Report reveals rise in UKCS offshore drilling activity

Offshore drilling activity on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) rose 64 per cent during the second quarter of 2012 compared with the same period last year, according to figures released by Deloitte.

The report, which documents drilling and licensing across north-west Europe between 1 April and 30 June, shows that 18 exploration and appraisal wells were drilled on the UKCS during the period. This also represents a 64 per cent increase on the first quarter of 2012.

With deal activity — where oil and gas fields are bought and/or sold — in the UK also rising 47 per cent this quarter, compared with the second quarter last year, and an increase in field development approvals and start-ups, the outlook for the UK oil and gas industry is positive.

‘We traditionally experience a rise in activity during the summer months. However, this year’s spur of activity reflects a higher year-on-year increase,’ said Graham Sadler, managing director of Deloitte’s Petroleum Services Group. 

‘We have some way to go before we are back to the levels seen in 2009 and 2010, but the positive announcements in the government’s March Budget with regards to the extension and change in field tax allowances should encourage further exploration, appraisal and development activity.’