UKCS Suspended Well Stock

Offshore petroleum licensees must decommission wells in a timely and cost-efficient way, in accordance with their licence and other statutory obligations.

Licensees must apply for the OGA’s consent to suspend or decommission a well When a field ceases production, any suspended wells not yet decommissioned are re-classified as inactive and any application for an extension to a suspension consent for an inactive well must be submitted in accordance with the OGA’s Guidance for applications for suspension of inactive wells. An exploration or appraisal well, without an active rig working on it and after any well test is completed is categorised as “inactive”.

The OGA may consent to suspend inactive wells for an initial period of two years but in exceptional circumstances may consent to a longer period of up to five years.

There are currently 640 suspended inactive wells in the UKCS many of which have been suspended for more than two years.

The OGA wants a marked improvement in the timing and cost of decommissioning of wells and is engaging with licensees to establish and secure the development and delivery of clear decommissioning plans.

The OGA expects to see increasing collaboration between and amongst licensees and the supply chain to combine wells into decommissioning campaigns to achieve cost efficiencies. Such a campaign approach is expected to become standard practice.

Improving visibility of the current suspended well stock is a key step in enabling this and details of the current suspended well stock in the UKCS is available for download below.

The dataset includes suspended open water exploration wells, appraisal wells and development wells associated with fields where the licensee has informed the OGA that such field has ceased production.

Data on the status of each well reflects the information held on WONS up to and including October 31st 2020.

If a licensee wishes to update the status of a listed well, an application can be sent in writing to WONS@ogauthority.co.uk

Licensees may already have developed plans to decommission wells listed in the dataset and further details on emerging decommissioning projects can be found on Pathfinder.

Further details on the OGA ambitions for decommissioning wells are set out in the Wells Strategy and the UKCS Decommissioning Cost Estimate 2020

The dataset, which can be accessed below, will be made available via a variety of OGA digital services in due course.

UKCS Inactive Suspended Wells