More oil for Maersk
New seismic studies indicate that Maersk may be sitting on larger oil deposits in the North Sea than previously thought. Maersk’s production in the North Sea has begun to decline, but with the new studies Maersk is hopeful the trend can be reversed.
Maersk identified the additional deposits using so-called 4D seismic studies. If it turns out that the results are accurate, it could mean that more oil than previously expected could be retrieved from the Danish sector of the North Sea. The technology could also mean more accurate drilling methods.
Steve Taylor, the head of Maersk Oil’s underground division, was optimistic about the findings.
“This boosts the possible recovery factor,” he told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
Taylor said that the new look at the subsurface could help delay the natural drop in production that occurs in older oil fields like Maersk’s North Sea location.
North Sea oil has been the subject of a heated debate on the taxation of oil companies, but the improved technological capabilities could help assure that the state’s bottom line is better than expected.
Taylor is not ready to speculate on how the information might affect the production phase of North Sea exploration.
“These surveys are not the answer to everything, but they do help confirm some assumptions we already had and provide new insights,” he said. “We can plan new wells where we see strong opportunities and decide whether we can do more with existing wells.”
Søren Frederiksen, a civil engineer with national energy agency, Energistyrelsen, said that new technologies were the way to boost recovery potential.
“The industry has high hopes for 4D, because it reveals things that could not be seen before,” Frederiksen told Jyllands-Posten. “Extracting oil using CO2 technology is also showing promise, but it is not yet economically and commercially feasible.”