Government and industry must work closer together on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) if it wants to squeeze out the maximum amount of oil and gas that can be recovered from it.
That’s according to an interim report conducted by Sir Ian Wood on behalf of DECC, which claims an extra 3-4 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) can be recovered from the North Sea over the next 20 years if its recommendations are followed. Sir Wood said even under this “conservative” estimate, the UK economy would be £200 billion better off.
Sir Ian Wood said: “It is essential for the UK’s future growth and prosperity that we maximise recovery of our offshore oil and gas resource. It is therefore crucial that industry and Government act now to invest in this shared vision if they are to achieve these goals.”
The report highlighted a number of problems in the sector. Although the ‘mature’ basin now has a larger number of fields than when it was younger, they are operated by a wider array of companies, for smaller returns, with higher costs and aging assets.
He has called on industry to sign up to a joint strategy called Maximising Economic Recovery for the UK (MER UK).
Companies in the sector are called upon to improve collaboration among themselves, in order to reduce the complexity and delays in current legal and commercial processes, which often hold up progress.