Production efficiency (PE) on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) has improved for a fifth consecutive year, rising to 74%, according to a new report released by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA). The 1% improvement from 2016 helped contribute an additional 12 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in 2017; an additional 32,000 boe per day.

The report, UKCS Production Efficiency in 2017, compares actual production to the theoretical maximum economic potential of the fields (and associated infrastructure), compared to previous years. PE is an important indicator for the industry and the OGA as a core element of production optimisation and asset stewardship performance.

Key points from the report include:

  • Losses to production in 2017 were down to 200 million boe, from 210 million boe the previous year
  • Three out of five regions in the UKCS have seen improvements to production efficiency in 2017, compared to the previous year. In particular, the Southern North Sea (SNS) saw a 7% increase since last year recovering from a drop in 2016
  • Well losses across the UKCS fell by 11% in 2017 after a significant rise in 2016
  • Plant losses fell by 5% in 2017, helping to drive improved overall efficiency

Data were collected as part of the OGA's 2017 UKCS Stewardship Survey, which allowed for a more in-depth analysis in key areas, for example in looking at the major causes of lost production.

Loraine Pace, the OGA’s Head of Performance, Planning and Reporting said: “I’m really pleased that PE has continued to improve year on year in the UKCS. The report shows that industry has worked hard to deploy new technologies and shift towards efficiency cultures which has helped to achieve the 1% improvement. Looking ahead, the OGA remains committed to working with all operators in their efforts to further increase PE.”

Matt Nicol, Production Efficiency Task Force (PETF) Chairman said: “This is positive news that UK production efficiency has risen for a fifth consecutive year to 74% in 2017, despite a challenging end to the year with the unplanned FPS outage. Industry’s and individuals’ hard work and focus on best practice and new technology is sustaining these efficiency improvements, and I see many companies and people working together to deliver tangible progress.”


Notes to editors:

  • For the purposes of this report, PE is defined as the total volume of hydrocarbons produced in 2017 as a percentage of economic maximum production potential (Economic Production Efficiency) and is based on guidelines drafted by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (Production Efficiency Reporting – Best Practice Guidelines)
  • PE is also a key focus area for the Maximising Economic Recovery (MER) UK Asset Stewardship Task Force. In its Activity Plan 2017 and 2018, the OGA identified PE as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for industry, with a target of 80% PE for the UKCS by the end of 2018.
  • Any operator can request a bespoke operator benchmarking pack from the OGA by emailing Packs contain more detailed information about hub and operator level performance relative to others in the UKCS.

For more information, please contact Chrissie Innes, Communications Advisor at the OGA:

Tel: 0300 020 1072