However, collective industry efforts are already looking for a 50% reduction in core drilling costs, which could potentially unlock around five billion boe of known reserves over the next 10 years.
The significant work the industry is doing through the Technology Leadership Board (TLB) to meet the well cost-reduction challenge, will be highlighted in a forthcoming seminar in Aberdeen next week.
As one of eight MER UK government industry forums focused on maximising economic recovery from the North Sea, the Technology Leadership Board has four priority themes: asset integrity; small pools; decommissioning and well cost reduction.
Members of the TLB’s Well Cost Reduction workgroup, comprising representatives from industry and the Oil and Gas Authority, aim to identify where innovation is more urgently required to ensure well operations are delivered at a lower and sustainable cost.
Mrs Katy Heidenreich, operations optimisation manager at Oil and Gas UK, is leading the activities of the Well Cost Reduction Workgroup.
She said: “The significant progress already achieved reflects the quality of cross industry interaction between groups of operators and service providers in optimising well designs, raising awareness of available technologies and driving operational improvements.
“If we can continue attracting broad industry support and commitment, there is the potential for delivering estimated well-construction capital expenditure savings equivalent to more than 40 wells per year by 2020.”
Heriot-Watt graduate Heidenreich, recently joined Oil and Gas UK after 15 years with Schlumberger.