​UK expects to produce 11.7 billion boe before 2050

Image: BP

The UK anticipates producing 11.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent between 2016 and 2050, according to new projections from the UK Oil & Gas Authority (OGA).

The detailed projections can be found inside a new report entitled Projections of UK Oil and Gas Production and Expenditure, which also shows that production from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) remained stable at 1.63 million boe/d in 2017 compared to 2016. Growth is expected in 2018 with more fields coming online.

More and more companies are currently releasing their 2017 annual results. The major companies to see an increase in UK production between 2016-2017 include Spain’s Repsol (19%) and Chevron (20%), according to data available in Evaluate Energy.

Royal Dutch Shell, France’s Total and BP were among the largest UK producers in 2016 with around 200,000 boe/d, 148,000 boe/d and 113,000 boe/d, respectively (note 1). These companies are all yet to report a full country-by-country breakdown of their European production in 2017, but all have recorded an increase in European production, year-over-year.

Both Shell and BP produced more in the UK in 2016 than in any other European country, although Shell did sell a large package of UKCS assets for US$3.8 billion in 2017, which will impact any year-over-year growth in the UK for this company. 37% of Total’s European production in 2016 came from UK fields, second only to neighbouring Norway.

The OGA data also suggests that production from the UKCS will become increasingly oil-weighted in the medium term. Production is projected to fall over time and higher margin products will be the focus. OGA’s current projection for 2023 production is 1.38 million boe/d, 65% of which will be comprised of oil and natural gas liquids. This weighting has increased steadily over the past few years – from a low of 56% in 2006 to just over 60% at the end of 2016, according to data available in Evaluate Energy.

The report from the OGA also states that capital expenditures on the UKCS dropped for the third consecutive year and that both operating costs and decommissioning costs rose marginally in 2017. For more, click here.


1. Reported natural gas production volumes in cubic feet were converted to boe at the rate of 6 Mcf : 1 bbl to calculate each companies boe/d production volumes.

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