Key exploration data available for the Icelandic Continental Shelf

A considerable amount of data, including seismic, has been acquired on the Icelandic continental shelf through the years by academic and government institutions, and the industry. Information on the available data can be accessed through the Iceland Continental Shelf Portal of Orkustofnun (also see list below).

No deep wells have been drilled on the Icelandic continental shelf for the purpose of exploring for petroleum. Some relevant information has been obtained by the Ocean Drilling Programme and its precursor, the Deep Sea Drilling Programme, all of which is in the public domain.

A list of main industry and government datasets is given below:

  1. Western Geophysical (now: WesternGeco),  1978: Northern insular shelf of Iceland, non-exclusive speculative 2D-seismic survey, 900 km, shot and processed by Western Geophysical. See here for futher information.
  2. Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, 1979: Jan Mayen Ridge within Jan Mayen agreement area, may be purchased through the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, 600 km, shot and processed by GECO.
  3. Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and National Energy Authority of Iceland, 1985. Jan Mayen Ridge, mainly within Jan Mayen agreement area, joint ownership, 4000 km, shot and processed by GECO. Available upon request as raw-stack and raw-mig from Orkustofnun (email: thorarinn.s.arnarson (at) os.is). The seismic data has been reprocessed using pre-stack time migration by Spectrum, which has the reprocessed data set available for sale.
  4. National Energy Authority of Iceland, 1985: Flatey Basin, northern insular shelf of Iceland, proprietary data, could be made available commercially, 300 km, shot and processed by GECO.
  5. Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and National Energy Authority of Iceland, 1988: Jan Mayen Ridge, Jan Mayen agreement area and southern Jan Mayen Ridge, joint ownership, 950 km, shot by the University of Bergen and processed by the NEA. Available upon request as raw-stack, raw-mig, final-stack and final-mig from Orkustofnun (email: thorarinn.s.arnarson (at) os.is). The seismic data has been reprocessed using pre-stack time migration by Spectrum, which has the reprocessed data set available for sale.
  6. National Energy Authority of Iceland and Geological Survey of Denmark,1987: Hatton - Rockall area, joint ownership, confidential, 1800 km, shot by Digital Exploration Ltd. and processed by the National Energy Authority of Iceland.
  7. Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, National Energy Authority of Iceland and Faroese Geological Survey, 2000: The Herring Loophole, joint ownership, confidential, 4100 km, shot and processed by Fugro-Geoteam.
  8. InSeis Terra (now: Spectrum), 2001: Southern Jan Mayen Ridge, non-exclusive speculative survey, 2800 km, shot by InSeis Terra, processed by Ensign Geophysics and partly reprocessed by Geotrace in 2008. Now owned by Spectrum. See here for further information. The confidentiality period for the original processing of this dataset expired at the end of 2011 and it is available upon request from Orkustofnun (email: thorarinn.s.arnarson (at) os.is).
  9. TGS-NOPEC, 2002: Southern Jan Mayen Ridge and eastern Icelandic shelf, non-exclusive speculative survey, 800 km, owned, shot and processed by TGS-NOPEC. See here for further information. The confidentiality period for the original processing of this dataset expired at the end of 2012 and it is available upon request from Orkustofnun (email: thorarinn.s.arnarson (at) os.is).
  10. Wavefield Inseis (now: Spectrum), 2008: Southern Jan Mayen Ridge, non exclusive survey, 900 km, shot by Wavefield Inseis and processed by Geotrace. Now owned by Spectrum. See here for further infomation.
  11. Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and the University of Bergen, 2011: Sampling survey with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) on the Jan Mayen Ridge. For further information see slides from a presentation on the survey at the 30th Nordic Geological Winter Meeting in Reykjavík, 9-12 January 2012.
  12. TGS-NOPEC and VBPR, 2011: Sampling survey in the Dreki Area in Autumn 2011. See here for further information.
  13. Norwegian Geological Survey, 2011-2012: JAS-11 aeromagnetic survey to the East and Northeast of Iceland in Autumn 2011. See here for further information.
  14. CGG NPA, 2012: Satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) seep study, with 186 slicks mapped and 8 higher confidence seepage slicks identified. See here for further information.
  15. Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and the University of Bergen, 2012: Sampling survey with ROV equipped with a chain saw to collect rock samples. For further information see a press release from NPD on the survey and video clips from the ROV.
  16. Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, 2011 and 2012: Seismic surveys NPD-JM-2011 and NPD1202 of 3065 km and 9508 km, respectively, mostly in Norwegian waters of the Jan Mayen Ridge, with some lines in Icelandic EEZ. Shot by PGS (Geostreamer). Further information on NPD web site.
  17. CNOOC International, 2015: Seismic survey JMR15 of 2646 km in the area of the exclusive licence for exploration and production of CNOOC International, Eykon Energy and Petoro Iceland. Data acquired by CGG using Broadseis technology. Data owned by CNOOC.

  18. Seabird Exploration, 2016: Seismic survey SBX16 of 1004 km in the area of the exclusive licence for exploration and production of Ithaca Petroleum, Kolvetni and Petoro Iceland. Data acquired  and owned by Seabird Exploration. Further information on the survey can be found here.