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Westwood Insight: 3.7 billion boe scheduled to be drilled in UK and Norway in 2018

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Oilfield Technology,

Westwood Insight, a market researcher and consultancy for the oil and gas industry, has released a report which says that the industry is planning to drill out 3.7 billion boe of prospective resources in 16 high impact wells in 2018 in the UK and Norway. Westwood has reviewed the drilling programme for wells targeting resources >100 millon barrels of oil or 1 trillion ft3 of gas, to assess the potential for a game changing discovery in 2018.

Three high impact wells have been drilled so far this year – one successful well, 6506/11-10, has delivered approximately 140 million boe from two separate discoveries in both the primary and secondary targets. A further 13 high impact wells are planned this year, targeting a remaining unrisked prospective volume of c. 3.3 billion boe.

The majority of the wells are in the frontier and emerging plays of the Barents Sea, but there has also been a slight increase in the testing of high impact prospects within the mature plays of the North Sea and Norwegian Sea.

In the report, Westwood Insight questions how successful the drilling campaign will be, saying that the industry’s recent track record ‘is not encouraging’. It cites evidence that out of the 121 discoveries that have been made in the region in the past five years, just over a third (41) are considered potentially commercially viable at present, while only four are believed to be capable of delivering greater than or equal to 100 million boe.

The report goes on to say that out of the 68 high impact prospects tested in the last five years, only 8 wells made commercial discoveries: a commercial success rate of 12% for c. 750 mmboe of total resources. Only two (3%) of the HI prospects tested, however, delivered commercial HI discoveries.

In 2017, there were 17 high impact wells drilled, testing 3.6 billion boe of unrisked pre-drill resources which found only c.100 mmboe of commercial resources – a 3% success rate by volume. In the UK, seven HI wells were drilled of which two made commercial discoveries, but considerably smaller than 100 mmboe. Of the 10 HI wells drilled in Norway in 2017, principally in the Barents Sea, none made HI commercial discoveries.

For the full report, written by Roderick Bevans, Analyst, Northwest Europe Research at Westwood Insight, click here.

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