CANTERBURY, UK – Many IOCs plan to invest in UK offshore fields through enhanced oil recovery, deepwater plays, and downstream infrastructure upgrades, according to Douglas-Westwood (DW)’s World Development Drilling & Production Forecast.
The report predicts that UK production will rally as a result to around 1.75 MMb/d by 2017, although this will require a continuation of the recent 6% increase in well completions.
Beyond that, DW expects a resumption of decline toward the end of the decade because of the high cost of sustaining recovery from Britain’s mature offshore fields. Hope for any long-term growth rests therefore rests with the proposed reform of the UK’s offshore regulator, and a shift toward production from smaller fields.
Offshore Norway, Statoil’s various brownfield projects along with large new projects such as Johan Sverdrup and Goliat are expected to sustain well completions at around 200 a year beyond 2020, DW predicts.
Potential risks to future growth include rising costs, which accounted for the cancellation of the subsea compression project at the Ormen Lange field despite positive results during testing and the backing of Statoil and ExxonMobil.