To date over 7,800 wells have been drilled in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), delivering over 44 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe). There is still significant remaining resource potential, however drilling activity has recently been in decline with exploration and appraisal (E&A) well activity declining steadily since 2008. Development infill well activity has halved since 2015 following the oil price drop.

Industry now needs to make a concerted effort to increase cost effective drilling activity, improve the management of existing well stock and reduce well abandonment costs to maximise reserves, sustain production and minimise decommissioning costs. To address the issues a new North Sea Transition Wells Task Force was set up in November 2019.

The Wells Task Force

The Wells Task Force is an industry task force, supported by the NSTA, looking at the Wells value chain to integrate, streamline and add value to the well delivery, management and removal process. The overall objective is to have a more streamlined, efficient and effective way for the oil and gas industry to achieve the NSTA Wells Strategy. The wells task force will be held at least quarterly and minutes of these meetings can be found below.


The Wells Task Force will be chaired by industry, the NSTA’s role is to influence, promote and provide support where appropriate. Members will include the representatives from industry, the NSTA and Offshore Energies. When participating in task group duties members will represent the UK oil and gas industry as a whole and not their individual companies.

Current Members

Doris Reiter, BP -- Co-chair

Brenda Wyllie, NSTA -- Co-chair

Margaret Copland, NSTA

Gerry Cooper, Harbour Energy

Keith Wise, Offshore Energies UK

Martin White, Halliburton

Peter Wilson, Valaris

Claus Vissing-Jorgensen, TotalEnergies

Ian Ferguson, Shell

Karl Tolson, Chrysoar

Chris Wark, CNRL

Task Groups

Five industry led task groups have been set-up under the Wells Task Force:

Right Scoping 

Waste Removal

Improved Partnerships

Reservoir and Wells Optimisation

Wells Decommissioning

Contact details

For details about the Wells task force please contact:

Useful Publications:

NSTA Wells Strategy

NSTA Wells Insight Report

NSTA Stewardship Expectations