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UK Plans to Boost Drilling

July 31, 2019

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), UK has published for the first time a Wells Strategy which provides a framework of how the OGA and industry will work together to deliver increased activity and improve performance.

The OGA’s Wells Insights Report sets out three key areas of focus covering business processes to increase well activity, well performance and regulatory compliance and provides an outline of how these objectives will be delivered.

The OGA, working with industry, is committed to maximizing the well value cycle on the UKCS (without detriment to safety or the environment) through effective regulation, promotion and by using its influence with licensees, the supply chain and relevant bodies.

Maximizing the well value cycle supports the MER UK Strategy and Vision 2035 to achieve GBP140bn additional gross revenue from UKCS oil and gas production.

The well value cycle is complex, typically requiring 45-50% of all CAPEX and ABEX spend and significant OPEX if production is to be maintained or optimized to increase reservoir recovery factors.

Gunther Newcombe, Operations Director at the OGA said: "It is clear from the data the OGA has published that there is a requirement for a step change in increasing new well activity and performance and a requirement to improve management of existing well-stock. The wells strategy coupled with a new stewardship expectation, which was published early this month, will provide industry with both a strategic and stewardship framework."

This Wells Strategy (the ‘strategy’) supports the MER UK Strategy and Vision 2035 through three complementary strategic themes:
• Regulatory compliance to MER UK, licence conditions and data reporting and retention obligations
• Business processes to increase well activity (well construction & intervention) to find and deliver the significant potential resources from the UKCS
• Performance improvement of all activities throughout the well value cycle, from design to well decommissioning, plug and abandonment (P&A) – to reduce costs and improve recovery
The strategy represents a step change in the way the well cycle will be managed by industry and stewarded by the OGA.

It builds on work carried out by many industry groups. Successful implementation of the strategy is dependent on support from all parts of industry working together to develop work program, set challenging targets, share knowledge and track delivery.

Steve Phimister, MD Shell UK and champion of the Competitive Well Delivery Task Force added: "OGUK’s Competitive Well Delivery initiative is driving improvements in operational performance and increasing wells activity to unlock more barrels from the UKCS. Drawing on industry measured performance data, collective effort is now focused on refreshing the program of work to drive further industry progress."

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