The Lost Art of Exploration for Oil and Gas on the UKCS

Norway’s strategic approach to its petroleum sector continues with the recent announcement that Equinor is to drill 3,000 wells during the next two decades

Norway’s continued investment in exploration and development will see production rise back over 4 million barrels per day oil equivalent by 2020. Oil & Gas UK’s latest Economic Report confirms that UKCS production has risen to 1.7 mpdoe, but also brings the grim news that only 4 exploration and 5 appraisal wells were drilled in the UKCS in the first 8 months of 2018.

The OGA offered for award 123 licences over 229 blocks or part-blocks to 61 companies in the 30th Offshore Licensing Round and stated “The UKCS is back... Exploration is very much alive with lots of prospects generated and new wells to be drilled.” The OGA and its licensees have now got to follow the Norwegian example – and deliver.

Statoil will be drilling 40 exploration wells in Norway during 2018. Great to hear Total announcing a 1 trillion cubic feet find in west of Shetland. I wonder what 40 exploration wells in the UKCS this year would do for our reserves profile!