July 2020 | 25R in P-Cable and Seafloor Sampling terrains

In the 25th licensing round, the Ministry proposes to announce nine areas that include an area of a total of 136 blocks, of which 125 in the Barents Sea (attached map). In the northern Barents Sea, from Fingerdjupet across the Hoop and Finnmark Platform, VBPR and TGS has invested in P-Cable and Seafloor Sampling data to investigate the hydrocarbon systems at highest possible resolution.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has made a petroleum professional assessment of which areas should be included in the 25th licensing round. Based on this, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has prepared a proposal for a call which is now being sent out for public consultation. After the consultation inputs have been assessed, the 25th licensing round will be announced during the autumn of 2020. The aim is for an application deadline for the new year and the expected award during the second half of 2021 (OED).


June 2020 | Norway opens offshore areas for wind power

12th June 2020 the areas "Utsira Nord" and "Sørlige Nordsjø II" were opened for offshore renewable energy production. This means it will now be possible to submit license applications for offshore wind power projects. Sørlige Nordsjø I and II (SNI and SNII) were found particularly suitable for wind farm development by the Havvind project. These areas cover approximately 1400 and 2500 km2, respectively. The entire study area is more than 50,000 km2.

The "Sørlige Nordsjø II" area was previously studied by VBPR as part of a research project on the assessment of how human settlement and remains could be influenced by the development of the Norwegian Continental Shelf.  The main activities of this sub-project were to gather and interpret existing data in the study area, to identify important data gaps, and to develop a paleogeographic model. The project is based on the approach by Gaffney et al. (2007). Some of the results have also been published by Hammer et al in 2016.

The report is available for licensing. Please contact vbpr@vbpr.no


June 2020 | Disputation – Dmitrii Zastrozhnov – 1. July 2020

Disputation: Dmitrii Zastrozhnov

On 1st of July, VBPR geologist, Dmitry Zastrozhnov is defended the thesis “Regional Structure and Basin Development of the mid-Norwegian Volcanic Passive Margin: Anatomy of a Polyphased Rifted System” for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor at the Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo. This work encompasses and summarizes much of regional VBPR-TGS activities and provides more insights into the structure and prospectivity of the mid-Norwegian margin. The PhD defense is public, fully digital and streamed using Zoom. Follow the link for more details.


May 2020 | EAGE – DET Dedicated Session 10 June 2020

The "Energy Transitions Endeavor"  session goes online! While looking forward to their dedicated session at the EAGE Annual in December, you are invited to a preview and Q&A on 10 June 2020! The Decarbonisation and Energy Transition Special Interest Community (DET) in EAGE has now confirmed the programme, and everyone who wishes to attend needs to sign up in advance via this link Our dedicated session focuses on real actions contributing to a carbon footprint reduction throughout different geoscientific activities, including CCUS, geothermal and new technologies. The session brings together key speakers from universities, service companies, governments and authorities, sharing knowledge of the strategies used and lessons learned.

April 2020 | Hearing blocks for APA 2020 in VBPR core area

APA 2020 opens for sub-basalt exploration

Fenris Graben, Skoll High, Gjallar Ridge and Rån Basin soon open for exploration. Over the last 20 years, VBPR and TGS have invested in geological, geochemical and geophysical data in the outer Vøring basin and escarpment; initially with the Geophysical Atlas of the Møre and Vøring Basins (1999-2012), the North Atlantic Seafloor Sampling (2000-2016), and the Petroleum Implications of Sill Intrusions (2000-2003).

In 2013 a major effort was started, in collaboration with supporting oil companies, to unravel the Volcanic Margin Petroleum Prospectivity (VMAPP) of the outer continental margins around the North Atlantic. A breakthrough in petroleum system understanding was made with the outstanding seismic resolution of the P-Cable well tie line (2015), and with the access to the high-quality 3D cube CVX1101 (released 2015, currently being reprocessed with support from VBPR). Huge investments by TGS in new high-quality 3D coverage (AM17-18-19), and advanced reprocessing with high precision velocity models, has recently resulted in stunning  imaging improvements of the sub-basalt stratigraphy.

