UK reserves up, but well count falls short

May 16, 2019

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK – The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has issued findings from its latest ‘Tier Zero’ meeting with managing directors of the 22 largest oil and gas producers on the UK continental shelf (UKCS).

By using data compiled from its annual UKCS Stewardship Survey, the OGA reviews the performance of the basin, including how individual operators compare against each other in a benchmarking exercise.

This year’s initiative found that 2018 was a strong year for movement of contingent UK offshore resources into reserves with 110% of produced reserves replaced through progressed resources. Of this, 79% came from infield sanctions. However, of the 4.1 Bboe classed as prospects and leads, only 0.3 Bboe represent drill-ready prospects.

In addition, UK operators delivered less than 50% of their planned E&A wells last year for various reasons, not all related to financial constraints. Operators need to deliver work programs and work collaboratively to ensure timelier and quality wells are drilled, the OGA advised.

More positively, there are indications of reductions in UK offshore decommissioning expenditure. Across the northern and southern UK North Sea subsea well removal costs came down by 40% last year.