An early check on UK North Sea drilling activity indicates that there are 13 active exploration & appraisal wells including, in the southern Central North Sea, the first spud of the 2013.
In UK waters, 10 mobile units are currently employed on E&A drilling operations - exploration wells, including a single sidetrack, account for three of these while seven appraisal wells including two sidetracks are active.
Five exploration and appraisal wells are currently operating on the UKCS from two semi-submersible rigs, two jack-up units and a single drill ship. That's all.
Exploration and appraisal (E&A) starts on the UKCS in the first two months of the year amount to three exploration wells and three appraisal wells. However, 10 E&A wells are currently active, all utilising mobile rigs, which are working on five exploration wells and the same number of appraisals.
Nine mobile rigs remain active on exploration and appraisal drilling on the UKCS - no change from the situation in late October.
THE UK Continental Shelf has nine mobile rigs (four semi-submersibles and five jack-ups) currently active on four exploration and five appraisal wells in the Northern, Central and Southern North Sea.
Eleven E&A wells are currently active on the UKCS utilising 10 mobile rigs and one platform, with seven new spuds reported over the last month, bringing this year's tally to 31 wells and 20 sidetracks.
When compared with 2008, the pace of activity in the UKCS remains subdued, with only eight mobile rigs currently active on exploration and appraisal drilling - the same as last month - of which two are drilling sidetracks.
INTO the final quarter of 2008 and a total of 59 exploration and appraisal wells have started on the UKCS so far, an increase of 14 spuds over the same point in 2007 and a level of activity not reached until the start of December that year. Additionally, 36 sidetracks have so far been initiated this year.
2008 has begun with a flurry of exploration, with 12 of the 14 wells spudded to date targeting prospects, and only two appraisal wells.