You are Home   »   Events   »   Finding & Exploiting new petroleum resources in Europe Agenda

Finding & Exploiting new petroleum resources in Europe

Shale, CBM, small / marginal pools, lessons from the US unconventionals
£80 + VAT
Ian Roche
» Managing Director
» Aurora Energy Resources Ltd
Nick Terrell
» Chair
» Exploration Task Force
Mark Enfield (PDF) & Rob Gill (Advisian)
» Kimmeridge Energy

Full Agenda

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
The Geological Society

Download our report from this event

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 (

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

March 2016
view the agenda view the delegates list

March 2015
view the agenda view the delegates list


9:30 David Bamford - Director
Finding Petroleum

Welcome & Introduction: followed by SESSION 1: Unconventionals

David Bamford is well known around the oil & gas industry both as an explorer and a geophysicist. He holds a Physics degree from the University of Bristol and a Ph.D in Geological Sciences from the University of Birmingham.

Since 2004, he has been a non-executive director at Tullow Oil plc, being recruited for this position especially for his exploration knowledge. He serves on the Nominations and Remuneration Committees, and was chairman of the latter, and Senior Independent Director, for 3 years prior to his retire from the board at the end of April 2014.

He was on the board of Premier Oil from May 2014 to May 2016.

He retired from BP plc in 2003, his last four positions being Chief Geophysicist (1990-1995), Business Unit Leader (General Manager) for first West Africa and then Norway (1995-1999), and finally Head of Exploration until 2003.

He has served on the boards of Paras Ltd, a small exploration and IS/IT consulting company in which he held 22% equity, until its sale to RPS Energy in 2008 and Welltec a/s, a Danish well engineering company, as the nominee of the private equity investor Riverside.

From 2012 to 201 he was on the board of ASX-quoted Australia Oriental Energy as a non-executive director.

He was a founder of Richmond Energy Partners, a small oil & gas research house, and several media companies that focus on the oil & gas sector, and has served as an advisor to Alliance Bernstein, Opus Executive, the Parkmead Group plc, and Kimmeridge Energy LLP. Since retiring from BP, he has undertaken asset and company valuation projects for investment banks, hedge funds and small oil companies.

Finding Petroleum
Finding Petroleum was established to help the oil and gas industry network, and stay up to date on t
9:40 Oswald Clint - Senior Analyst
Bernstein Research

OPEC vs Deep Water vs Permian Basin vs Mature Provinces

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 - Managing Partner
Kimmeridge Energy

Lessons Learned from US unconventionals

Dr. McMahon is Managing Partner of Kimmeridge Energy

He was formerly 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
Ulysses Petroleum Management

What about Coal Bed Methane?

Watch Video    View PDF   
11:50 Ian Roche - Managing Director
Aurora Energy Resources Ltd

The case for UK shale

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

Adapting US fracturing technology to UK shale exploration

Watch Video    View PDF   
Talk Description

Applying US hydraulic fracturing technology to UK shale exploration wells demands and encourages adaptations for both social and technical reasons. Exploration wells must not only test and hopefully demonstrate commercial potential but also provide reassurance to an uninformed and often misinformed public. In the UK, we have a far more concentrated population, usually better quality agricultural land and a greater challenge to gain the necessary social licence. In the eyes of many, including many politicians who have banned its use or plan to do so, hydrofracturing is viewed more as a bête noire, or worse, than a basic component of the petroleum engineer’s toolkit. Risk, real and perceived, and public inconvenience must be minimised. The present US technology is inefficient in that a minority of fracture stages produce the majority of a well’s production. Unproductive stages and unproductive fractures within clusters are not simply expensive and a source of unnecessary vehicle movements but may be actually detrimental to a well’s productivity. Empiricism has often masqueraded as design. Much greater quantities of materials are wasted than if the situation were reversed and the majority of fracture stages contributed to the flow. Reducing cost, minimising public inconvenience, gaining social acceptance and increasing well productivity go hand in hand.

