Professional services firm Deloitte released the Q4 2011 Drilling and Licensing report today, covering exploration and appraisal (E&A) drilling, licensing and deal activity in the Australian oil and gas sector for the December quarter.
Stephen Reid, Deloitte’s National Oil & Gas Leader, said onshore activity in the sector during 2011 had strengthened as the year progressed, recovering from a spate of natural disasters that hampered drilling levels in Q1 to finish the year at close to pre-GFC levels.
“Onshore activity continues to be dominated by the smaller independents with Beach Energy accounting for around a third of the 67 wells spudded last year – a 131% increase on well numbers in 2010,” he said.
“Offshore drilling activity contracted for the third consecutive year, partly as a result of lower drilling commitments put forward in work programmes in recent years. This is a reflection not only of the GFC, but also of less competitive bid rounds.”
“However, future offshore activity is looking increasingly positive with new block awards in 2011 rising substantially on the previous year and appearing to be headed back towards peak levels, largely due to majors like Chevron and Woodside searching for further gas reserves to feed their planned floating and conventional LNG plants,” Mr Reid said.
“It’s likely that the need to fill these huge projects will mean we’ll see increased offshore activity in coming years as the project owners continue to further explore the acreage that they have acquired” he finished.
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