At the PETEX 2014 conference in London yesterday (November 18, 2014) Oil & Gas UK has announced the kick-off of two projects aimed at stimulating exploration on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and appealed for further industry participation in the 21st Century Exploration Road Map – a digital perspective of the UKCS petroleum geology.
In a keynote speech at the PETEX exploration and production conference in London, Oonagh Werngren MBE, Oil & Gas UK’s operations director, said:
“Two projects have evolved from a scoping study for the 21st Century Exploration Road Map that made recommendations for both the geological and geographical scope and urgent priorities going forward. The first project comprises an industry-wide review, led and funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), of exploration wells drilled in the Central North Sea 2003-2013, an area deemed to hold the largest remaining potential on the UKCS. The second is a study, developed by the British Geological Survey, of the Palaeozoic potential of the UKCS that will draw on data from operators and contractors.
“There is an urgent need to increase the success rate of exploration in the UKCS where well costs, as well as operational costs, continue to rise.”
“The findings from these two pan-industry projects will feed into the 21st Century Exploration Road Map Project which aims to improve exploration success through developing a systematic analysis of the key exploration plays of the North and address the 50 per cent decrease in the number of wells drilled. We are looking to all companies working on the UKCS to actively participate in these projects through sponsorship and by providing staff time or geological or geophysical interpretations.
“The 21st Century Exploration Road Map is one of several projects being driven by the PILOT Exploration Task Force, which works together with DECC to revitalise exploration and maximise the economic recovery of oil and gas resources from the UKCS. It aligns with the recommendations put forward by the recent Wood Report, which identifies the urgent need to evaluate new and unexplored resources and create an up-to-date perspective of the petroleum geology of the UKCS together with tools to ensure more effective sharing of data across the industry.
“There is an urgent need to increase the success rate of exploration in the UKCS where well costs, as well as operational costs, continue to rise. This week, all license operators in the North Sea will receive a letter from DECC and Oil & Gas UK about these projects and I encourage the industry to commit its energies to supporting this important work to maximise economic recovery of the UKCS.”