OGUK Business Outlook 2021


Drilling and Wells Activity

Seventy-one wells began drilling on the UKCS in 2020 — half the levels seen in 2019—as companies deferred and cancelled activities to preserve cash and reduce operational risk. The activity that took place included: 2,3, 4

7 exploration wells

2 appraisal wells

62 development wells operated by 14 companies

The lowest since 1965. Nevertheless, there are reports of some successes in those which were drilled, including the Isabella well (operated by Total E&P) 2 and the Losgann well, operated by Apache in the Beryl areas. 3

The lowest since 1970. This includes the much-anticipated appraisal of the CNOOC-operated Glengorm discovery, which at an estimated 250 million boe 4 was the largest UKCS discovery for a decade.

The lowest activity levels since 1976. Half of thesewere sidetrackwells, in linewith levels seen in 2018–19. However, this is significantly higher than between 2015–17 when 35 per cent of wells were sidetracks. This is evidence of fewer new development projects progressing in recent years and indicates that companies are looking to maximise field potential by making the most of available well slots.

2 https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/north-sea/268093/uk-exploration-record-low-westwood/ 3 https://investor.apachecorp.com/static-files/5603ad3c-8ece-4742-9e48-899cf30a382a 4 https://www.total.com/media/news/press-releases/uk-total-announces-new-discovery-north-sea


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