UKCS experiencing sustained production efficiency, regulator says

The UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) has experienced sustained production efficiency (PE) compared with 2012 statistics, which marked a PE low point, the Oil and Gas Authority said in a report, UKCS Production Efficiency, that analyzed 2015 statistics.

“Further focus on efficiency, continuous improvement, and collaboration across the industry is required if the UKCS is to come close to achieving the shared industry and OGA target of 80% PE by the end of 2016,” OGA said.

Earlier this year, OGJ researched 2015 PE data provided by operators who agreed to participate in the survey. The report showed average PE of 71% industrywide. That average was up 6% from 2014 and equates of 8.43 million boe extra production based on 2015 production volumes for every 1% increase is PE. OGA said PE was its lowest in 2012 at 60%.

Production loss trend

Production losses continue to decrease. OGA reported 243 million boe in production losses recorded for 2015, down 39 million boe from the 2014 total.

Structural Maximum Production Potential (SMPP) increased 32 million boe to 841 million boe in 2015 from 2014. But SMPP was down significantly from 2011 levels. OGA’s report defines PE was actual production as a percentage of SMPP.

“Evidence shows a reversal in the declining production potential trend coupled with a sustained decreased in production loss volumes in the UKCS,” the report said. “This has yielded an increased in realized production in 2015, the highest since 2011 and a clear indicator of improved performance.”

Total production losses measured 243 million boe in 2015, the report said.

In 2015, 28 out of 91 operated hubs surpassed the 80% PE target. Most of the high performers were in the northern North Sea and central North Sea. A hub is an installation that processes hydrocarbons for associated fields.

Ten out of 24 individual oil companies passed the same target. The highest reported PE among survey participants was 90.9% while 50.3% was the lowest.

“Increased levels of production in the North Sea are unlikely to be sustained in the medium-to-long term,” according to industry forecasts, the report said. “Against this background of declining production, it is more important than ever to maximize the returns on production efforts.”

OGA said it continues to gather and analyze PE data to help industry improve its performance.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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