Balin Energy has commenced a seismic survey to identify hydrocarbon accumulations in reservoir formations in the central camber of the Latvian economic zone on the Baltic Sea.
The project operator is Balin Energy SIA, which has 2 licences (the equivalent of Polish concessions) to prospect for and mine hydrocarbons in the region of Latvian shelf. Half of the company’s shares has ORLEN International Exploration and Production Company B.V., owner of the another 50% is partner in the project - Kuwait Energy Company.
The acquisition of 3D seismic data began on 26 November and, weather conditions allowing, will last approximately 4 weeks. The survey will cover an area of over 300 km2. Seismic vessels will survey the land’s sub-surface structure with the assistance of hydrophones attached to 12 streamers, with a length of approx. 5000 m. The tender procedure to perform the measurements was won by the Dutch company Fugro, based on the Geo Coral survey vessel sailing under the Norwegian flag.
The vessel is 108m in length and 28m in width and its hull originated from the Gdańsk shipyard. Geo Coral is currently the most modern and largest vessel that Fugro has in its fleet. The ship is designed to work anywhere in the world, in the most challenging coastal areas. Its advanced construction allows 16 streamers to operate simultaneously, offering the largest available span for measuring apparatus, which substantially increases the efficiency of the geophysical survey. The research fleet also includes two additional boats, one of which performs the function of an auxiliary ship in technical operations e.g. laying out the streamers, whilst the second is for transporting the crew and supplies, including fuel and food.
“We selected the state-of-the-art survey vessel Geo Coral (built in 2010) for this type of work, in the hope that it would cope well with the weather adversities that can occur on the Baltic at this time of year. We believe that the Geo Coral will perform the 3D seismic acquisitions in the planned area of 300 km2 in an efficient and expeditious manner, due to which the measurements will be completed in their entirety this year.” – states Wiesław Prugar, President of ORLEN Upstream and Managing Director of Balin Energy.
The data obtained from the measurements will assist in detailing the structural and tectonic construction identified initially on the basis of 2D research of areas of potential hydrocarbon accumulations (future deposits of crude oil and natural gas). The next stage after interpreting the images originating from the 3D seismogram will be to choose the location for drilling the first exploratory bore-hole. The first drilling is planned for the end of 2011.