In addition to the new and reprocessed seismic data, applicants in APA2020 will need access to the Vøring Transform Margin Sampling (2000), Vøring Sampling (2016), the P-Cable 2D well-tie line (2015) and the deliverables from the VMAPP 1 and 2 project (2013-2021). Please contact VBPR or TGS sales representatives for quotations.

February 2020 | Milestone Paper on mid-Norwegian geology

Regional work on mid-Norwegian continental shelf published (Dmitry Zastrozhnov et al)

Over the last 15 years, a significant data accumulation including new and reprocessed 2D seismic reflection lines, large 3D seismic surveys, regional interpolated 3D volume (J-Cube MN), potential field data, new exploration wells, seabed sampling and revised bio-lithostratigraphic schemes enabled an improved understanding of the mid-Norwegian margin. New and reprocessed seismic data achieved a better imaging of intra-volcanic sequences and sub-basalt basin geometries in the outer domain of the mid-Norwegian margin and deep basin structures in the central parts of the Møre and Vøring basins.

The main goal of this paper was to compile, integrate and jointly interpret this comprehensive geological and geophysical dataset to improve the understanding of processes controlling the formation and development of the deep Cretaceous-Paleocene basins of the mid-Norwegian margin. Another important task was to update tectonostratigraphic framework for the Møre and Vøring basins. Several new structural elements have been identified and described in the central and outer Møre and Vøring basins including the Ervik Ridge, Bylgja Ridge, Kolga High, Hevring High and Dufa High. Previously defined structural elements in the outer Vøring Basin (e.g. Rån Ridge, Vigrid Syncline and Gjallar Ridge) have been revised. Distal elevated crustal marginal plateaus were suggested to present in the outer Møre and Vøring basins.

The paper shows that the Early Cretaceous to Paleocene evolution of Møre and Vøring basins is associated with episodic phases of extensional events separated by intermediate cooling phases. This study also shows that the Vøring and Møre basins have different structural and sedimentary evolution. The pre-breakup evolution and configuration of the outer mid-Norwegian margin significantly differ from the previously proposed Iberian-type model and this may provide additional industrial interest in this yet underexplored region.

February 2020 | VBPR contribution to higher drilling efficiency

Application of Resonance Enhanced Drilling (RED) technology to coring

In a comparison between the efficiency and quality of cores obtained using RED technology against conventional coring, improvements in penetration rates of up to 180% compared to conventional coring for the same drilling conditions were achieved. The project was performed i cooperation between the University of Aberdeen, Northeast Petroleum University in China and VBPR (J. Millett).

January 2020 | Join inspiring discussions on Energy Transitions

Ms Ingrid Paola Tello Guerrero (ALS) and Mr Benjamin Bellwald (VBPR), conveners at EAGE 2020, invite you join inspiring discussions.

Our dedicated session focuses on real actions contributing to a carbon
footprint reduction throughout different geoscientific activities, including
CCUS, geothermal and new technologies. The session brings together
key speakers from universities, service companies, governments and
authorities, sharing knowledge of the strategies used and lessons learned.

December 2019 | Explanation for the structural rise of Mjølnir’s central peak

Romain Corseri, VBPR with paper on Mjølnir Impact Crater

The effect of far-field tectonic stresses on the central peak uplift was investigated using new high-resolution P-Cable and conventional seismic reflection data. Impact-induced faults were activated by uplifted segments of the central peak up to 500 m above the platform level during one or several contractional episodes. Differential compaction, previously seen as the main deformation process, may have increased the original central peak height by only ~10 m. The mobilization of impact-shattered rocks by tectonic compression provides a new and robust explanation for the structural rise of Mjølnir’s central peak.