Reducing the Cost of Well Construction on the UK Continental Shelf

Published Sep 14, 2016
Oil & Gas UK - Katy Heidenreich
Oil & Gas UK’s operations optimisation manager, Katy Heidenreich (photo: Oil & Gas UK)

Since 2004, well construction costs in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) have doubled, directly impacting drilling activity which is currently at an all-time low. However, collective industry efforts are already focusing in on how a reduction in core drilling costs of 50 per cent could potentially unlock around five billion boe of known reserves over the next decade.

The significant work the industry is doing through the Technology Leadership Board (TLB) to address the well cost reduction challenge, will feature in a forthcoming event organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen section on September 21 at Aberdeen’s Douglas Hotel.

As one of eight MER UK government industry forums focused on maximising economic recovery from the UKCS, the Technology Leadership Board (TLB) 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.

Oil & Gas UK’s operations optimisation manager, Katy Heidenreich is leading the activities of the Well Cost Reduction Workgroup and will speak at the SPE event to discuss the challenge and the initiatives underway, examine the results achieved so far and outline the next steps required to reach this target.

Heidenreich says, “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.”

Kenny McAllister, chair SPE Aberdeen Programme Committee adds, “The UKCS is at a crossroads. The future of investment in UK waters depends on our competitiveness with other basins. Oil & Gas UK initiative to bring experts together to collaborate to reduce UKCS wells costs are essential to the Maximum Economic Recovery and future developments. Katy’s presentation will open this year’s seasons touching on some of the most important UK industry themes and I trust will help us chart our course through the current difficult waters.”

Heidenreich is a graduate from Heriot Watt and has spent the majority of her career in the oil and gas industry. After 15 years with Schlumberger, she joined Oil & Gas UK.

The presentation will take place on Wednesday 21 September at the Aberdeen Douglas Hotel from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. This presentation is a part of a monthly programme of technical presentations organised by SPE Aberdeen and sponsored by Expro and Premier Oil.

For more information and to book, visit

Tags: Oil & Gas UK, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen


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