UK Oil and Gas Industry Drills 10,000th Well

A milestone in the history of the UK's offshore oil and gas industry has been reached with the start of drilling on the 10,000th well in the seabed around the British Isles.

The landmark well was confirmed today by CDA Ltd, the oil and gas data management services company and UKOOA subsidiary, which monitors wells drilled on the UK continental shelf as part of the comprehensive catalogue of information it provides for the industry.

The well, 206/08-14Z drilled by BP on behalf of the Clair owners BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Shell U.K. Limited and Hess - was spudded or started on October 7 by the GSF Arctic IV and is a sidetrack of the Clair Field Appraisal well 206/08-14, located to the west of Shetland.

Offshore production of oil and gas is one of the Britain's biggest industrial success stories. Since the first North Sea well was drilled in 1964, 35 billion barrels of oil and gas have been recovered from reservoirs deep below the seabed in the one of the most hostile marine environments to be found in the world.

Over £330 billion (in today's money) have been invested in the search for and production of the UK's oil and gas reserves, providing hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country, £215 billion in tax revenues to the Treasury and saving the country billions of pounds on oil and gas imports.

Today, the UK is still the world's twelfth largest oil and gas producer, and meets three quarters of the nation's total primary energy needs.

Malcolm Fleming, CDA chief executive, said: Back in the early sixties when the UK oil and gas industry was still in its infancy they said the North Sea would be finished by the end of the Millennium.

Today, the industry may be mature but it is still going strong. We think there could be up to another 27 billion barrels of oil and gas yet to recover which, incidentally, is about the sum total of reserves we thought existed back in 1975, he added.

Malcolm Webb, UKOOA chief executive, said: The sum of the expertise, endeavor and sheer courage represented in these 10,000 wells is something that everyone in the UK can be proud of but none more so than all the men and women who have worked in our industry over these past 40 years. This 10,00oth well is a tremendous tribute to them and I look forward to the next 10,000.

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