Drilling for oil in the U.K. has reached a 15-year low, but there are signs of growth ahead, according to industry experts.
Exploration and appraisal (E&A) drilling in the U.K. and the North Sea have declined in recent years as oil companies have cut their budgets, partly in response to the collapse in oil prices and the global supply glut.
In fact, there has been no new E&A activity in the U.K. since October 2015, according to a report by 1Derrick, an oil and gas research company. In 2012, 41 wells were being drilled for exploration, down to 28 in 2014 and just 20 in 2015, the lowest since 2001.
"In 2016, 1Derrick anticipates a further dip in the E&A activity, with only 15 wells expected," said Rajeev Singh, senior analyst at 1Derrick, in a press release.