The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has awarded over £200,000 to three geosciences companies to undertake projects that boost offshore oil and gas exploration activity in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

The funding marks the final stage of OGA’s exploration licence competition which was launched in March this year.

The competition attracted more than 60 applications from the UK, Canada, the US, Australia and Europe.

In the latest round, Australian privately owned geoscience company FROGTECH, not-for-profit earth sciences consultancy Geoscience Wales and private company Geop4ysics have secured funding.

The companies will use the funds to complete their innovative interpretations and products using data acquired during last year’s UK Government funded £20m seismic survey of the Rockall Trough and Mid-North Sea High (MNSH) areas.

 OGA Exploration, Production and Decommissioning Director Gunther Newcombe said: “Despite the global downturn in the oil and gas industry, the overwhelmingly positive response to this competition highlights the tenacity and talent of the global geoscience community.

“All the projects submitted will provide greater insight into our understanding of the Rockall Trough and Mid-North Sea High areas, while adding value to our evaluation of 29th Offshore Licensing Round applications.

“Given the high quality of the technical work delivered by all applicants, there is also the option for products to be integrated into other OGA exploration initiatives, such as the production of regional geological maps, to proactively influence and incentivise exploration on the UKCS.”

As part of the project, Australia-based FROGTECH will come out with a unique, hand-contoured depth-to-basement model of the Rockall and MNSH areas which will offer greater insight into the foundation of the geological basement.

Geoscience Wales’ project aimed at documenting the potential effective petroleum systems with a strong focus on source rock geochemistry and basin modeling, while Geop4ysics will integrate rock physics into the overall interpretation of the MNSH data set.