Maersk Oil was awarded a licence in the offshore Block 9, 'Tooq' in Baffin Bay, North Western Greenland, in December 2010. Maersk Oil is the operator with an interest of 87.5%. State oil company Nunaoil is carried partner in the exploration period with an interest of 12.5%. Water depths in the block range from 100 to 1,000 meters. The total operated acreage is 11,802km2.
Maersk Oil will be acquiring a 3D-seismic survey within the block during summer and autumn of 2012, alongside with a hydrographic survey and a geochemical sampling project. Prior to the seismic activities, Maersk Oil completed a comprehensive sea ice and iceberg study within the block to understand the local operational risks of acquiring seismic data in the open waters in conditions where sea ice breaks up and icebergs drift.
In addition, Maersk Oil is participating in a consortium consisting of all licensees in Baffin Bay to conduct shallow stratigraphic coring in the area to gain knowledge of the sub-cropping bedrock. The same consortium is also conducting regional sea-ice and iceberg studies in Baffin Bay to understand the regional patterns, aspects and variations of drifting ice.
Maersk Oil added value
Maersk Oil reprocessed all 2D-seismic data available in Block 9. The subsequent data set forms the basis for the hydrocarbon evaluation of the block as well as giving insights into the geophysical challenges in both acquiring as well as processing seismic data in Arctic areas with hard glacial deposits at the sea-bottom. This knowledge is being extensively used to optimise the preparation, planning and execution the 2012 3D-seismic acquisition and processing projects in the block.
Conducting comprehensive sea ice and iceberg studies prior to the seismic operation has given Maersk Oil valuable insight into the operational challenges in Arctic ice-laden waters as well as the habitat of the floating icebergs in the area. The ice studies form an important basis for a safe and cost efficient seismic and hydrographic acquisition operation in 2012.