UKCS drilling activity rises 44%

Independent operators have played a key role in drilling activity on the UK Continental Shelf, according to a report by Deloitte.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Sept. 17 -- Independent operators have played a key role in drilling activity on the UK Continental Shelf, according to a report by Deloitte.

Offshore exploration and appraisal drilling increased by 44% from January to August compared with a similar period last year, Deloitte reported.

"Of the wells spudded, 48% were exploration and 52% appraisal related. The majority, 30%, of wells were located in the Central North Sea, with a further 25% in the Northern North Sea, 20% in the Southern North Sea, 19% in the Moray Firth, and 6% in the West of Shetlands," Deloitte said.

The North West Europe Review added that the impact of oil price volatility is yet to be determined on the UKCS as the average Brent Blend price crept up during the second quarter of 2008. Prices stabilized in July before decreasing sharply to an average of $113.83/bbl in August.

Derek Henderson, senior partner for Deloitte said: "The need to find and exploit the UK's remaining reserves has greatly increased levels of exploration activity within the North Sea, fuelled by high oil prices earlier in the summer. We expect to see this trend continue, uninterrupted by the recent decrease in oil price, since demand remains high."

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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