Deep beneath the turbulent North Sea waves, at a location almost equidistant between Denmark and the UK, a giant gas field capable of producing up to 5% of the UK’s domestic needs awaits development.
The field is called Culzean, a flagship project in the Maersk Oil portfolio and one of the largest gas discoveries of recent years in the North Sea. Development of the field recently took a leap forward with the announcement that USD 4.7 billion will be invested by Maersk Oil, and partners BP and JX Nippon, on the construction of the production facility. Installation begins in 2016 and drilling contractors have been signed, with first gas expected in 2019.
Dependent on the data
While Culzean could one day become a vital new energy resource for the UK, accessing the gas is no easy task. Operating in the North Sea is technically challenging, and with the reservoir located 4,300 metres below sea level, Culzean presents unique dangers related to high pressures and extreme temperatures.
Before taking the leap to develop in such an inhospitable environment, a massive amount of seismic data must first be accumulated.
In fact, the seismic data sets are so vast that the geophysical industry has earned a reputation for being the third most data-intensive industry globally after finance and defence.