Blog & News

A Strong Showing Despite A Challenging Exploration Outlook

Thu 14 January 2016

Category: Conference, Exhibition, London, Networking, North Sea, Prospex, Reviews

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PROSPEX Review by Nick Terrell, Azinor Catalyst

Yet again PROSPEX delivered a great fair for the UK and international exploration community. We had an all-time record of 38 prospectors and attendees almost topped our highest turnout with 932 delegates. All very encouraging especially given the challenging industry environment we are currently faced with.

Jointly hosted and organised by the PESGB and the new Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), the fair was held as usual at London’s Business Design Centre. Now in its 13th year, PROSPEX is very much part of the industry calendar and continues to offer an excellent forum for us all to get together, discuss and promote all things exploration. Colin Percival (2016 PESGB President) chaired this year’s fair, taking on from Hamish Wilson. Colin and the entire PROSPEX team did a fantastic job at putting on and running a great show.

Day one focused on the UK with the opening keynote address given by Gunther Newcombe, Director of Exploration & Development at the Oil & Gas Authority. Gunther updated us on the significant progress that the OGA has made since its inception in April 2015, including the implementation of the Maximising Economic Recovery (MER) UK Strategy. He also confirmed that vessel operations relating to the government funded seismic programme were complete in October and the data offering will include 40,000 line kms of new and legacy 2D seismic. Data will be freely available in early 2016 everybody, so get your workstations warmed up and ready to go!

Despite the major challenges that the UKCS faces, Gunther also had some positive messages on both the cost reduction side and preliminary estimates of discovered volumes from 2015 exploration drilling activity.

David Moseley from Hannon Westwood then followed, illustrating the size of the prize in terms of still remaining prospective resources and undeveloped discoveries. He emphasised the importance of collaboration across the entire value chain and the importance of not only Maximising Economic Recovery (MERUK) but also Maximising Economic Discovery. We then got an update from Henry Allen on the 21st Century Road Map’s Palaeozoic Study. The BGS have made significant progress with completion of the study expected in March 2016. The rest of day one brought us UK “Prospects to Go”, providing us with a large range of exploration opportunities from the West of Shetlands to Central and then South North Sea.

In day two we moved onshore with Wood Mackenzie’s Fiona Legate kicking things off with a discussion on “UK Onshore Trends”. Presentations then followed on a series of exciting high potential UK onshore opportunities. At this point we then moved overseas with exciting opportunities presented from Ireland, Portugal, Africa and California to name a few. All in all an excellent second day.

The fair was lively as ever on the social front. The Evening Reception on day one was very busy, with a good many of us spilling over to satellite festivities at various exhibitor booths. As always the Presidents Evening followed the end of the fair on the second day and was held at the Museum of London, a short taxi ride away.

Congratulations to the PESGB and OGA for putting on yet another excellent PROSPEX Fair and we look forward to many more!

The PESGB would like to thank the PROSPEX 2015 sponsors: Azinor Catalyst, Egdon Resources, Oil & Gas Authority, Openstream Consulting, Providence Resources, Schlumberger and TGS for their contributions to such a successful event.


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