Shell plans to drill 10 wells a 12 months offshore the UK as operator over the subsequent three years, together with improvement and exploration wells, because it builds its North Sea hubs and appears for West of Shetland alternatives, its UK and Ireland vice chairman Steve Phimister stated Wednesday.

Phimister stated Shell had just lately taken on three new drilling models and was “optimistic” about exploration each within the central North Sea and the West of Shetland space. The 10 wells a 12 months to be drilled could be a mixture of improvement and exploration wells, he stated on the sidelines of a convention.


Europe's oil and fuel majors are principally focusing their UK operations on the much less mature West of Shetland space, notably with the departure of their US counterparts, however all retain property within the core North Sea as effectively.

In the West of Shetland space, Shell might return to an working position if alternatives come up out of its exploration acreage, by which it’s principally a junior associate to BP, however holds some licenses as operator, Phimister stated.

Shell is a minority associate in all the principle West of Shetland oil manufacturing hubs operated by BP — Clair, Schiehallion and Foinaven — and has a 30% stake in Siccar Point Energy's 100 million barrel Cambo oil venture.

However, this non-operating position is a legacy subject reasonably than some extent of precept, Phimister stated. “We have some operated exploration areas within the West of Shetland. If operated alternatives come alongside for us, I’d have an interest.”

Shell was “working exhausting” with Siccar Point to pick a improvement idea for Cambo, and “on the lookout for [project] sanction as quickly as we will”, he stated.

Central North Sea plans

In the central North Sea, Shell goals to approve one other fuel and condensate venture, referred to as Jackdaw, subsequent 12 months, involving a four-well improvement, Phimister stated. It would complement the Fram and Arran initiatives accredited final 12 months as a part of Shell's Shearwater hub space, he stated.

The firm additionally plans exploration drilling close to the Gannet and Nelson fields, additionally within the central North Sea, he stated.

Shell can also be all for the potential for growing its 28% stake in Shearwater, which the corporate operates, however with BP holding an equal stake, Phimister stated. “I’m at all times to deepen [ownership] on the proper value in my very own core hubs,” he stated.


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