New strategy to recover North Sea’s tight gas

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has published a new strategy to maximise the recovery of tight gas from the Southern North Sea (SNS). The organisation estimates there are roughly […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has published a new strategy to maximise the recovery of tight gas from the Southern North Sea (SNS).

The organisation estimates there are roughly 3.8 trillion cubic feet of accessible tight gas remaining in the region.

This is natural gas trapped in low permeability reservoirs where conventional drilling is not usually an option – instead techniques like fracturing the rocks are used.

The OGA says reservoirs of this kind have often been disregarded as high cost and high risk, with licence holders tending to focus instead on less complex developments with lower costs and higher recovery factors.

However, the group suggests the new plan will stimulate greater collaboration and improve the use of technology to overcome these barriers and unlock this significant remaining potential.

It aims to achieve this by hosting workshops, initiating industry partnerships, sharing knowledge, co-ordinating the supply chain and generally improving the identification and exploration processes involved.

Eric Marston, OGA Area Manager for the Southern North Sea and East Irish Sea said: “Maximising recovery of tight gas represents a real opportunity to extend the life of the Southern North Sea’s existing infrastructure, including the development of marginal fields and potentially the redevelopment of existing fields.

“In addition we can expect an upturn in activity to benefit the supply chain by building their capability and expertise in tight gas.”

Production efficiency on the UK Continental Shelf has risen for the fourth consecutive year to 73%.