UK NORTH SEA HYDOCARBON OUTPUT WILL DROP TO ALMOST NOTHING BY THE MIDDLE OF THE CENTURY

According to Rystad Energy, an independent energy research and business intelligence company based in Norway, the fall in production of the UK North Sea is irreversible and is doomed to fall to almost nothing by the 2050s.
The UK North Sea oil and gas output Hydrocarbon production on the United Kingdom’s continental shelf (UKCS) has dropped steadily since its peak at 4.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 1999, never exceeding 2 million boepd after 2010. Promising exploration results by Hurricane Energy in fractured basement reservoirs, previously untapped in the UK, were until earlier this year expected to revive the country’s output to 2.1 million boepd by 2035, according to Rystad Energy’s estimates. Now those hopes have been dashed.
A recent jaw-dropping downgrade of Hurricane Energy’s Lancaster field revealed that the reservoir is more complex than previously thought. The result is a drastic resource downgrade for the company’s entire asset portfolio, as all its resources lie in fractured basement reservoirs. This is a major blow to the outlook for the UK’s future petroleum production, as fractured basement resources were estimated to account for nearly one-fifth of the future oil and gas output from the UKCS.
The downgrade has prompted Rystad Energy to revise its production forecast for the UKCS. Our projections now show that production will never again exceed the threshold of 2 million boepd but will instead reach a maximum of 1.7 million boepd in 2035 before dwindling to nearly nothing by the middle of the century. UKCS production stood at 1.65 million boepd last year and is set to fall to 1.59 million boepd in 2020.
“The entire UKCS long-term production forecast has been impacted quite significantly. The main takeaway here is that we may never again see any significant production upsurge in UKCS production. A possible game-changer could now only be a development of technical skills for producing from fractured basement reservoirs to increase the recovery factor,” says Olga Savenkova, upstream analyst at Rystad Energy.
The jackup Mr Cap drilled the fiorst well in the UKCS in December 1964. In September 1965, BP using the jackup Sea Gem discovered the first oil on West Sole, 42 miles off the mouth of the the river Humber
(Source: Rystad Energy - Jackup Sea Gem discoverer of the first oil in southern UK North Sea in the mid-1960s)

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