As of 28 February, Westwood Global Energy reports that there is one exploration well and one appraisal well active in the UK. One exploration well completed since the start of the year.
West of Shetland
No E&A wells have been drilled in the WoS area since the 206/21-1 Howick well in 2019 and there are no wells planned to be drilled in 2022 at this time.
Northern North Sea
There has been no E&A drilling in the Northern North Sea since 2020. 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
The 22/19a-8 Birgitta East well lies in the eastern arm of the Central Graben and was spudded by operator Petrogas on 30 January 2022. The aim of the well is to appraise the eastern culmination of the 22/19-1 Birgitta (previously Fiddich) gas-condensate discovery and reduce uncertainty and volume ranges prior to FID. The 22/19-1 well tested at an aggregate rate of 3,291 bpd, 42 – 48.2° API condensate and 35.6 mmscfpd from three separate Triassic Skagerrak Formation intervals. The well is classified as a ‘firm’ well by the OGA due to the licence extensions awarded. In the success case, the well will be suspended for future re-entry and sidetrack of an optimally placed development well. The discovery lies in the ETAP catchment area and is a potential two well tie-back candidate to the Marnock central processing facility (CPF) with first gas target of 2023.
Operator Harbour Energy completed the 30/8-4 Dunnottar exploration well on 24 January 2022 with the Valaris 121 jack-up rig, having spudded the well on 17 October 2021. The well was a commitment for a 30th Round award and was primarily targeting a HPHT Triassic Skagerrak Formation tilted fault block structure. The well encountered hydrocarbon volumes in all the Paleocene, Jurassic and Triassic primary and secondary targets, however the commerciality of the discovery is under review, having been quoted as being marginal. The well has been P&A as a gas condensate discovery. If commerciality is confirmed, the J-block hub provides the most likely tie-back candidate.
Shell spudded the 22/12d-13 Jaws well on 28 November 2021 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, 16.5km to the NW.
Southern North Sea
There has been no drilling in the Southern North Sea since the 2019. The next exploration wells expected to be drilled in the region are Shell and Deltic’s 41/5a-B Pensacola exploration well and IOG and CalEnergy’s 53/1b Kelham North and Central exploration well, both expected to be drilled in 2022.