 2016 and finished in October 2016.
  • Data is expected to be released to industry in Q3 2017.

For more information please contact:    

Leona Minellas

Communications Manager

Oil & Gas Authority

Tel: +44 (0) 300 020 1072