Christine Roche on completing the acquisition of 3D seismic on Angola’s Kwanza shelf

As a New Ventures Manager with a focus on West Africa, Christine was closely involved in the project.

Following a recent announcement from PGS that they had completed the acquisition of 3D seismic on Angola’s Kwanza shelf, we spoke with Christine Roche, New Ventures Manager (and regular AOW speaker!).
Christine has worked with PGS for 6 years building wide-ranging experience in New Ventures and Basin Studies. She has significant exposure to large 2D and 3D MultiClient projects used for frontier exploration and in mature producing basins with a special focus on Congo, Angola and Gabon. She works on identifying and developing new opportunities and projects within the New Ventures team. She uses combination of her geoscience background and business development and client relationship experience to build the PGS data library.

Total GeoStreamer coverage in blocks 6, 7 and 8 and the surrounding areas of the Kwanza Shelf is now 8300km2. How long did it take PGS to undertake this work? Were you involved from the very beginning?
PGS undertook the initial phase of acquisition of the Kwanza Shelf survey in 2019, and it we completed the acquisition earlier this year, following some special mitigations for shallow water operations. I came in to this role mid-2019, after the initial acquisition, but have enjoyed taking on the task, managing progress, working with the imaging team and preparing for data delivery.
Were there any unexpected challenges you encountered during this survey? If so, how did you manage to resolve them?
Preparation for all operations is critical, especially in an area where there has been no recent seismic activity or nothing as large-scale. PGS has been operating in Angola for over 20 years and we worked closely with ANPG, pooling our combined knowledge to mitigate against most challenges. We worked closely with local fishing communities and we are most grateful to them for their cooperation.
What implications does the latest Kwanza Shelf survey have for the Angolan 2021 License Round?
The latest Kwanza Shelf survey will provide key data for ANPG planned License Round in 2021. The combination of the latest 3D GeoStreamer technology with modern imaging techniques will unlock plays in shallow Kwanza Shelf open blocks. The fast-track data, which is now available, has shown significant uplift compared to any older data and improved our understanding of the prospectivity of the shelfal area. While evaluating the new data in the open blocks we see some very promising potential!
Is there anything else around the survey that you’d like to share?
Geological understanding of the Angolan basins significantly improves as we map more reliable attributes extracted from GeoStreamer broadband data. The Kwanza Shelf survey fits into an Angola data library that is constantly expanding from the Lower Congo Basin in the north to the Namibe Basin in the south. Our latest Angola HotSpot explains where we expect to see opportunities for new super-giant fields offshore Angola.
Are there any other projects in the pipeline that you’re excited about?
We are always looking out for new opportunities and re-evaluating projects which were not pursued in the past. Advances in imaging and engineering have opened up new exploration targets that may have been previously overlooked. I’m working on a few exciting new opportunities which rely on integrating skills groups within PGS to deliver new technology tailored data where it is needed.
How do you think the COVID-19 pandemic will affect oil and gas projects in Gabon, Angola and the Congo (your focus countries), both immediately and in the longer term?
The COVID-19 pandemic combined with a drop in demand for oil and gas has certainly had an impact on the industry as a whole. In the short term, operations have become more complex and remote working is presenting new challenges, but as an industry we are good at managing complexity. With scheduled license rounds and ongoing development in the region, I remain positive about projects in the longer term. The industry has always been highly adaptive and resilient.
The more mature and developed regions of West Africa host critical infrastructure to enable continued, consistent production and development, compared to some of the more frontier areas of the continent. However, the current situation could certainly be damaging for countries in Africa and industry support and initiatives will be needed to avoid any decrease of activity caused by weak growth and investment.
PGS are sponsoring Africa Oil Week 2020 (2-6 November, Cape Town). Find a full list of sponsors here.

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