Reserves and resources

The North Sea Transition Authority’s (NSTA) 'UK Oil and Gas: Reserves and Resources’ report published in September 2021 shows that the UK’s petroleum reserves remain at a significant level.

The findings of the report include:

  • The UK’s petroleum reserves remain at a significant level. The NSTA’s estimate for proven and probable (2P) UK reserves as at end 2020 is 4.4 billion boe, 0.8bn boe lower than as at end 2019. On the basis of current production projections , this could sustain production from the UKCS to 2030
  • In 2020, about 570 mmboe were produced, 270 million boe (mmboe) were added to 2P reserves, reductions to existing field forecasts totalled -450mmboe which equates to a reserve replacement ratio of -33%. Less than 100 mmboe were matured by the granting of consent to 3 new field developments and 4 field development plan addenda.
  • The UK’s contingent resource level is significant with a central estimate of discovered undeveloped resources of 6.8 billion boe. Much of this resource is in mature developed areas.
  • In aggregate, UKCS petroleum reserves and discovered resources are both approximately 70% oil and 30% gas, when expressed in oil equivalent terms.
  • Exploration success in 2020 delivered an addition of 212 million boe to the total of contingent resources7 . A key part of exploration Stewardship is now to progress the many attractive opportunities within the prospective resource portfolio into drill-ready prospects, and into subsequent discoveries.
  • The mean prospective resources in mapped leads and prospects are estimated as 3.7 billion boe. This is supplemented by an additional mean prospective resource of 11.2 billion boe estimated to reside in plays outside of mapped leads and prospects.

This workbook includes historic estimates of UK oil and gas reserves and contingent resources published by the NSTA and its predecessors

Historic Estimates of UK Oil and Gas Reserves and Contingent Resources 1973–2020

The 2019 Reserves and Resources report can be viewed here.