UKCS Wells Insights Report

Energy Transition Group
30 Oct 2018

The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) has issued its first Wells Insight report, following a period of two years collating and verifying well data, which provides a comprehensive insight into UKCS well stock and activity which will provide extremely valuable information for operators, service and technology providers.

The report’s key messages emphasise the requirement to substantially increase new well drilling, coupled with improved performance, to deliver the substantial UKCS reserves potential, improve well management to maximise production, and a need to improve well abandonment planning to reduce costs.

The findings of the Wells Insight 2018 Report include:

  • Over 7800 wells have been drilled in the UKCS to date delivering over 44mmboe.
  • E&A well activity has been declining steadily since 2008 and development and infill well activity has halved since 2015 following the oil price drop.
  • Well cost reductions over the last few years has been primarily driven by rig and service rate reductions, rather than improved performance, with Non-Productive Time (NPT) greater than 15%.
  • Over 600 wells, around 30% of existing active well stock, are currently shut-in and well surveillance and intervention rates are low at 8% and 14% respectively.
  • Well abandonment activity has increased four-fold since 2016, with a similar forward trend predicted, with over 150 wells per annum being plugged and abandoned.
  • There are 240 suspended exploration and appraisal wells, which require permanent abandonment, with 12 operators holding 70% of the well stock.

OGA Director of Operations, Gunther Newcombe said: “There are many examples in the report of industry delivering performance improvements and undertaking innovative approaches to well management plus there is also an indication of an upturn in new well activity, all of which are positive indicators.

“However, there is also a need for a concerted effort by industry to substantially increase cost effective drilling activity, improve the management of existing well stock and reduce well abandonment costs to maximise reserves, sustain production and minimise decommissioning costs. This can be achieved by leveraging lessons learned, exploiting technology and working collaboratively with the supply chain to achieve transformational performance gains.”

A copy of the Wells Insight Report 2018 can be downloded from the OGA website by clicking here (PDF 2.35mb)