A report released Friday by business consultancy firm Deloitte predicts a positive second half to 2013 for drilling activity in the North Sea after steady performance during the first half of the year.

Compiled by Deloitte’s Petroleum Services Group, the report found that although the number of new wells drilled on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) has fallen slightly in comparison to the same period last year, the level of exploratory activity remains healthy.

A total of 16 exploration and appraisal wells were drilled in the UK during the second quarter of 2013, which was seven more than during 1Q 2013 but two fewer than during the same period last year. Despite the slight fall on 2012’s figures, 2Q 2013 has still produced two more new wells than the quarterly average since the end of 2011 – a year which saw the lowest activity since 2003.

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