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North Sea E&P count highest since 1997

North Sea E&P count highest since 1997
WITH little over a month to go before 2008 wraps, 68 exploration & appraisal wells have been started to date and, discounting sidetracks, the spuds already exceed 2007's tally by one well - the highest count since 1997.

WITH little over a month to go before 2008 wraps, 68 exploration & appraisal wells have been started to date and, discounting sidetracks, the spuds already exceed 2007’s tally by one well – the highest count since 1997.

Ten rigs are currently active on UKCS E&A, with the Glomar Arctic 2 imminently expected to move off Total’s Sailor Prospect on block 8/15. November has so far seen five spuds, plus an appraisal re-entry from the Clyde platform.

Operations in progress include Caithness’s 11/24-4, technically an onshore well (Lybster-1) deviated as a long-reach horizontal well to appraise the Middle Jurassic accumulation; BG’s Upper Jurassic Jackdaw appraisal 30/2a-7Y, and Sterling’s successful Cladhan well (210/29a-4).

New starts are Chevron’s 213/27-3 on the Palaeocene Rosebank North prospect, the first of several Atlantic Frontier wells planned by the company.

In the Northern North Sea, OMV’s 9/19-16 appears to be targeting a possible extension of a Norwegian Lower Eocene oil discovery extending across the median line, while Talisman’s 22/17-4 in the Central North Sea is targeting the Upper Jurassic Godwin prospect.

Talisman has re-entered 30/17b-A34, drilled in late-2000 as a Clyde field producer and first sidetracked in mid-2003.

In the Southern Gas Basin and following success with Breagh East (42/13-4), Sterling is appraising the westerly extent of the Carboniferous accumulation with 42/13-5, while Gaz de France is drilling the Rotliegendes Juliet prospect at Sole Pit.

Close to completion in the NNS are Total’s 8/15-2A on the Palaeocene Sailor prospect, currently abandoning as a dry hole, and Sterling’s 210/29a-4 on the Middle Jurassic Cladhan prospect which encountered light oil in 25ft of net pay and may be re-entered, possibly in 2009, for further evaluation including testing.

In the same sector, Statoil’s Bressay appraisal 3/28a-6 was abandoned after 86 days, two months of which were on TD operations and likely to have involved extensive testing.

In the CNS, Oilexco’s Palaeocene Huntington appraisal 22/14b-9Z was abandoned after a month at TD following the success of the initial hole. In the deep HP/HT part of the sector, Maersk abandoned without comment 22/25a-9Z on the Upper Jurassic Culzean prospect after 165 days, including 35 at TD.

A conservative estimate points to five more spuds before year end, although this may increase if the weather lets up. A further 30 commitment wells bid on recently awarded 25th Round acreage has swelled Hannon Westwood’s “planned well pool” significantly, with further potential wells coming out of Promote licences, taking the pool to about the 200 mark and further adding pressure (and opportunity) to the system.

WellSlot is courtesy of UK oil&gas consultancy Hannon Westwood LLP. See www.hannonwestwood.com

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