CNOOC, Eykon and Petoro optimistic on the status and continuation of oil exploration in Iceland


The Chinese oil company CNOOC International recently had a meeting with Orkustofnun and co-licensees, Eykon ehf. and Petoro Iceland. The meeting was positive and the results of seismic that was aquired in 2015 call for further exploration.

In a meeting of the Chinese state oil company CNOOC International, the operator for a licence for exploration and production in the Dreki Area, along with the Icelandic company Eykon and the Norwegian state oil company Petoro Iceland, which was held on 27 September, the preliminary results of processing and interpretations by CNOOC geophysicists and geologists were presented of 2D seismic data that was acquired in Autumn 2015. The processing and interpretations are expected to be finalised in Autumn 2017, which is in accordance with the work programme of the licence. The opinion by CNOOC specialists, based on information available at present, point toward continuing exploration with acquisition of 3D seismic in selected parts of the licence area. Such parts would be selected by the end of next year and data acquisition could take place following this, although the work programme does not stipulate that 3D seismic acquisition take place until 2018 at the earliest. If the results of 3D seismic acquistion also calls for further exploration, an exploration well would be drilled in the time period 2022-2026. In case of potential oil production in the area, experience shows that it could take 10 years until first oil following a discovery, and a lot of uncertainty remains whether hydrocarbons can be found in the Dreki Area and if so if it is in commercial quantities. 

The results of 2D seismic data acquired for the other operator of the other licence for exploration and production in the Dreki Area, Ithaca Petroleum, along with Kolvetni and Petoro by the prospecting licensee Seabird Exploration are expected in early December. For that licence a decision on commitment to the next phase, 3D seismic, or the relinquishment of the licence is required in January 2017.