UKCS production efficiency rises for fifth year in a row

UK Continental Shelf has seen its production efficiency rise for the fifth year in a row, increasing to 74% in 2017. Production efficiency is the total volume of hydrocarbons produced in 2017 as a percentage of economic maximum production potential.

According to the UK Oil & Gas Authority, the continuous improvement is estimated to have contributed to an additional 11.8 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) during 2017.

Director of Operations at the Oil and Gas Authority, Gunther Newcombe said: “This is very welcome and deserved progress. Industry is sustaining efficiency improvements and seeing the rewards of their hard work in maximizing economic recovery. It’s likely PE would have been slightly higher without the pipeline closure at the end of 2017.

He was referring to the December 2017 shutdown of the Forties pipeline system which carries the North Sea oil and gas to shore, after a hairline crack was discovered in a pipe.  Restrictions on the flow of oil and gas from platforms feeding into the pipeline system were lifted in January.

Newcombe said that OGA would continue to support all operators in their efforts to further increase PE, through the OGA’s tiered reviews and the work of MER UK Asset Stewardship Task Force and Production Efficiency Task Force.”

Reversing the trend

The OGA said that Production Efficiency was an important indicator for the industry and the OGA as a core element of production optimization and asset stewardship performance.

PE, the OGA says, is also a key focus area for the Maximising Economic Recovery (MER) UK Asset Stewardship Task Force, which identified PE as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for the industry, and established a target of an average of 80% PE to be achieved by end of 2018.

The year so far on the UKCS is not without its problems, Enquest last week had to shut the Brent and Ninian crude pipelines which bring in oil to Sullom Voe terminal, due to a technical issue. The flow was reported resumed on Monday.

According to the UK Oil and Gas Authority, in recent years, the UKCS has reversed the declining trend in both PE and overall production.

In 2017, production rose to 630 million boe, the highest since 2011. PE in the UKCS fell from over 76% in 2008 to a low of 60% in 2012, but has steadily risen to well over 70 percent in recent years.

The Oil and Gas Authority will release the full 2017 Production Efficiency report in the third quarter of 2018.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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