French geophysical contractor CGG has kicked off a multi-client survey in the south-east Barents Sea to identify possible hydrocarbon seepages on new exploration acreage to be offered under Norway’s 23rd licensing round.
The surface geochemistry survey, being carried out by CGG unit Robertson Geolab, involves taking shallow core samples of mud from the seafloor to determine the presence of oil and gas.
“The main aim of the survey is to detect active petroleum systems in the area, targeting both larger and smaller structures of interest,” the contractor said in a statement.
“This information will be of prime importance in connection with derisking of areas by the oil companies, prior to more detailed investigations,” it added.
The survey, which is being pre-funded by a major industry players, will cover all the blocks to be offered under the upcoming round.
Data from the work, expected to be available in December, will be incorporated into existing seismic and other geophysical information to be used by potential bidders for the acreage in the frontier Arctic region.
CGG will also take samples of outlying areas where satellite imagery has indicated the presence of possible seepages.