UK E&A drilling reaches 13-year high

Exploration and appraisal drilling on the UK continental shelf continues to revive, according to analysts Hannon Westwood.

Offshore staff

GLASGOW, UK -- Exploration and appraisal drilling on the UK continental shelf continues to revive, according to analysts Hannon Westwood.

They claim to have identified nine wells started on the shelf in August alone, with most activity centered on the central North Sea, and a resumption of drilling West of Shetland.

“To date,” says Simon Robertshaw, senior intelligence analyst, “39 wells comprising 22 exploration and 17 appraisals have spudded during 2010, an increase of 10 wells over the numbers reported in July. Additionally, three further sidetracks bring that tally to 12 – in total 51 well starts so far in 2010.

“Currently active are 14 exploration and appraisal wells using mobile drilling rigs; eight semisubmersibles and six jackups. Excluding sidetracks, and with the exception of 2008, this represents the highest level of exploration and appraisal well spuds to the end of August since 1997.

“The northern North Sea is back on the books with two exploration and appraisal wells now drilling, Nautical’s 9/2b-4 and [Sterling Resources’] Cladhan discovery, 210/29a-4, where a DST program in the Upper Jurassic is shortly to get under way.”

Robertshaw added that near-term drilling will likely remain focussed on the UK central sector, although successful testing of Cladhan could well spark further drilling in the far northern region.”

09/07/2010

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