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Finding & Exploiting new petroleum resources in Europe

Shale, CBM, small / marginal pools, lessons from the US unconventionals
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Oswald Clint
» Senior Analyst
» Bernstein Research
Ian Roche
» Managing Director
» Aurora Energy Resources Ltd
Henry Morris
» technical director
» Azinor Catalyst

Full Agenda

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
The Geological Society

Whilst some hope for further discoveries of big oil and gas fields in Europe, a more realistic ambition may be the exploitation of Unconventionals – shale oil & gas, coal bed methane, tight gas, new types of reservoir – and the development of Marginal Fields. What can we say about each of these themes?

The US experience with shale oil and shale gas offers a number of lessons to the rest of the world.

Lesson #1 seems to be that the best ‘candidate shales’ are those that have acted as the source rock for a significant, even major, conventional petroleum province. In fact it is very rare that this is not the case.
If we look in our ‘neighborhood’ – Western Europe, Russia and the FSU, and North Africa – the obvious candidates therefore appear to be the Kimmeridge Clay, the Bazenhov, the Domanik, and the ‘hot shale’ of North Africa,
Lesson #2 is that the economics work best (or at current oil prices, only work) when you are in the “sweet spot”. The “sweet spots” of plays such as the Barnet, the Bakken, some of the Permian Basin are now clear, after much effort.
Lesson #3 is that once you are in a “sweet spot”, technology can drive costs/barrel or costs/mcf way, way down. And IRRs way up!

An important question therefore is – can “sweet spots” be identified in advance, before major effort is put in, big $s are spent?
It seems to me that the jury is still out on that question! No doubt our US colleagues will figure their answer out as they move into other basins.

But for us in this neighborhood, what does this mean for a “shale gale” here, or hereabouts?

Marginal Fields
This is a topic that would be relevant in many mature basins of course, for example the UKCS, NOCS, GoM and several in SE Asia. Is this a fair summary of the issues, using the UKCS as an example?

Marginal Fields and Infrastructure are linked together and there is a pressing need for 'infrastructure simulation', for SNS, CNS, NNS and WoS.
The quoted number of Marginal Fields in the UKCS varies from ~80 to <400, perhaps reflecting the 'fallow' discoveries numbers DECC/OGA hold for relinquished acreage on the one hand to the undeveloped discoveries it is thought operators are keeping hold of on the other hand. What is needed is a data base of all these that can be placed on top of the 'infrastructure simulations.
This will reveal which infrastructure is critical to future developments and how they might be developed. I assert that it will reveal that no new platforms are needed (though some would argue in favour of unmanned minimum facilities) as sub-sea tie backs can deliver everything.
Then the activities needed would be 'surgical' appraisal (accurately describing a potential reservoir development's static and dynamic properties), reservoir simulation where the right combination of wells and costs can be recognised, drilling of course, and design/selection of subsea systems.

These Lessons – and questions - we will address in our upcoming Forum; and we are looking for insightful presentations!

Please contact me if you/your company would like to make a presentation.

And Richard Mcintyre if you are interested in the sponsorship/exhibiting opportunities we offer.

David Bamford (

Note: This event continues from our past 'European Resources' event held in

March 2016 - see the agenda - see the delegates list


9:30 David Bamford - Director
Finding Petroleum

Welcome & Introduction: followed by SESSION 1: Unconventionals

9:40 Oswald Clint - Senior Analyst
Bernstein Research

OPEC vs Deep Water vs Permian Basin et al (Title TBC)

Dr Clint joined Sanford C. Bernstein in 2004 and was part of the Energy Team with Neil McMahon covering the Global Integrated Oil sector.

Currently he is the Senior Research Analyst covering the European E&P and Russian Oil & Gas sectors. The Bernstein Energy franchise has become well known due to both the provocative commentary on the commodities and oil stocks, as well as the innovative research that forms the core of their frequent publications. Previously, he worked as an accountant and consultant for KPMG covering energy, gas, and chemical sectors. Dr Clint received his PhD in Geophysics from University College London where he specialised in sub-surface rock physics and is also a Chartered Accountant.

Bernstein Research
Sanford C. Bernstein is widely recognized as Wall Street's premier sell-side research firm. Their re
10:15 Neil McMahon - Director of Research
Kimmeridge Energy

Lessons Learned from US unconventionals

Dr. McMahon is the Director of Research at Kimmeridge Energy and is responsible for private investments, particularly outside the US, and for developing Kimmeridge’s geological research and screening capabilities. Prior to this role, Dr. McMahon was a Senior Equity Research Analyst for the Global Integrated Oils at Sanford C. Bernstein, where he was ranked 1st in the 2009 Institutional Investor Survey, for the third time. Dr. McMahon covered 18 of the largest integrated oils and refiners. He joined Sanford C. Bernstein in 2002.

Before joining Sanford C. Bernstein, Dr. McMahon was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey, based in both Houston and London, where he had been since 1999. At McKinsey he mainly advised petroleum and electric power and natural gas clients and undertook proprietary research within McKinsey’s industry practices. Prior to McKinsey, Dr. McMahon worked in the oil industry as a geoscientist with British Petroleum (BP) and British Gas (BG) before moving into consulting with Arthur D. Little where he became a manager in its Global Energy Practice.

