The UK production boss of Norwegian multinational Statoil said “large discoveries can still be made” in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
Statoil (UK) is the operator of the massive Mariner field on the East Shetland Platform of the UK North Sea about 95 miles east of the Shetland Isles.
In an interview with Oil & Gas UK’s quarterly Wireline, Hedda Felin, managing director, Statoil Production UK, said “the UKCS is one of the key growth locations in Statoil’s international portfolio …”
“We have increased our (UKCS) exploration acreage position significantly in recent years, based on the belief that large discoveries can still be made.
“Our ambition is to drill up to three exploration wells in 2017 — one in the Mariner area and two elsewhere.
“Companies often pull back from exploration work in difficult times, but we don’t want to do that.”
Felin added: “There will be many wells over the lifetime of the Mariner field …
“We will be on the UKCS for the long run and we want to be a source of positivity in a difficult environment, clear with our expression of faith in the UKCS.”
Last September, Scotland’s chief statistician said oil and gas production in Scotland increased by 21.4% to around 70 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2015-16 and accounted for 81% of the UK total — the largest North Sea production increase in 15 years.
However the sales value of the oil and gas produced in Scotland fell by 23.5% to around £13.4 billion due to sustained low prices.