According to the Centre, there are 3.4 Bboe in the UK’s undeveloped‘small pool’ fields (discoveries containing less than 50 MMboe/P50 technically recoverable). This accounts for more than 10% of the 27 Bboe of small pools globally.
At the current oil price, 1.5 Bboe of this resource could be potentially economic.
The Centre’s ‘Tie-back of the Future’ initiative, which aims to halve the cost and time taken to develop small pools, would make an additional 400 MMboe.
It brings together 25 operators, supply chain firms and technology developers, all focused on transforming the current approach to developing marginal fields, with subsea equipment is designed for disassembly and subsequent re-use.
Five technology projects are under way, with 13 technology proposals under review and six integrated studies completed.
Chris Pearson, Small Pools Solution Centre Manager for the Centre, said: “We are seeing developments in mechanical hot taps, mechanically connected pipelines, multi-use pipelines, the integration of renewable energy systems and unmanned facilities.”
Mhairidh Evans, principal analyst for Wood Mackenzie, said: “At current exploration rates, it would take 14 years and 500 wells to find the same volumes that have already been discovered in small pools. As a mature basin, these barrels can no longer be ignored.
“As well as providing much-needed new investment, unlocking small pools is key to extending the life of existing infrastructure.
“The UK industry, with the Technology Centre’s backing, is at the forefront of these new technologies. Approaches taken here will be much-watched and learned from around the globe.”