Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

E&A improves as drilling doubles in Q2

E&A improves as drilling doubles in Q2
After nearly seven months of 2009, the number of UKCS exploration and appraisal well spuds stands at 24, with a further 17 sidetracks initiated since year start.

After nearly seven months of 2009, the number of UKCS exploration and appraisal well spuds stands at 24, with a further 17 sidetracks initiated since year start.

This breaks down into 13 exploration starts, plus two sidetracks, and 11 appraisal starts plus 15 sidetracks.

Ten mobile rigs are currently active, the same number as previously reported, though two units have moved to other duties, though these have been replaced by two further rigs allocated to exploration and appraisal (E&A) work.

Half of all activity is in the Central North Sea.

Petro-Canada spudded well 12/25-2 on its Inner Moray Firth Upper Jurassic Leopard prospect.

Operations continue for Nippon on Bowmore appraisal well 15/24a-9, which is close to reservoir, and Nexen on Hobby South appraisal 20/1-10.

Talisman has announced that its Shaw exploration well, 22/22a-7, tested oil at 4,800 barrels per day, and it has started an appraisal sidetrack appraisal leg.

CNR has abandoned the Deep Banff mechanical sidetrack, 22/22a-7Z, which is thought not to have been tested.

Total has completed extended well test operations on Kessog appraisal 30/1c-9 following a second re-entry and is moving the Sedco 714 to its NNS acreage.

In the Southern North Sea, Venture is concluding operations on its Andrea exploration well, 48/15b-10, which though encountering the target high to prognosis, has found the reservoir to be of lower quality, with the result that reserves are now believed to be at the low end of expectation. The Noble Julie Robertson will next drill an appraisal well on Venture’s Annabel discovery.

Petrofac has recorded success with appraisal drilling in the Don SW area. Well 211/18a-S4Z, sidetracked from what was started as a water injector, was drilled into a previously untapped fault compartment and encountered an 18m (60ft) oil column in the Brent. The well, though believed not to be optimally located, is understood to have extended the southern boundary of the field. Following this, the John Shaw rig returned to development work.

Activity West of Shetland is relatively strong, with three wells current.

Chrysaor has initiated a second sidetrack on Solan appraisal 205/26a-8, after which the Byford Dolphin will move to drill Lancaster for Hurricane.

The drillship, Stena Carron, is expected to mobilise to drill OMV’s Tornado prospect in September, following completion of operations on Chevron’s Rosebank appraisal 213/27-4.

Having returned from Norway, the Leiv Eiriksson has returned for a second attempt at drilling Shell’s South 214/21a Uist prospect, following the abortive first well in 2008. Well 214/21a-2 spudded on July 2.

The East Irish Sea multi-well campaign continues, with the start and rapid re-spudding of Venture’s second well, 110/3b-6, on the Whitbeck prospect. Venture’s first well, Marram appraisal 110/4-2, in the eastern part of the structure, encountered a gross gas column of 151m (469ft) in the Triassic reservoir.

EOG has taken up two optional slots for the Ensco 92 for two wells around the 110/12-6 discovery, which will extend the drilling programme until at least year-end.

Following the demise of Oilexco, Venture has taken on the mantle of the UK’s most active company, with one rig on continuous contract and operated slots on a further three. Venture is itself now the subject of a takeover bid from Centrica and this may impact the pace or focus of E&A drilling.

So, from a slow start it can now be seen that Q2 2009 was about twice as active as Q1. July seems to be continuing the positive trend set in Q2 and we have about 20 near-term E&A wells that could commence in the third quarter.

Although well starts in 2009 are currently running at about half those in 2008 – an exceptional year by any recent measure – the activity levels in 2009 may yet end up being better than initially predicted.

WellSlot is courtesy of Simon Robertshaw at drilling analysts Hannon Westwood

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts