Plugging of wells can prevent value creation

23/11/2015 Re-using wells on the Norwegian shelf can be good business. This is why the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) is sceptical of the proposal to plug wells as a measure to keep drilling rigs in activity.

The NPD, as resource steward, wants the industry to use available rig capacity to drill new profitable wells and is considering re-use of existing wells to avoid declining production on existing fields. Multiple re-use methods are used to produce remaining resources; here it is important for decisions concerning potential plugging to be well-reasoned and long-term.

The NPD wants to stimulate the licensees to utilise these opportunities for improved recovery on the fields. It is important that the considerable investments represented by a well, are utilised as long as they are profitable in a long-term perspective.

The NPD's figures show that there are about 2200 wellbores in use on producing fields. The wells are used to produce oil and gas or to inject water and gas in order to drain reservoirs in the best possible manner.

The NPD has, based on reported figures, estimated that about 40 – 50 wells are scheduled to be plugged each year over the next few years. Most of these wells are plugged from fixed facilities. The figures change continuously as new wells are drilled and others are plugged. The licensees on the various fields are responsible for the wells and have the overview of their own fields.

Contact person:

Eldbjørg Vaage Melberg, tel. +47 51 87 61 00

Updated: 23/11/2015

Latest news

Still available seats – NPD to present new resource report
19/08/2022 On Thursday, 25 August, Kjersti Dahle Grov, Director of Technology, Analysis and Coexistence, will present the Resource Report 2022.
Data from old wells is now available
17/08/2022 Data from the analysis project that Earth Science Analytics AS carried out on assignment from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) in 2021 is now available for download.
Drilling permit for well 6608/1-1 S
15/08/2022 The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted PGNiG Norway Upstream AS drilling permit for well 6608/1-1 S, cf. Section 13 of the Resource Management Regulations.
Oil and gas discovery northeast of the Skarv field in the Norwegian Sea – 6507/3-15
12/08/2022 Aker BP ASA, operator of production licence 941, has concluded the drilling of wildcat well 6507/3-15.
Drilling permit for well 6507/8-11 S
03/08/2022 The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted Equinor Energy AS drilling permit for well 6507/8-11 S, cf. Section 13 of the Resource Management Regulations.
Dry well near the Brage field in the North Sea – 31/4-A-13 C
29/07/2022 Wintershall Dea Norge AS, operator of production licence 055, has concluded the drilling of wildcat well 31/4-A-13 C.
High level of activity on the Norwegian shelf in the first half of 2022
20/07/2022 50 years after the Storting (parliament) decided to establish the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), there is still plenty of activity on the Norwegian shelf.
Production figures June 2022
20/07/2022 Preliminary production figures for June 2022 show an average daily production of 1 529 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate.
Drilling permit for well 31/1-3 S and 31/1-3 A
20/07/2022 The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted Equinor Energy AS drilling permit for well 31/1-3 S and 31/1-3 A, cf. Section 13 of the Resource Management Regulations.
Gas discovery near the Skarv field in the Norwegian Sea – 6507/2-6
13/07/2022 Aker BP ASA, operator of production licence 261, has concluded the drilling of wildcat well 6507/2-6.