Dr. McMahon received an honors degree from The University of Edinburgh in Geology and Geophysics where he later undertook further research to complete a BP sponsored Ph.D. in 1995. Dr. McMahon has also published a number of technical and management-oriented papers in leading oil and gas industry journals, and currently sits on the board of Durham University’s energy research group.

Kimmeridge Energy
Founded in 2012, Kimmeridge Energy invests directly in unconventional oil and gas projects and asset
10:50 Coffee & Tea; Exhibits
11:15 John Weston - Technical Director
Tridevi Energy & Resources

What about Coal Bed Methane? (Title TBC)

11:50 Ian Roche - Managing Director
Aurora Energy Resources Ltd

The case for UK shale (Title TBC)

In 1985, following an Earth Sciences degree at Oxford, Ian joined Amerada Hess Limited, as a geologist, working initially in the North Sea. He transferred to Hess' international business, in a new ventures role, in 1991. After joining OMV in Vienna in 1998, in a combined technical and commercial business development capacity, he successfully led the acquisition of Cultus Petroleum NL; the first international hostile takeover by an Austrian company. Ian returned to the UK in 2007 when he joined private equity firm EDP, where he put together the portfolio of onshore assets that now form the core of Aurora’s business.

Aurora Energy Resources Ltd

12:25 Tim Harper - Founder & Director
Geosphere Ltd

Geomechanics: the key to transferring US fraccing experiences to the UK (Title TBC)

13:00 Lunch & Exhibits, followed by SESSION 2: Marginal Fields
13:35 Joshua May - Sales and Marketing Manager

Towed Streamer EM – Cost Effective Offshore Reserve Replacement in Europe

Talk Description
Oil companies in Europe are taking stock of the last few years and aiming to cost effectively improve reserve replacement. Towed Streamer EM can assist in reducing unnecessary expenditure by improving understanding of the subsurface prior to significant investment decisions being made. This talk will explore applications from near field exploration and prospect de-risking to improving understanding of hydrocarbon saturation within a discovery in order to optimise drill placement decisions for appraisal and production wells. Operational case studies and data examples will draw on acquisition and data integration experience in the UK and Norway
After four years working offshore for PGS Joshua joined a high tech start up to manage a project undertaking the design and manufacture of AUVs specified to deliver 4C sensors autonomously to the seafloor for use in hydrocarbon exploration. Returning to PGS after two years, Joshua spend three years in the Marine Contract Africa business unit before taking on his current position as Sales and Marketing Manager for PGS’ Towed Streamer Electromagnetic technology in 2014. Joshua holds a BSc in Marine Geography from Cardiff University

PGS provides images and 3D models of the subsurface that oil companies use to find oil and gas reser
14:10 Henry Morris - technical director
Azinor Catalyst

Immature plays in a mature basin – The future of UK exploration

Mr. Morris has over 13 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Mr. Morris is Technical Director and co-founder of Azinor Catalyst. Mr. Morris is responsible for developing Azinor Catalyst's net-risked resources and delivering on the company's strategy. He has an excellent track record of finding oil, with strong leadership capabilities and ability to deliver significant commercial value.
Since launching Azinor Catalyst with co-founder Nick Terrell in February 2014, Mr. Morris has built up the company portfolio rapidly through the UK 28th Licensing Round and targeted acquisitions. The company is a qualified UK offshore operator, focused on generating significant value for its stakeholders through advanced seismic technology and other de-risking technologies ahead of drilling.
For the large part of his career prior to Azinor Catalyst, Mr. Morris held a mixture of roles, including Vice President Global Development, Asia Pacific Manager and Lead Geophysicist, at Ikon Science, an independent technology company developing exploration de-risking tools. He joined Ikon in its founding year as a Geophysicist and was instrumental in transforming it from a start-up seed entity of six individuals to a full-fledged service and technology company with over 150 staff around the world.
At Ikon, Mr. Morris developed and deployed 'Best Practice' Quantitative E&P tools into the majors (e.g., Shell, Statoil, Chevron and Exxon), and delivered exploration services to small and mid-size exploration companies. During this time, Mr. Morris built a service team which was contracted out to UK and global explorers, such as Tullow Oil, Oilexco and Ophir Energy. Mr. Morris was fundamental in a series of successes in Oilexco's 2002-2007 drilling campaign in which more than a dozen discoveries were made under his steer.
Following a stream of highly successful North Sea exploration wells, Mr. Morris took Ikon's knowledge to the Asia Pacific region, leading and developing the global footprint and improving general exploration success via quantitative exploration and development techniques, and delivered solid revenue growth and a profitable regional business.
In addition to Ikon, Mr. Morris was Senior Explorationist for Endeavour Energy UK, working with Mr. Terrell to develop its exploration and development portfolio technically.
Mr. Morris is a British citizen and holds a B.Sc. hons. in Petroleum Geology from the University of Cardiff and an M.Sc. in Petroleum Geoscience from Imperial College London.

Azinor Catalyst
At Azinor Catalyst we are building a material portfolio of high value UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) as
14:45 Speaker from -
Oil company

Exploiting small discoveries and shale oil in the same place (Title TBC)

15:30 Close

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