Westwood Global Energy reports that as of 25 October there was one appraisal well and two exploration wells active in the UK. Completions to date in 2021 are two appraisal wells at 22/26d-3 Glengorm South and 30/13e-12, 12Z Talbot and three exploration wells at 22/6c-B4Z Bacchus South, 16/2a-6 Tiger Lily and 22/1b-12, 12Z, 12Y Fotla.
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. The next exploration well in the region is expected to be on TotalEnergies’ Benriach prospect in 2022.
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 in 2022.
Central North Sea
Operator Chrysaor (Harbour Energy) spudded the 30/8-4 Dunnottar exploration well on 17 October with the Valaris 121 jack-up rig. The well is a commitment for a 30th Round award and is targeting 70 mmboe in a HPHT Triassic Skagerrak Formation tilted fault block structure. In the event of success, the J-block hub provides the most likely tie-back candidate. The well has a predicted dry hole duration of c. 115 days.
Operations completed on 9 October at the Chrysaor (Harbour Energy) operated 30/13e-12, 12Z Talbot appraisal well which spudded on 20 July with the Valaris 121 jack-up rig. The rig then mobilised to drill the operator’s 30/8-4 Dunnottar exploration well. The 30/13e-12, 12Z Talbot appraisal well was 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 indicating a successful initial well. The well had an estimated duration of 90 days in a success case and the actual duration was close to this with the well completing on 9 October. The J-block hub provides the most likely tie-back candidate.
On 8 October, operator Ithaca and partners Waldorf and Spirit completed the 22/1b-12, 12Z, 12Y Fotla exploration well with the WilPhoenix semi-submersible. The well was testing an Eocene Caran Sandstone Member injectite play with strong AVO anomalies that conform to structure and was successful in making an oil discovery. Two appraisal sidetracks from the initial well have been completed, both geological with the aim to delineate the discovery. Results from the two sidetracks have not yet been reported. In the event of a development, a tie-back to the Alba field infrastructure is the most likely concept.
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.
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.
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.