ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom

Although there is much talk of the maturity of oil and gas operations in the North Sea, the area West of Shetland offers a multitude of exploration opportunities.

Proactive Investors noted that this region is still considered a frontier area as far as oil and gas exploration goes, noting that recent discoveries have put it back at the front of people’s minds when it comes to further developing the UK’s oil and gas resources.

The news provider pointed to the recent announcement by Total SA, SSE PLC and INEOS that they had made a major new gas discovery in the area. It’s expected to contain 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, with Total explaining that existing infrastructure nearby would allow them to access it quickly and at a relatively low cost.

West of Shetland is on the UK continental shelf (UKCS), rather than in the North Sea. It’s in an area with more challenging conditions, which is why it’s comparatively unexplored.

Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil and Gas UK, said that the discovery by Total highlights the “exciting potential” of the area.

“As our Economic Report recently highlighted, an increase in drilling activity is key to unlocking the remaining potential of the UKCS,” Ms Michie added.

There were already indications that the big petroleum companies were increasing their activity in the West of Shetland. The Herald Scotland reported in January that exploration well numbers in the region were expected to grow in the coming year.

For example, Wood Mackenzie predicted that five wells would be drilled in West of Shetland in 2018, which would be the highest number in a single year since 2014, the newspaper revealed.

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