ION Geophysical has announced that it has signed the first of a kind offshore multi-client 2D seismic survey agreement with the Puntland Petroleum and Minerals Agency.
According to ION Geophysical the survey will help demarcate a block boundary scheme for future licensing activity as well as provide more than 7,600 km of pre-stack depth-migrated data to help explorationists gain a better understanding of both the architecture of the sedimentary basins and the hydrocarbon potential of this margin.
The company is banking on the similarities of the geologic analogue in neighbouring Yemen and Oman while the eastern offshore region is also a conjugate margin to India.
The survey currently in the planning phases will thus be testing the presence of a Karoo-aged rift system perpendicular to the coast as well as test the continuation of Mesozoic failed rift basins.
Technical advisor to the Puntland Authority and associate professor at the University of Regina Dr. Osman Salad Hersi says the survey will increase interest offshore Puntland which shares the Indian Ocean shelf of Somalia extending farther southward along the continental margin of Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique where oil and gas has been discovered.
“This region has been a site of significant hydrocarbon discoveries within the past two years and has attracted the interest of many exploration companies,” says Dr Osman.
Dr Osman adds that the PuntlandSPAN as the survey is dubbed is ‘a well-needed survey that will bolster the interest of the exploration companies and confer significant leverage for the State’s endeavour to license blocks to the oil industry.’
A view shared by director of Puntland Petroleum and Minerals Agency Issa Farah who hopes the survey can open offshore block licensing in the autonomous region.
“This survey will prove a highly valuable tool as Puntland begins to promote future licensing rounds for oil and gas exploration. Although this offshore domain is largely unexplored, the international oil and gas community has recently expressed keen interest in understanding the region’s viability,” adds Farah.
The survey is expected to commence in this second quarter after acquiring environmental and reconnaissance permits.