Oil and gas drilling activity in North Sea has remained steady, with an optimistic forecast for the next two quarters, according to a new offshore activity report from Deloitte.

The report found that a total of 16 exploration and appraisal wells were drilled in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) region during the second-quarter of 2013, which is a slight decline compared to 14 wells in the same quarter of 2012.

The report compiled by Deloitte’s Petroleum Services Group (PSG), is based on the summary of exploration activities between 1 April 2013 and 31 June 2013.

It forecasts rise in exploration activities in the third and fourth quarters of 2013 as the region will recover from a prolonged and harsh winter.

According to the report, two additional wells were drilled in the UKCS in the second quarter of 2013 than the quarterly average since the end of 2011.

During the second quarter of 2013, 35 new exploration and appraisal wells were drilled across North West Europe as a whole, compared to 25 wells in the first-quarter of 2013.