The results of a stimulated exploration well must be extrapolated or interpolated to other areas of a licence. To maximise the value of an exploration well the results should contribute to, and accelerate, the exploration learning curve. Hydraulic fracturing is a fundamentally a mechanical process. At least two basic geomechanical requirements must be satisfied if the exploration of a licence is to be optimised. First, some understanding must be gained of the processes controlling the effectiveness of multistage fracturing at each well; second a licence-wide model of the distribution of stress and the relevant mechanical properties must be constructed and progressively refined. This implies a programme of data collection, balancing cost against immediate and future benefit.

In relation to well completion needs, this talk will concentrate on reservoir stress state with brief attention to reservoir rock properties. How and why each aspect of stress state affects well and completion planning will be discussed. The focus will be on less widely recognised but basic reservoir geomechanical realities, their constraints on fracturing operations and the justification for constructing licence-wide and local geomechanical reservoir models. A brief review of the basic data sources for building a geomechanical model of a licence prior to drilling and during an exploration programme in the UK, will be included, and what can be achieved for little cost.

After wellsite and seismic survey experience, Tim Harper worked for a US consultancy before joining BP to build a technical service capability in hydraulic fracturing. At this time, stimulation vessels were just entering the N. Sea, requiring changes to the traditional US approach to suit UK offshore operations. Achievements included major cost savings in field development and joint receipt of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s most prestigious prize for advances in hydraulic fracturing. This is the only occasion the award has been made for subsurface engineering. An invitation followed to give a Friday Evening Discourse at the Royal Institution, a memorable challenge. In addition to the completions technical service, he devised and managed a programme to limit the risk to wells drilling through active faults in Colombia and the risks to surface facilities. This included monitoring of microseismic activity during drilling and testing. With Geosphere, he has worked on diverse geomechanical aspects of typical drilling and completion problems. After assisting Cuadrilla to investigate a well-known instance of induced seismicity, he has mostly concentrated on the fracturing of unconventional reservoirs.
Tim Harper obtained a PhD in engineering at Imperial College studying fluid flow in fractured rock after obtaining an MSc. in Structural geology and rock mechanics

Geosphere Ltd
For more than 20 years, Geosphere Ltd. has provided geomechanical services to operators and other co
13:00 Lunch & Exhibits, followed by SESSION 2: Marginal Fields
13:35 Nick Terrell - Chair
Exploration Task Force

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

Watch Video   
Nick is Chair of the UK Exploration Task Force (XTF), a joint industry and regulatory organisation comprising exploration leaders in the oil and gas and emerging carbon storage sectors. The XTF is one of several UK Task Forces within the UK North Sea Transition Forum, the tripartite body which provides senior government and industry leadership for the offshore oil and gas industry.
Nick has c. 20 years of broad industry leadership experience in a range of upstream energy focused roles. He is co-founded of Carbon Catalyst, an independent company focused exclusively on reducing CO? emissions via Carbon Capture & Storage. He is also UK Country Manager for Finder Energy, an oil and gas exploration company based in Perth, Australia, and recent new entrant to the UK North Sea.
Previously, he was Managing Director and co-founder of North Sea operator Azinor Catalyst, which he sold to Finder Energy in 2020. Prior to this he was Exploration Director at US independent Endeavour Energy, board member of OGUK and President of the PESGB.
Nick has a MSc in Petroleum Geoscience from Imperial College London.

Exploration Task Force
The Exploration Task Force's role is maintaining UKCS Exploration and Appraisal activity, making the
14:10 Joshua May - Sales and Marketing Manager

Towed Streamer EM – Cost Effective Offshore Reserve Replacement in Europe

Watch Video   
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 is a leading, international, marine geophysical company. Our business is technology driven and w
14:45 Mark Enfield (PDF) & Rob Gill (Advisian) -
Kimmeridge Energy

Exploiting small discoveries and shale oil in the same place

Watch Video   
Founded in 2012, Kimmeridge Energy invests directly in unconventional oil and gas projects and asset
15:30 Close

Join 10,000 oil & gas professionals who attend our events and receive our newsletter.


Oil & Gas Careers - the state of play
by Deidre ODonnell from Working Smart

"The lawyers and the questions."



We are planning a further webinars program for 2024 -
If you may have an interesting story to share, please contact
Karl Jeffery on