A report published by the Oil and Gas Authority shows that efficiency in the UK’s offshore industry has improved for the fifth consecutive year.
The report compares actual production to the theoretical economic potential of the fields – and associated infrastructure within the industry – compared to previous years. Its findings highlight a clear increase in production efficiency (PE) on the UK Continental Shelf – rising to 74% in 2017.
Improvements to efficiency enabled the industry to produce an additional 12 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) last year, compared to the levels reached in 2016. This equates to 32,000 barrels of additional production per day.
Technology, the report said, is continuing to play a crucial role in streamlining industry operations and efficiency. In 2017, losses to production decreased to 200 million boe; a significant drop from the 210 million seen in the year previous.
Three out of five regions in the UKCS saw improvements to production efficiency, highlighting what the report claimed was a shift “towards efficiency cultures.”
The Southern North Sea (SNS) witnessed significant improvements, rising 7% and recovering from a drop in 2016. Despite an overall improvement to efficiency, some regions did see a reduction in efficiency. The Northern North Sea (NNS) and the East Irish Sea (EIS) both dropped in efficiency, with the NNS, in particular, dropping 2%.
Improving From a Low Point
The composition and total volume of production losses, the report states, has improved significantly since an efficiency low point witnessed in 2012. Total production losses have fallen by 65 million boe, with the greatest improvement to production efficiency taking place in plant losses.
In 2012, 26% of the total potential was lost at the plant choke”, the report said. However, in 2017 this number fell significantly to around 15%. Similarly, well losses represented 10% of the total potential lost in 2012. This fell to 4% in 2017.