Westwood Global Energy reports that as of 16 December there was one appraisal well and three 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 have been drilled in the WoS area since the 206/21-1 Howick well in 2019. The next exploration well in the region is expected to be on TotalEnergies’ 206/5c Benriach prospect in 2022.
Northern North Sea
There has been no E&A drilling in the Northern North Sea in 2021. The last well in this area, the 9/19b Gamma/Losgann well, was completed in December 2020. The next exploration well in the region is expected to be on TotalEnergies’ Alwyn East prospect in end Q1 2022.
Central North Sea
Shell spudded the 22/12d-13 Jaws well on 28 November with the Valaris 122 jack-up rig. The well is a firm commitment on a 30th Round award, targeting an Upper Jurassic Fulmar Formation interpod play. The well has a predicted dry hole duration of 98 days. JV partner Cairn acquired its 50% non-operated interest in P2380 through a licence swap with Shell, with Shell receiving a 50% non-operated interest in the adjacent licence P2379 in return. In the success case, a discovery will be developed as a subsea tie-back to the Shell-operated Nelson platform, 16.5 km to the NW.
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.
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. It is understood that the well is in the process of completing.
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 Glengorm Central well was targeting the same Upper Jurassic J54 Freshney Member (Heather Formation) as in the discovery well and was 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. According to several sources, the well did not encounter hydrocarbons in the Jurassic or Triassic and is being, or may already be, P&A. The Glengorm Central well was being drilled 1.9 km to the southwest of the 2019 discovery well.
Southern North Sea
No E&A wells have been drilled in the SNS since the 53/14a-2 Aspen well which completed in December 2019. 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.