There were several reasons for the latter development.One could be that exploration activity is particularly affected by price uncertainty.Oil prices fell sharply during the Asian economic crisis in 1998-99, and the oil companies reacted with a marked cut-back in exploration investment.Oil prices then rose, but exploration remained low for several years.
The North Sea continues to account for the largest number of such wells.High oil prices have also generated optimism on the NCS, and thereby contributed positively to the number of exploration wells.In addition, the Norwegian government has encouraged more exploration in mature areas through policy changes – including easier entry for new players, increased access to acreage, amendments to the area fee and tax changes.Many wells A total of 1 325 exploration wells had been drilled on the NCS over the 45 years from the first drilling until 31 December 2010.
The number of such wells peaked initially in the 1980s, with up to 50 drilled per year. A low annual figure for exploration wells characterised the second half of the 1990s and the first five years after 2000.
Many discoveries have resulted from the high level of activity.