UKCS exploration, appraisal activity up 75%

Offshore exploration and appraisal activity rose by 75% in the last quarter, according Deloitte’s North West Europe Review.

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK -- Offshore exploration and appraisal activity rose by 75% in the last quarter, according Deloitte’s North West Europe Review. The new report summarizes drilling and licensing in the UK continental shelf (UKCS).

Twenty-eight exploration and appraisal wells were spudded in the third quarter, the company says. This represents an increase on the previous quarter, but a 7% drop in drilling compared to the same period in 2008.

According to the report, 32% of wells spudded were in the West of Shetlands region, with a further 21% in the Moray Firth, and 18% in the northern North Sea. The central North Sea contains 11% of new wells with the southern North Sea accounting for only 7% of activity.

The rise in drilling activity in the Shetlands region, which historically only accounts for less than 10% of UK exploration and appraisal wells, is partly attributed to the Stena Carron drilling program as well as extensive delineation and exploration projects in the area, Deloitte reports.

The review also summarizes licensing and deals, oil price fluctuations, and corporate or asset acquisitions carried out so far this year.

10/12/2009

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