Production efficiency (PE) on the UKCS has risen for a fifth consecutive year, increasing to 74% in 2017, showing industry is sustaining production performance.

This continuous improvement is estimated to have contributed to an additional 11.8 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) during 2017.

The positive news was announced at a recent meeting with oil and gas operators, as part of the OGA’s asset stewardship process. Further analysis will be published in the annual ‘UKCS Production Efficiency 2017’ report due out this summer.

Director of Operations at the Oil and Gas Authority, Gunther Newcombe said:

“This is very welcome and deserved progress. Industry is sustaining efficiency improvements and seeing the rewards of their hard work in maximising economic recovery. It’s likely PE would have been slightly higher without the pipeline closure at the end of 2017.

“The OGA will continue to support all operators in their efforts to further increase PE, through the OGA's tiered reviews and the work of MER UK Asset Stewardship Task Force and Production Efficiency Task Force.”

Data were collected as part of the OGA's 2017 UKCS Stewardship Survey, which allows for a more in-depth analysis in key areas, such as the causes of production losses.

PE is an important indicator for the industry and the OGA as a core element of production optimisation and asset stewardship performance. It is also a key focus area for the Maximising Economic Recovery (MER) UK Asset Stewardship Task Force, which identified PE as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for industry, and established a target of an average of 80% PE to be achieved by end of 2018.

In recent years, the UKCS has reversed the declining trend in both PE and overall production. 2017 production was 1.63 million boe/d, as per the OGA's February 2018 report. This equates to 595 million barrels. PE in the UKCS fell from over 76% in 2008 to a low of 60% in 2012, but has steadily risen to well over 70 per cent in recent years.

Notes to editors:

  • Production Efficiency is defined as the total volume of hydrocarbons produced in 2017 as a percentage of economic maximum production potential. 
  • The OGA and its predecessors have historically engaged with operators on PE with the objective of seeing improvement over time. The OGA published its first annual Production Efficiency Report 2015 which has been updated annually. The 2017 report will be published in Q3 2018.

For more information, please contact Tracey Miller, communications manager at the OGA:

Tel: 0300 020 1072 ¦ Email: