Barents Sea Charge Study: Less uncertainty surrounding petroleum systems

Barents Sea Charge Study

Migris AS launches “Barents Sea Charge Study” in partnership with Petroleum-Geo Services (PGS). A newly-developed simulation tool combined with statistical analysis methods is used in the study, to improve definition of the uncertainties surrounding petroleum systems in the Barents Sea.

Migris uses a light-footed next-generation simulator capable of swiftly running a wide range of simulations of hydrocarbon migration from source rocks to traps through geological time. The simulator makes it possible to run thousands of simulations with variations in the properties of each geological layer from one simulation to the next. The geologists at Migris then run a statistical analysis of the results from all simulations, allowing them to see which migration paths the hydrocarbons might have taken and where they are more likely to be concentrated.

This image displays selected layers of the Barents Sea model.

For example: if Migris runs 50,000 simulations on an area, and 1000 of those correlate with existing oil and gas finds, a good statistical basis will exist for where to and how hydrocarbons have moved in nearby areas.

Less uncertainty – better understanding
Significant leakage has been caused by erosion and uplift in the Barents Sea, which creates a high degree of uncertainty as to where oil and gas may be accumulated. Better definition of leakage processes and consequences for non-drilled prospects are therefore valuable to exploration companies. They are always looking for the least possible uncertainty in their surveys of license areas allocated and in frontier areas.

Consistent definition is important
Geologists at Migris made a substantial effort to compile the most consistent definitions of geological conditions in their Barents Sea model. Erosion levels, temperature histories, permeabilities and lithology fractions are some of the many variables, which have to be realistically defined in the simulator for it to be able to simulate migration and leakage of oil and gas through the geological history with maximum precision. In addition, the distribution and uncertainty of source rock quality is very important to be able to predict properties and types of hydrocarbons in undrilled prospects. In the study, detailed source rock type modelling is applied to parts of the area to improve these estimates.

Influence possible
The result of the study is a high resolution basin model of large parts of the Norwegian Continental Shelf in the Barents Sea, covering 500 x 400 kilometres. The geological 3D layer model is based on seismic interpretation from PGS. Migris can also use even greater details in sub-areas which have higher resolution descriptions of the local geology and processes. “The difference between precision on the continental shelf as a whole and sub-areas can be compared to that between a satellite photo and aerial photo,” explains √ėyvind Sylta, CEO of Migris. Sylta invites anyone interested to contact him. “By getting involved in the study at an early stage, exploration companies can influence where our detailed focus should be. That means that we are open for Single Client Studies already, whilst the finished Multi Client Study will be available in August.”

Read about Migris’ previous “North Sea Charge Study” here