By Alam John Paul
Fugro has successfully completed the second of three Malaysian seep hunting and geochemical campaigns for the Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), Malaysia’s fully integrated oil and gas company.
The second campaign was located offshore Sarawak, Malaysia and began 8 May 2019 onboard the Fugro Equator. Acquired geophysical data included over 15 000 km2 of multibeam echosounder (MBES) data providing bathymetry, backscatter intensity, and water column information. More than 40 discreet water column anomalies, potential locations of active hydrocarbon seepage, were identified. Using the MBES data in combination with over 3600 line-km of sub-bottom profiler data, Fugro and PETRONAS’ geoscientists identified 350 locations for coring and geochemical analysis.
The Fugro Equinox mobilised on 29 May 2019 to target these locations: over the course of two months, 275 piston cores were acquired and more than 1600 near-real-time geochemical analyses – including headspace gas, total scanning fluorescence and extracted hydrocarbon gas chromatography (C15+) – were conducted. This targeted approach identifies precise seep locations quickly and accurately, which avoids unnecessary sampling locations and streamlines acquisition for clients such as PETRONAS.
Following the Sarawak campaign, En Amiruddin Mansor, Head, Basin Strategy and Management, Resource Exploration, Malaysia Petroleum Management PETRONAS, stated: “The results from deepwater Sarawak campaign have been exciting to receive in near-real time, and it was executed successfully, within the set timeline, with excellent health, safety and environment (HSE) compliance. The onboard geochemical analyses were very helpful in providing early results to accelerate our project timeline. The results from these campaigns have all been positive and will enhance our open block’s attractiveness for future block promotion and exploration activities.”
The third seep hunting and geochemical campaign for PETRONAS will begin in Q3 2019 and will take place offshore Peninsular Malaysia in the Straits of Malacca. The first campaign was conducted offshore Sabah, Malaysia, and took place between December 2018 and March 2019.