OBN Technology which will be deployed in Engagement III, provides ultra-long offset and full-azimuth illumination for better model building and imaging, unlocking previously unimaged parts of this complex salt basin.

Last Tuesday, February 28, TGS announced the Engagement III ultra-long offset ocean-bottom node (OBN) acquisition in Green Canyon and Walker Ridge Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico. The project, supported by industry funding, will be completed in collaboration with SLB. The 111 OCS block survey is underway, and acquisition is expected to be completed in April 2023. Engagement III is the fifth multi-client ultra-long offset OBN acquisition in the Gulf of Mexico and extends the data coverage south from previous phases.
In the area of interest, as shown in the plot below, the number of approved permits has increased over recent years, while the number of spudded wells has declined since 2019. According to the TGS Well Data Analytics platform, which tracks permits, drilling, and production data, 155 permits were approved from 2018 to 2022 in Ewing Bank Canyon (EB), Green Canyon (GC), Mississippi Canyon (MC), and Walker Ridge Canyon (WR). Approximately 60% of approved permits fall within the GC and MC areas. Interestingly, no exploration permits were approved in 2018 and 2019. However, the trend has shifted since then, and 38% of approved permits in 2020 were for exploration purposes, increasing to 57% in 2022. 

With increasing drilling interest in this area, OBN technology will provide for better model building and imaging, illuminating previously unimaged parts of this complex salt basin. This acquisition technology will drive future exploration and field development in the Gulf of Mexico as well as drive unit costs down, as mentioned in BP’s Q4 earnings call. Gordon Birrell, EVP of Production & Operations at BP, credits OBN deployment with “giving a better view of the barrels that remain.”  This is reflected by the  acquisition of Magseis Fairfield, the industry leader in OBN acquisition and technology, by TGS. Kristian Johansen, CEO at TGS, commented: "TGS acquired Magseis Fairfield with the ambition to create a unique offering of robust data processing and imaging quality, best-in-class OBN technology, and a leading multi-client business." The combined company provides a unique offering of superior quality and operational efficiency across the energy value chain, making TGS well-positioned to take advantage of expected offshore acceleration over the next few years.