Westwood Global Energy reports that as of 29 September there were two appraisal wells and two exploration wells active in the UK.
Completions to date in 2021 are one appraisal well at 22/26d-3 Glengorm South and two exploration wells at 22/6c-B4Z Bacchus South and 16/2a-6 Tiger Lily.
West of Shetland
No E&A wells are expected to be drilled in 2020 and there is currently no E&A drilling expected in 2021.
Northern North Sea
There is no current E&A drilling in the Northern North Sea. The next exploration well in the region is expected to be on TotalEnergies’ Alwyn East prospect.
Central North Sea
On 10 August, operator Chrysaor (Harbour Energy) spudded the 30/2c-J13 Jade South exploration well from the Jade platform with the Valaris 120 jack-up. The well is an extended reach well drilling south into an untested fault block in block 30/7b, targeting Triassic sandstones of the Joanne Sandstone Member of the Skagerrak Formation. The well is expected to take 199 days in a success case and would be tied back to the J-block infrastructure.
Operator Ithaca and partners Waldorf and Spirit spudded the 22/1b-12 Fotla exploration well on 5 August with the WilPhoenix semi-submersible. The well is testing an Eocene Caran Sandstone Member injectite play with strong AVO anomalies that conform to structure and was successful in making an oil discovery. A sidetrack from the initial well was kicked off on 31 August to delineate the discovery, and a further sidetrack kicked off on 13 September.
Operations continue with the Chrysaor (Harbour Energy) operated 30/13e-12 Talbot appraisal well which spudded on 20 July with the Valaris 121 jack-up rig. The well is targeting the Paleocene with the aim of refining current resources of c. 20 mmboe and address uncertainty around the depth of the OWC. A planned horizontal sidetrack was kicked off on 1 September. The well has an estimated duration of 90 days in a success case and upon completion the rig will move to drill the operator’s 30/8-4 Dunnottar exploration well, targeting prospectivity in the Triassic. The J-block hub provides the most likely tie-back candidate in the event of success with the wells.
Operations remain ongoing at CNOOC’s second Glengorm appraisal well 22/21c-14, which was spudded on 21 May with the Prospector 5 jack-up. The well is aiming to refine resource volumes following the Glengorm South well which was completed as a dry hole on 16 May and resulted in resources being downgraded. The Glengorm Central well is being drilled 1.9 km to the southwest of the 2019 discovery well, deviating south into the 22/26b block, and arguably has a greater chance of encountering hydrocarbons than at Glengorm South, which was drilled 5 km from the discovery well.
Southern North Sea
The next exploration well that is expected to be drilled in the region is Shell and Deltic’s 41/5a-B Pensacola exploration well, which is expected to be spudded in May 2022, or IOG’s 53/1b Kelham North & Kelham Central dual lateral exploration well.