OPINION: The importance of the UK’s current licensing round for offshore exploration blocks has been highlighted by the latest statistics on drilled wells that have disappointed the UK regulator.

The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) reported that 48 development wells were drilled and 12 exploration and appraisal wells were completed in 2022 in the North Sea.

This compares with 62 development wells in 2021 and 73 in 2020.