As of 25 July, Westwood Global Energy reports that there are three exploration wells active, with two in the CNS and one in the NNS.
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
The Serica-operated 3/24c-6 North Eigg HPHT exploration well was spudded with the Paul B Lloyd Jr semi-sub on 11 July. The well was re-spudded on 19 July due to a stuck pipe in the original hole. The well is targeting Upper Jurassic intra-Kimmeridge Clay Formation turbidite sandstones in a downfaulted three-way dip-closed trap. Resources are estimated at 18.1 – 63.4 – 210 mmboe.
Central North Sea
The Capricorn-operated 22/11b-14 Diadem exploration well was spudded with the Valaris 123 jack-up rig on 26 June. The well was re-spudded on 17 July, after failing to get a pressure test on the 20” casing. The well is targeting the Upper Jurassic Fulmar Formation in an interpod stratigraphic trap with pre-drill resources of 34 mmboe. A DST is planned in the event of a discovery to avoid the need to drill an appraisal well and will enable a quick development. In a success case, a discovery would be tied back to JV partner Shell’s Nelson field.
Shell is in the process of completing the 30/14a-5 Edinburgh HPHT well, after being spudded on 15 March with the Valaris 122 jack-up rig. The well was targeting high impact resources in the Upper Jurassic Fulmar Formation and Triassic Skagerrak Formation, with a secondary target in the Upper Jurassic Freshney Formation. JV partner DNO reported that the well reached a TD of 16,500ft (5,029m) TVDSS, and encountered two Jurassic sandstones. However, the well did not find commercial quantities of hydrocarbons with wireline logging indicating no movable hydrocarbons within the sandstones. It is understood that hydrocarbons were encountered, and a mini-DST was performed but with negative results. It is assumed therefore, that the failure mechanism for the well was trap, possibly a breached trap due to the HPHT nature of the reservoir. The well is in the process of being P&A, after which the rig will move on to drill Shell’s Orlov prospect in block 22/8a.
Southern North Sea
There has been no drilling in the SNS since 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 Q3 – Q4 2022.