The chief executive of the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) is determined to chase Norway’s drilling lead.
Speaking to Energy Voice at this year’s ONS, Andy Samuel said the standout item at this year’s show was the neighbouring country’s ability to strip out costs and streamline timelines.
“There have been some real breakthroughs in drilling costs particularly in drilling efficiencies,” he said.
“I’ve had a couple of good meetings around the successful delivery of that. And we’re going to follow up. So that’s an immediate positive.
“And that’s not to belittle the fact that there’s been some similar work on the UKCS. But there’s been more drilling Norway so we can transfer learnings from that.”
In an interview with Energy Voice earlier in the week, Statoil’s chief executive Eldar Saetre revealed the firm’s ability to drill wells twice as fast slashed its flagship Johan Sverdrup breakeven cost to $25.
But the UKCS’s drilling efforts would not be a quick fix, the industry leader cautioned.
“Those initiatives started under Helge Lund three years ago, so they do take time.” he said.
Despite the challenges, the industry leader said his conversations with UK companies at the show spelled a shift in outlook.
“I think we are seeing a similar trend in Norway to the UK side. I think the service sector is anxious, because they feel they have the low-cost, high-impact solutions and they want to make sure they’re heard.
“But speaking to some our great UKCS service companies they are persevering and making in-roads on the UK side, actually.
“There’s a feeling things are staring to shift, but there’s still a way to go.”
When pressed on whether there was wider governmental backing to support the supply chain’s efforts, Samuel said: “I think it’s important that the decision-makers understand the current context, and they do.
“When we had the Secretary of State visit we were very open about the current context and indeed projections, so people are very aware of the difficulties facing the industry.”
“At the end of the day we need to keep promoting investment, and create a climate where people want to invest, and then get after new projects and drilling, and then the jobs follow, so that’s what I’m focussed on.
“There is a real future in the industry.”