MOORE has its focus on two core areas onshore France where it holds three hydrocarbon exploration licenses and has further 13 license applications in process. All licenses and applications are located in areas with proven hydrocarbons.
• The Alsace region (Rhine Graben)
• The Paris Basin
The Alsace region
Alsace is the French part of the Upper Rhine Graben, a mature hydrocarbon basin with significant potential extending over both France and Germany and where more than 50 oil fields and 17 gas fields have been discovered. Alsace extends over 8,000 km2 and is divided into several sub basins with sediment fill of 2,000-3,000 m thickness.
The reservoirs are located in Tertiary sands, Jurassic carbonates and Triassic sandstones, while the source rocks are located mainly in the early Jurassic (Lias) and in the early-middle Oligocene.
Oil shows were reported several centuries ago in Pechelbronn in northern Alsace, where production started during the 17th century and peaked at 1,650 bpd in 1930. The field was abandoned during the 1960s after having produced 22 mmbbl.
The exploration conducted during the second half of the 20th century focused on the Tertiary and Jurassic horizons and has led to the discovery of a dozen of oilfields with size ranging from 300,000 bbl to more than three million bbl of recoverable oil. It also allowed the development of an extensive seismic and well database publicly available. Despite Alsace’s present marginal production (around 50 bopd from three concessions) the area holds a significant potential in its Triassic horizons which is very little drilled.
Most of the fields discovered to date are located in northern Alsace, while in the southern Alsace region, massive salt layers overlay the hydrocarbon bearing horizons.
In 1951 the Staffelfelden oil field was discovered “by coincidence”, when a mining company drilling for potassium through the salt layers actually discovered oil in the Grande Oolithe formation of the Dogger. The subsequent exploration conducted by PREPA, CLYDE, ELF, Enterprise Oil, REPLOR, Sun Oil, Shell and Total led to oil discoveries primarily in the Jurassic horizons, while hydrocarbon shows were observed in wells both in the Tertiary and Triassic horizons.
According to IFP (Regional Report Alsace), most of the wells drilled in southern Alsace may not have been located on the right structural position at the target level, due to the limitation of seismic imaging through the salt the industry was facing those days.
To obtain the best possible mapping of the hydrocarbons bearing horizons below the salt, MOORE intends to make use of the PSDM seismic processing technology which has greatly improved seismic imaging below salt structures and diapirs as demonstrated by the pre-salt discoveries offshore Brazil and in the Gulf of Mexico over the last decade.
On the German side of the Rhine Graben approximately 40 km north of the French border, the 60 million bbl Speyer oil field was discovered in 2003 in the Triassic when drilling a geothermal well. The field is now operated by ENGIE and produces at a rate of 3,500 bopd with a potential of producing 11,200 bopd with a pipeline connecting the field to the refinery in Karlsruhe. The Speyer discovery is the largest to date in the Upper Rhine Graben and sparked a new industry focus on the area.
MOORE operates three licenses in Alsace covering more than 1,000 km2 targeting prospectivity on multiple levels from Tertiary, Jurassic and Triassic plays.
A 2D seismic survey will be acquired during summer 2017 to better evaluate the prospects identified in the Seebach license.
In addition to its three licenses the six exploration licenses applied for by MOORE throughout Alsace include abandoned oil and gas fields, undeveloped discoveries and wells with strong hydrocarbon shows.
MOORE will primarily focus on those opportunities where it will make use of the latest seismic imaging technology combined with today’s horizontal drilling techniques to overcome the limitations faced by previous operators while exploring the area.
All the applications have passed the competition period.
The Paris Basin
The Paris Basin is the largest onshore sedimentary basin in France with 110,000 km2 in size and filled with approximately 3,000 m of sediments in its center. It has produced approximately 300 mmbbl of high grade oil from three petroleum systems:
• The upper Lias - Dogger - Neocomian
• The upper Trias - Middle Lias
• The Permo - Carboniferous - Middle Trias
Beicip Franlab (a subsidiary of IFP – the French Petroleum Institute) has estimated that approximately 80 billion bbl of oil have been expelled from the source rocks (conventional oil), out of which only 1.5 billion bbl have yet been identified (whereof approximately 300 million bbl have been produced to date from 85 fields), leaving a significant potential for further exploration and reserve identification. With only 820 exploration wells drilled, exploration of the Paris Basin has been limited until today, but its potential has recently attracted new interest from existing and new international players.
MOORE has applications for seven exploration licenses in the Paris Basin with hydrocarbon potential, mainly in the Dogger limestones and the Rhaetian sandstones, and in the lower Cretaceous sandstones to a lesser extent. The licenses applied for are located in the vicinity of producing concessions and some hold wells which have produced oil in test.
As for the licenses in Alsace MOORE will primarily focus on those opportunities by making use of the latest seismic imaging technology combined with today’s horizontal drilling techniques.
All the applications have passed the competition period.