oil & gas

VELMOD-4 : a joint effort between Estimages and TNO

Published on:
February 14, 2017
ESTIMAGES and TNO will build VELMOD-4, a new regional velocity model over the Netherlands.


TNO is an independent research organization striving through its expertise and research to advise and businesses about sustainable subsurface management and use. Their extensive geological knowledge of the Dutch sector makes them a key player in the O&G exploration in the Netherlands. TNO has developed comprehensive 3D velocity models (VELMOD) in the Dutch sector (both onshore/offshore) since 2006 with the participation of several E&P companies. The last version (VELMOD-3) was released in 2015. 

A strategic alliance of geological knowledge and velocity model expertise

ESTIMAGES Norge AS and TNO are now collaborating. The two parties have just signed an agreement to build a regional velocity model (VELMOD-4) that will cover the entire Netherlands (onshore and offshore) and benefit from both TNO’s geological expertise and ESTIMAGES innovative geostatistical technology in regional velocity modeling. Seismic velocities and well coverage are illustrated below.

Big Things a small country can do

As mentioned in this really good article of the Oil& Gas Financial Journal, in 1959, the Netherlands became a considerable gas player with the discovery of Groningen field, which remains one of the world's ten largest gas fields, and the country stands today as Europe's second-largest producer and exporter of natural gas with 3.0 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of production in 2013, according to the EIA. Over 50 years of experience at Groningen has also fostered the development of a sharp skill set for the wider oil and gas industries.

Just as its North Sea neighbors, the Netherlands faces a serious challenge in terms of declining production. Nonetheless, industry players remain cautiously optimistic. In 2014, of the 93 E&A wells spudded in Europe, the largest number (28) were in the Netherlands, according to Wood Mackenzie, which also estimates that E&P activity will increase locally in the next five years.The Netherlands' continental shelf may be less active than that of its Norwegian neighbor, but offshore expertise developed locally serves the global industry.

Launching the Project

A kick off meeting was held on Feb 14th for potentially interested parties focusing on this collaboration and the new VELMOD-4 product, with presentations from Ivan Van Bever (Estimages) and Hans Doornenbal (TNO/Geological Survey of the Netherlands).