UK, Norway drilling to rebound in 2023 – Westwood

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Last year was rocky for oil and gas development in the United Kingdom ((UK) and Norway because of the Russian war on Ukraine. But Westwood Global Energy Group anticipates an optimistic outlook for 2023.

And already, Westwood says the UK is off to a positive start with initial results reporting discoveries at the Orlov and Pensacola prospects. Westwood said that including currently active wells, it eyes 13 prospects targeting 1.5 billion oil-equivalent barrels of pre-drill resources for 2023.

Five appraisal wells are also on the cards this year.

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“Despite an increased focus on infrastructure-led exploration (ILX) in recent years and a general lack of success in high impact (HI) and frontier wells, companies continue to pursue HI opportunities in the UKCS, where positive results can be both company makers and provide the catalyst for further activity and investment in a play,” Westwood’s Emma Cruickshank, Head of NW Europe said.

Along with the Pensacola high impact well, Westwood said other exploration wells to watch in 2023 include North Sea Natural Resources’ Devil’s Hole Horst and Parkmead’s Skerryvore prospects in the CNS, and TotalEnergies’ Benriach prospect in the West of Shetland (WoS).

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Turning to Norway, Westwood said high levels of exploration and appraisal drilling are expected to be maintained in 2023, the focus is on near-field exploration.

Westwood said it eyes 38 prospects, targeting two billion oil-equivalent barrels of “unrisked resources” for 2023. There are also seven appraisal wells targeting volumes of one billion oil-equivalent barrels.

“All but four of the exploration wells are targeting ILX prospects that could add volumes to the surrounding hubs and there are only five high-impact wells,” Westwood noted.

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