UKCS Operating Costs 2020

In August 2021, the NSTA published the UKCS Operating Costs in 2020 report, which showed that in 2020 unit operating costs on the UKCS fell £0.7 per barrel to an average of £11.20, the lowest level since 2017.

The year saw both operating costs and production decline, due to the twin impacts of Covid 19 and a significant fall in oil prices. However, the operating cost decline from 2019 to 2020 (-11%) was considerably greater than the fall in production(-5%), which led to the drop in the average unit operating cost per barrel.

The difficult operating conditions experienced in 2020 saw operators incurring additional costs of mitigating the spread of Covid 19, but reduced infield activity, while the postponement of shutdown maintenance activity resulted in fields continuing to produce during what would otherwise have been a shutdown period. 

The NSTA’s interactive 2020 Operating Cost Report, which can be accessed by clicking on the graphic above or alternatively by clicking here, looks in detail at Unit Operating Cost across the UKCS examining both regional and technical based differences and the relationship between cost performance, efficiency and CO2 emissions.  

UOC is forecast to rise again in 2021 as the effects of the pandemic reduce and operations return to pre-2020 levels. However, a significant amount of work - and therefore expenditure - postponed in 2020 has the potential to increase cost and reduce production during 2021. 

A pdf version of the report can be accessed here.

The UKCS Operating Costs 2019 Report, which includes links to previous reports can be viewed here.