The energy industry is aiming to drill out 3.7billion barrels of oil equivalent from high-impact wells in the UK and Norway this year, according to Westwood Global
The analysts have been assessing the potential for a “game-changing” discovery in 2018.
The majority of the wells are in frontier areas of Norway’s Barents Sea (8).
However Westwood says there’s also been an increase in testing of mature areas in the North Sea and Norwegian Sea.
Four are set for the Norwegian Sea, three will be drilled in the North Sea and one west of Shetland.
Three high-impact wells have been drilled so far this year, with one successful well in the Norwegian Sea – 6506/11-10 – delivering around 140million barrels of oil equivalent from two separate discoveries.
The well was completed by OMV last month from the Deepsea Bergen facility.
However, Westwood says recent history suggests the drilling campaign may not be highly successful.
In the last five years, 121 discoveries have been made in the UK and Norway, of which 41 are considered commercially viable.
Only four (3%) had over 100million barrels of oil equivalent.
The picture is similar for high-impact wells, with only eight of the 68 prospects tested in the last five years achieving commercial success.
Roderick Evans from Westwood said: “The industry has a well-documented tendency to over-estimate the commercial chance of success and prospective volume especially in high risk plays.
“The industry will be hoping that it is more accurate with its pre-drill volume and risk analysis this year and geology can sometimes throw up some nice surprises as in the 2 billion barrel Johan Sverdrup 2010 discovery.”