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Seismic acquisition in the Barents Sea east is completed

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s (NPD’s) seismic acquisition in the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea was completed around midnight on 14 September.

The acquisition has been ongoing since 8 July, after the new agreement regarding the demarcation line between Norway and Russia in the Barents Sea was finally approved.

“This is the first time Norwegian petroleum authorities have carried out systematic data acquisition in this sea area,” says Sissel Eriksen, the NPD’s director responsible for exploration activity.

Some seismic data was acquired in the 1970s, but in accordance with the agreement with the Russians, there has been no petroleum activity here until this summer.

The seismic company PGS carried out a 2D acquisition on assignment from the NPD with the R.V. Harrier Explorer vessel. 2D seismic entails that the vessel tows an 8100-metre long streamer. The seismic lines are collected in a 5 x 15 kilometre systematic grid.

The NPD has used PGS’ GeoStreamer technology for this assignment. This is new technology which is e.g. characterised by the streamer being towed somewhat deeper in the water than is the case with conventional acquisition. It can thus withstand greater wave heights and the acquisition becomes must less dependent on good weather, and subsequently more efficient.

The acquisition this summer has been very efficient. There has been minimal downtime due to inclement weather. In total, 11,400 line kilometres of seismic have been collected.

”This means that the seismic acquisition has gone according to our plans,” says a satisfied Sissel Eriksen.

She points out that a very large sea area has now been mapped. The plan is to continue the acquisition next summer.

”We expect the area to be sufficiently mapped by then to formulate viewpoints on the potential resources in this new Norwegian area.”

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