The Merlin team is highly skilled in the detailed technical evaluation of exploration assets, built on our deep experience and broad technical skills. We pride ourselves on the seamless integration of our broad sub-surface tool kit. Where necessary, we can call on specialist services from our trusted associates and preferred partner consultancies to provide a project team that is absolutely tailored to the client's needs.

Many clients task Merlin with taking an exploration venture all the way through from the very start of the project build to commercialisation and operations. The typical steps and associated activities are:

Recent examples of exploration evaluations include the Celtic Sea (multiple clients), North Sea (multiple clients), Canadian Beaufort Sea/Mackenzie Delta, Romania (Carpathians and Fore-deep), Poland, Morocco, Tanzania, Uganda, Niger, Cote D'Ivoire, Benin, France, Germany, Montenegro, Italy, onshore UK…..

Perhaps the most important element of any project will be the gathering together of the many (often) disparate elements that make up the database.

For geophysics, Merlin is well versed at dealing with the construction of Kingdom projects, based on SEGY seismic data, but can also initiate and manage the third party scanning and vectorising of 'paper' seismic data. We can also arrange seismic processing, as required, to enhance the client's database. We also search and collate all necessary geophysical data. These may include check-shot and VSP points, but also encompasses seismic velocity data.

Merlin use GIS tools, such as ArcMap and Global Mapper™, to gather all spatial data in the client's preferred projection system. This may involve the collation of all proprietary and public domain data, including papers and oil company external presentations, but will also incorporate a wide range of web-based resources.

Finally, we will gather and organise all geological data for the project. These are likely to include all raw wireline log data, CPIs, petrophysical analyses, results from core analyses, geochemical data, pressure and test data etc.

The project outlined above may well form a key deliverable for the client, as is often the case for international ventures. Merlin Datawise can provide data storage solutions so that, once built, the client's valuable project archive is protected and managed.

When our clients gain equity, or operatorship, of a venture, Merlin can conduct a tailored exploration programme that is tuned to the client's goals and timelines. This may have heavy emphasis on early commercialisation or may form part of a programme that will lead through to fully-funded seismic and drilling activities. We perform exploration evaluations from single prospects through to block and basin-scale studies.

Most exploration evaluations are built on a framework provided by a detailed 2D and/or 3D seismic interpretation. Merlin has over 70 years of in-house experience to bring to bear, and our interpreters cover core strength areas from structural geology, rock physics through to non-seismic solutions. Our team aim to create a truly geologically focused and meaningful interpretation each time, which is critically focused on resolution of the critical elements of the asset. To this we can also add in-house expertise such as Rock Physics, Pre-Stack attribute analysis (using the DUG package) and non-seismic geophysics.

Stratigraphy also forms a cornerstone of a typical Merlin evaluation, with an enormous wealth of experience brought to bear on the re-evaluation of the project (sequence) stratigraphy and key stratigraphic tops.

Our in-house skills in petrophysical analysis and reservoir geology provide a critical evaluation of likely reservoir quality and performance.

Merlin will build an exploration portfolio for the venture. We apply a robust six point risking scheme, and perform Monte Carlo simulations to provide probabilistic success-case volumetric ranges.

In some cases, clients require Merlin to apply for additional exploration acreage, either as 'protection' or to explore follow-up prospectivity. Merlin can support the client's application or, in some cases, may create and submit the submission documents on the clients behalf.