Westwood Global Energy reports that as of 22 August there were two active exploration wells and six appraisal wells drilling in the UK.
At the time of writing, three wells had spudded in August, with the Andromeda North exploration well having spudded on 29 July.
West of Shetland
Hurricane Energy spudded the 205/26b-14 Lincoln Crestal well on 12 July, appraising the Lincoln discovery.
The well is the second of a three-well programme planned on the Greater Warwick Area in 2019.
Unlike the preceding Warwick Deep well, 205/26b-14 will target the crest of the fractured basement reservoir, appraising 2C volumes of 604 mmboe.
The well is planned to drill a 1km (3,281ft) horizontal section with a DST to test reservoir performance. The 2016 Lincoln 205/26b-12 well proved an oil column of over 660m (2,165ft).
Total spudded its 206/4a-5 Glendronach well on 16 July, appraising the 2018 206/4a-4 discovery well. The initial discovery was reported as 1 tcf of gas in the Lower Cretaceous, which makes it the second largest discovery in the UK since Culzean in 2008. The well is being drilled from the adjacent Edradour field subsea template.
The CNOOC-operated 208/17a-4 Cragganmore appraisal well was spudded on 19 July and is appraising an estimated 500 bcf (83 mmboe) in Paleocene T22 Vaila sandstones within a combined structural and stratigraphic trap. The original discovery was made in 2012, encountering low saturation gas within low permeability sandstones.
The next well expected to spud West of Shetland is CNOOC’s 206/21-A Howick exploration well.
Northern North Sea
There is no current drilling in the Northern North Sea. The next well that is expected to spud is Cairn’s 3/17a-C Chimera exploration well, followed by Equinor’s 10/1b-E Frigg appraisal well.
Central North Sea
On 21 August, i3 Energy spudded its 13/23c-9 Liberator appraisal well with the Borgland Dolphin semi-submersible.
The well is the first in a three well programme, to be followed by an appraisal well on Liberator West and an exploration well on the Serenity prospect.
The 13/23c-9 well is a short, 670m (2,198ft), step out from the 13/23d-8 discovery well, which was drilled by Dana in 2013. The well is appraising 2P volumes of 13 mmbbl plus 2C resources of 8 mmbbl within a Lower Cretaceous Captain sandstone reservoir.
The next wells that are expected to spud in the Central North Sea are Equinor’s 23/6-B Lifjellet exploration well and Ping’s 21/6b Avalon appraisal well.
Southern North Sea
Operations are continuing at ONE-Dyas’s 42/4-1Z Darach exploration well in the Southern North Sea with the Ensco 121 jack-up rig.
The well is targeting stacked Lower Carboniferous sandstones and is located 35 km north of the Breagh field, which is currently the most northerly producing field in the Southern North Sea.
The well was sidetracked on 8 July after 54 days of drilling following well spud on 16 May. The well is understood to be close to completing.
Three wells have spud in the Southern North Sea in end July to August, one of which is exploration and two are appraisal.
Spirit Energy spudded the 43/12a-3 Andromeda exploration well on 29 July with the Noble Hans Deul jack-up rig.
Hague and London Oil (HALO) has reported resource estimates of c. 40 bcf in the Carboniferous, however Westwood understands that this is towards the lower end of the pre-drill estimate range.
On 6 August, Independent Oil & Gas (IOG) spudded its 48/24b-6 Harvey appraisal well with the Maersk Resilient jack-up rig.
The well is targeting Rotliegend Leman sandstones within a four-way dip closure with low-best-high prospective resources of 89 – 129 – 199 bcf.
Premier Oil spudded its 42/28d-14 Tolmount East appraisal well on 8 August with the Valaris (formerly Ensco) 123 jack-up.
The well is targeting 300 bcf in the Rotliegend as an extension of the Tolmount Main field, which would be incorporated into the c. 500 bcf Tolmount development.
The next well expected to spud in the Southern North Sea is Eni’s 53/14a-B Aspen exploration well.