Westwood Global Energy reports that as of December 2 there was one exploration well active in the UK. So far in 2020, four exploration wells have completed. At the time of writing, the first appraisal well of the year was preparing to spud.
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 until 2022.
Northern North Sea
Operations remain ongoing at Apache’s 9/19b-28 and 9/19b-29 Gamma/Losgann exploration well programme, which first spudded on July 29. Since then, mechanical issues have necessitated three re-spuds and two sidetracks.
Well 9/19b-29Z is currently drilling, which commenced on November 16. The well programme 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.
Chrysaor recently reported results from the well as being “highly encouraging”, suggesting some form of discovery has been made in at least one of the wells.
Central North Sea
Operator Cnooc, along with partners Total and Energean, is preparing to spud the Glengorm South 22/26d-3 appraisal well with the Prospector 5 jack-up rig, which mobilised from port in the UK in late November. The MarineTraffic website indicates the vessel has now arrived at the field.
The well will target the Upper Jurassic intra-Heather Formation J54 Freshney Sandstone Member at a location to the south of the 2019 discovery well and is planned to be tested.
The well has an expected duration of 300 days, including testing. The well will be followed by a second appraisal well in block 22/21c, which will be drilled once operations on this well have completed.
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 until 2021.