Lodestone Leads the Way in the Southern North Sea

CGGVeritas has added to its high-quality, recent-vintage North Sea Data Library suite by acquiring a new 3D survey in the Quad 44 region. This significant addition complements the existing Cornerstone and Runestone surveys.

The new Lodestone survey acquired by CGGVeritas in and around Quad 44 will provide state-of-the-art long-offset acquisition and processing in this sector where the Cygnus field is being developed and where numerous Carboniferous and Permian fields are currently producing.

The acquisition of new long-offset data by CGGVeritas ... will help to further evaluate this prolific basin and allow explorers to unlock its full potential.

Empowering Explorers

Given the increasing interest being shown by the industry in the potential of the Southern North Sea, CGGVeritas is committed to providing a high-quality resource for exploration and production in this region. Lodestone Phase-I is the first iteration of that commitment. 

Complementing the quality of acquisition will be unrivalled processing applied to these data. The highest specification sequence will be used, specifically tailored to improve the resolution on existing targets and to generate new plays and prospects. 

Though many of the fields and discoveries in this sector are small, with compartmentalized reservoirs, they have significant potential that is only realizable through premier-quality data driving decisions on development options.  Given its experience, its high-end acquisition, its processing technology and its geological understanding of the region, CGGVeritas is the company of choice to provide a high-quality data suite that will fully empower the explorer.

Geological Challenges

The Southern Gas Basin represents a very different geological challenge to the Central and Northern North Sea Basins. Older Permian and Carboniferous reservoirs situated beneath complex salt bodies are difficult to image and tend to be of variable quality. Long-offset data fully migrated over long apertures is essential to image below the salt. To complement the Lodestone program, CGGVeritas also plans to carry out targeted PSDMs within the new dataset.

GeologyPermo-Carboniferous plays in the Lodestone survey area.

The geological evolution of the Southern North Sea Basin is long and complex. From a hydrocarbon prospectivity perspective crustal extension began in the early Carboniferous after a 50-million-year period of uplift and erosion. During the Carboniferous rifting process, thick deltaic and deepwater sediments were deposited in the graben depocenters. Towards the end of the Carboniferous the Variscan Orogeny generated folding, faulting and differential uplift which led to significant erosion of Carboniferous sediments from parts of the Southern North Sea. Within the Permian and Triassic, further subsidence occurred with the deposition of aeolian sediments and thick evaporites followed by marine sediments from the end of the Triassic and into the Jurassic.

This varied geological history, with significant periods of deposition, especially of excellent quality aeolian sands during the Permian and extensive coal formation in the Carboniferous, combined with localized and regional uplifts and halokinesis, has provided a perfect environment for the accumulation of significant gas reserves and was the earliest offshore basin to be discovered and produced in the UKCS.

The acquisition of new long-offset data by CGGVeritas in 2010 and beyond will help to further evaluate this prolific basin and allow explorers to unlock its full potential.

Find out more about Lodestone at the CGGVeritas booth #C10 or at www.cggveritas.com.