We operate across the first four phases, from exploration through to production.
Oil exploration typically depends on highly sophisticated geophysical technology to detect and determine the extent of potential structures. Areas thought to contain hydrocarbons are initially subjected to gravity survey, magnetic survey and regional seismic reflection surveys to detect large scale features of the subsurface geology. Features of interest are subjected to more detailed seismic surveys to refine the understanding of the subsurface structure. Finally, if a prospect is identified and positively evaluated, an exploration well is drilled in an attempt to conclusively determine the presence or absence of oil or gas. Oil and gas exploration is an expensive, high-risk operation with a probability that nothing will be found, or that hydrocarbons will be found in such small quantities that it’s not worthwhile producing them. In the North Sea only about one in eight exploration wells find quantities of oil and gas that are economic to develop. It often takes several years from being awarded an exploration licence to the drilling of the first well.
- 39 exploration wells drilled during 2009 and 2010
- drilling five exploration wells in the UK in 2012
- drilling four exploration wells in the Netherlands in 2012
- drilling 10 exploration wells in Egypt in 2012
- drilling four exploration wells in Norway in 2012.
Exploration wells drilled during 2009 and 2010
UK exploration wells being drilled in 2012
Appraisal of a discovery involves drilling further wells to reduce the degree of uncertainty in the size and quality of the potential field. If an exploratory well shows that hydrocarbons are present, more seismic data may be gathered and one or more appraisal wells may be drilled. Based on the data from this process it is possible to estimate the quantities of oil and gas in the field, and how easy/difficult it may be to produce.
- drilling one appraisal well in the UK in 2012 (the Platypus well spudded in April 2012).
UK appraisal well being drilled in 2012
Platypus well spudded
If commercially profitable accumulations of oil and gas are found during appraisal drilling, the development phase begins. This phase involves planning and deciding on how to develop the discovery. Crucial factors for value creation in this phase include choosing the most cost-effective type of development and production activity and ensuring that the project can be completed on schedule. This phase involves considerable investment, especially when the production facilities are located offshore.
- operator of the Arran gas condensate field. Arran is being developed as a three well subsea tie-back to a new Bridge Linked Platform (BLP) to be installed adjacent to the BG-operated Lomond platform. First gas is expected in 2014
- as 65% equity holder of the Western Isles development project, Dana will operate a new build Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO). First production is scheduled for Q4 2014.
Equity holder of the Western Isles development project
First gas expected from Arran gas condensate field
The production phase involves production of oil and gas and also water, in different proportions. Value creating factors in this phase are production well planning, maintaining the rate of production and maximising the life of the accumulation by injecting gas or water into specifically designed injector wells to maintain the pressure.
- we have more than 47 producing fields in our portfolio with an average daily production of 60,000 barrels of oil and gas per day
- production in 2011 increased by 30% from 40,000 barrels of oil per day in 2010 to 56,000 boepd
- key contributions are from the Greater Kittiwake Area, Greater Guillemot Area, Cavendish, Babbage, Hudson and Ettrick in the UK; East Zeit in Egypt; and from the De Ruyter and Hanze oil fields in the Dutch sector
- drilling 21 production wells in Egypt in 2012
- the Medway project in the Netherlands (a 50/50 joint venture with EBN) achieved first production in January 2012 with the innovative tri-lateral Van Ghent well. First gas production from the Van Nes field commenced in April 2012.
Producing fields in our portfolio
Production increase in 2011