OGA completes 'key priority' of Wood Review with mapping project

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has completed a “key priority” of the review which led to its creation in 2015.

A three-year project mapping out geological information across all the major areas of the UK North Sea has now been finished.

The regulator set out to produce regional digital maps, with the final set now being released covering the West of Shetland, Rockall Trough, Irish Sea and Cardigan Bay – which completes a merged set for the entire UK sector.

In 2014, Sir Ian Wood published a review into the industry which recommended the creation of a new regulator which became the Oil and Gas Authority.

Within that he highlighted a number of “early priorities” for the new body aimed at boosting exploration activity in the North Sea.

These included creating an updatable source of digital maps and related information on the North Sea promoting its prospectivity for those wishing to explore for oil and gas.

The OGA has now hailed the completion of that project which is publicly available.

Principal regional geologist Jo Bagguley said: “Our involvement with the UKCS Regional Geological Mapping project over the last three years has been invaluable, both from a data perspective and in relation to gaining a better understanding of many areas of the UKCS.”

The maps were produced by Lloyds Register, with support from research team including Heriot-Watt University, Aberdeen University and Durham University, who undertook OGA-funded post-doctoral projects.

The British Geological Survey along with a host of other organisations, including from the Netherlands and Faroe Islands, also contributed.

Henk Kombrink, senior geologist and Lloyd’s Register project manager, said: “Producing a set of consistent geological maps and datasets for the entire UKCS over three years was a big challenge at the start, but thanks to the high level of collaboration with both the OGA and many third parties, the team at Lloyd’s Register were able to successfully deliver the project”.

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