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UKCS production efficiency at 73%, more to be done

Written by  OE Staff Thursday, 15 June 2017 03:34

Production efficiency (PE) on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) has risen for a fourth consecutive year to 73%, according to a new publication released by the UK regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).

The increase in the measure, which compares total potential production to what was actually produced, amounts to 12 MMboe additional production in 2016, compared with 2015.

It is also 13% higher than in 2012, when production efficiency fell to 60%, down from 80% in 2004. The OGA has set an 80% target for industry for production efficiency by 2018.

The report, UKCS Production Efficiency in 2016, was based on data were collected as part of the OGA's 2016 UKCS Stewardship Survey, which also looks at the major causes of lost production.

According to the report: 

  • In 2016, 38% of hubs met or exceeded the overall target of 80% for the UKCS, compared to 30% the previous year
  • Over four years, increases of up to 57% (absolute) have been seen in operator production efficiency
  • Since 2012 there has been cross industry improvement with 88% of operators increasing in efficiency
  • Total losses in the UKCS were 210 MMboe. Plant losses are the largest category in the Central North Sea (CNS), Northern North Sea (NNS) and West of Shetland (WoS), with the majority of losses caused by full plant outages
  • In the Southern North Sea (SNS), wells is the largest loss category. This is due (at least in part) to the later life stage of the region and the resultant degradation of well productivity over time
  • Water injection efficiency has increased by 3% in 2016 from 2015, delivering reduced loses and improving production
  • In 2016, there was a potential 'prize' of an additional 160,000 boe a day equating to 59 MMboe a year from all hubs hitting an average PE of 80% in the UKCS.

Gunther Newcombe, OGA Operations Director, said: "Industry's combined persistence and focus on increased production efficiency in the UKCS has delivered an additional 12 MMboe in the past 12 months. This is playing an important role in delivering MER UK.

"There remains more work to be done to meet the OGA and industry's joint PE target of 80%. In 2016, there was the potential to increase UKCS production by 29 MMboe. If these projects were completed, this would have increased UKCS PE by another 3%.

"Operators in the UKCS today are working in a diverse landscape, many operating mature assets, in increasingly interdependent fields with vastly differing scales of production and ranges of efficiency. This report highlights no correlation between total size of production and efficiency with examples of highly efficient large producers, less efficient small producers and vice versa."

Matt Nicol, Production Efficiency Task Force (PETF) Chairman said: "This is great progress but we still have more to do to achieve the 80% target. Plant losses have reduced significantly again, and the PETF's TAR and Gas Compression work groups have helped industry in these key areas. Export system losses are a concern, and the PETF formed the Terminals work group in 2016 to focus on this issue."

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