Exploration and drilling has tailed off slightly on the UK continental shelf, however held steady or has risen elsewhere in northwest Europe in line with the newest survey by Deloitte.
During the primary quarter of 2011, Deloitte identified 9 exploration and appraisal nicely spuds [extra particularly, five exploration + four appraisal wells — D.R.] on the UKCS, a lower of 25% compared with the earlier quarter. Of the nine wells spud this yr, five were within the central North Sea, two in the southern gas basin, one within the northern North Sea, and one on the Faroe-Shetland escarpment.
Regardless of the dip, Deloitte says the outlook was more positive till the federal government imposed its surprise tax enhance on the sector in March [please see remarks under — D.R.]. Various firms have since said their intention to place appraisal and development tasks on hold, although it is not clear how a lot this will affect drilling levels over the coming months.
During 1Q 2011, 10 UKCS exploration and appraisal wells were completed, four by EnCore and its companions in central block 28/9 to search out or appraise the Varadero, Catcher North, and Burgman discoveries. One other of the accomplished wells was Maersk’s Culzean gasoline/condensate discover in the same sector.
UK farm-in activity has risen, Deloitte says, with 13 farm-in offers introduced in the first quarter of this 12 months in contrast with eight within the earlier quarter. The rising oil value could possibly be an incentive for firms to increase their equities in reserves, or it might herald a return to company methods that were in place pre-recession.
Offshore Norway, one appraisal and 12 exploration and appraisal wells spudded during the primary quarter, the same as through the corresponding quarter in 2010. Eight of the 13 wells were in the North Sea, three within the Norwegian Sea, and two within the Barents Sea.
The outlook for the Norwegian shelf remains optimistic, Deloitte says. New manufacturing licenses were awarded in January below the latest pre-outlined areas (APA) spherical. These, mixed with the oil price, should maintain excessive drilling exercise over the remainder of this year.
Of the eleven E&A wells accomplished on the shelf in the quarter, three have been successful. Appraisal effectively 15/6-11 A intersected an oil column for Statoil on the Dagny/Ermintrude discovery, and well 24/9-10 S and its facet monitor 24/9-10 A encountered oil at Caterpillar.
Off the Netherlands, three E&A wells have been spudded throughout the quarter, compared with one in the corresponding quarter last year.
To date in 2011, 4 wells have been accomplished, of which two have been drilled by GDF Suez in the Okay quadrant to target the Darcy prospect. Each resulted in technical failure after heavy mud losses were skilled whereas drilling though a fractured chalk horizon.
The Minister of Financial Affairs is inviting purposes for an exploration license for Dutch North Sea block E/5, with bids due by June 7. One unnamed operator has to this point utilized.
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