OGA works to revitalize exploration in UKCS

OGA, the UK’s oil and gas authority established in 2016, has released its activity plan for the next two years, and the revitalization of exploration has been placed on top of the list.

The government body formed to help boost economic recovery of the UK oil and gas resources has identified 10 priorities to be tackled in 2017 and 2018.

One of the highest priorities is to revitalize exploration and to increase quality of exploration and appraisal drilling. The OGA said the work on this will mean implementing a licensing regime that encourages high levels of exploration, using data analysis and insights to proactively influence and help incentivise exploration on the UKCS and improve success rates.

To remind, the Oil and Gas UK recently said that exploration remains at record lows and the basin urgently needs fresh capital to stimulate activity to unlock the UK’s estimated remaining resource of up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas.

The OGA has said that despite only 22 Exploration & Appraisal wells spudding in 2016, the technical success rate achieved was better than one in two.

In the current lower oil price climate, the work to reinvigorate exploration “is vital to ensure confidence in UK exploration is sustained and strengthened,” OGA said.

To help improve the exploration segment in quantity and quality, the OGA has provided the timeline of expected activities over the next two years.

In the third quarter of the year, the OGA will release 2016/2017 government funded seismic data. A few months later, in the first quarter of 2018, OGA will launch, manage and deliver 30th Seaward Licensing Round and subsequent licensing activity, including out of round applications.

Also, the OGA plans to complete East of Shetland (EoS) and South West Britain regional studies by end of 2017 or in the first quarter of 2018.

Furthermore, in the first quarter of 2018, the OGA hopes to be able to quantify exploration potential in mature and frontier areas of the UKCS using a revised methodology, and, in the same quarter, to produce regional geological maps with updated play elements maps in key areas of the UKCS Q1 2018.

Below is a snapshot of the other planned activities over the two year period. Also, you can read the full report here.

Offshore Energy Today Staff