UKCS Reserves Could Sustain Output for 20+ Years
The Oil and Gas Authority’s (OGA) estimate for proven and probable (2P) UKCS reserves, as at end 2017, is 5.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), a new OGA report revealed Thursday.
On the basis of current production projections, this could sustain production from the UKCS for another 20 years or more, according to the report, which is titled ‘UK Oil and Gas Reserves and Resources as at end 2017’.
The report outlined that in 2017 400 million boe were added to 2P reserves and about 600 MMboe were produced, equating to a reserve replacement ratio of 69 percent. According to the report, 100 MMboe were matured from new field developments, 80 MMboe as a result of infield activities and approximately 220 MMboe were due to field-life extensions.
“The limited rate of replacement of proven and probable reserves by resource maturation remains a main concern,” the report stated.
The UKCS contingent resource level was described as “significant” in the report, “with a central estimate (2C) of discovered undeveloped resources of 7.5 billion boe”.
“Much of this resource is in mature developed areas and under consideration for development. 2.1 billion boe is expected to be added through new field developments coming forward, 2.1 billion from incremental projects in producing fields and 3.2 resides in undeveloped discoveries where no development proposals are currently being proposed,” the report said.
Exploration success in 2017 delivered an addition of 181 million boe to the total of contingent resources, the report revealed.
The OGA’s latest publication highlighted that the organization’s current estimate of remaining recoverable hydrocarbon reserves and resources from the UKCS’s producing fields, undeveloped discoveries and mapped leads and prospects is in the range of 10 to 20 billion boe plus.
“The work undertaken by the OGA, which has been independently verified, seeks to further quantify the huge remaining exploration potential of our UK offshore basins,” Nick Terrell, chair of the MER UK Exploration Task Force and managing director of Azinor Catalyst, said in an organization statement.
“The results illustrate the full spectrum of exploration opportunities, from infrastructure led exploration to high impact deep-water frontier opportunities. I commend the Oil and Gas Authority for undertaking this work in conjunction with the industry led Exploration Task Force and look forward to further results being published in the future,” he added.
Gunther Newcombe, operations director at the OGA said, “extended field life, due to lower operating costs and higher oil price, additional producing field incremental projects, actively worked undeveloped discoveries, and a robust prospect and lead inventory, supplemented by a significant upside potential derived from statistical play fairway analysis, are all key factors in making the UKCS a world class petroleum province”.
“The OGA has an important role in helping to steward this resource base, revitalize exploration and maximize economic recovery, working closely with industry and government. Future success of the basin requires attracting additional investment and drilling, implementing technology, and company collaboration on new and existing developments,” he added.
Last month, the OGA announced that increasing offshore drilling activity and improving performance is critical to realizing the potential of UK oil and gas.
The OGA’s role is to regulate, influence and promote the UK oil and gas industry in order to maximize the economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas resources. The OGA became an executive agency on April 1, 2015.
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