A report published by the UK Government suggests that the overall remaining recoverable reserves and resources in the North Sea range from 10 to 20 billion barrels plus of oil equivalent.
The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has estimated that production could last beyond the next two decades if additional undeveloped resources can be matured. The figures were calculated based on production estimates taken from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
In 2017, 400 million boe were added to 2P reserves and about 600 mmboe were produced which equates to a reserve replacement ratio of 69%; with 100 mmboe matured from new field developments, 80 mmboe due to infield activities and approximately 220 mmboe reserves replacement due to field-life extensions, the report said.
The UK’s contingent resource level (2C) is significant with a central estimate of discovered undeveloped resources of 7.5 billion boe. Much of this resource is in mature areas with 2.1 billion boe expected to be added through new field developments, 2.1 billion boe from incremental projects in producing fields, and the remaining 3.2 billion boe from undeveloped discoveries where no activity is currently being proposed.
Nick Terrell, Chair of the MER UK Exploration Task Force and Managing Director of Azinor Catalyst commented: “The work undertaken by the OGA, which has been independently verified, seeks to further quantify the huge remaining exploration potential of our UK offshore basins. The results illustrate the full spectrum of exploration opportunities, from infrastructure led exploration to high impact deep-water frontier opportunities."
"I commend the Oil and Gas Authority for undertaking this work in conjunction with the industry led Exploration Task Force and look forward to further results being published in the future,” he added.