Westwood Global Energy reports that as of September 2 there were two exploration wells active in the UK, with one in the central North Sea and one in the northern North Sea. So far in 2020, three exploration wells have completed. There has been no appraisal drilling yet this year.
West of Shetland
The last well to complete in the region was Hurricane’s Warwick West 204/30b-4 appraisal well on December 13. No further drilling is expected this year, with Hurricane having been granted a licence extension to drill an appraisal well on the Lincoln structure, as well as having an extension to P&A the currently suspended 205/26b-14 Lincoln well that was drilled in 2019.
Northern North Sea
Apache spudded the 9/18a-43 Gair exploration well on May 30 with the Ocean Patriot. The well was then sidetracked on July 4 as 9/18a-43Z, operations which then completed on July 26, some 58 days after spudding. The well was targeting a Middle Jurassic reservoir and in the event of success was planned to be developed via the nearby Beryl field infrastructure. A result from the well has not been announced.
Apache then moved the Ocean Patriot rig to spud the 9/19b-28 Gamma/Losgann exploration well on July 29. The well was re-spudded, presumably for mechanical reasons, on August 7 and is targeting Eocene injectites at a location between Apache’s Storr field and the UK/Norway median line. It lies close to the 2008 9/19-16 Gamma oil discovery which is part of the same sand injectite complex in this region and in the event of success, a discovery will likely be tied back to the Beryl field infrastructure.
Central North Sea
Total’s 12/30-2 Finzean exploration well in the Moray Firth spudded on September 2 with the Noble Sam Turner jack-up rig. The well is targeting prospectivity in the Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic in a structure analogous to the nearby Golden Eagle field and is expected to take 30 days in a dry hole case. This is expected to be the last exploration well to be drilled on the UKCS this year.
Southern North Sea
The last well to complete in the region was Eni’s 53/14a-2 Aspen exploration well on December 11 which was abandoned as a dry hole. No further exploration drilling is expected in the Gas Basin this year.