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UK Oil Production Up 9% In First Quarter

Offshore North Sea

The UK’s crude and natural gas liquids (NGL) production increased by 9 percent annually to reach 1.18 million bpd in the first quarter of 2019, S&P Global Platts quoted statistics from the UK Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy as showing on Thursday.  

The UK’s crude oil production alone increased by 11 percent to 1.08 million bpd in Q1, according to the government statistics quoted by Platts—a welcome sign for the UK oil and gas industry which has managed to reverse a years-long downward trend in recent months, thanks to start-ups of projects in the North Sea.  

According to the UK Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, provisional figures for 2018 showed that UK crude oil and NGL production rose by 8.9 percent compared to 2017, mainly due to multiple new projects on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) coming online in late 2017 and 2018 and increasing production through the year.

In November of 2018, BP and its co-venturers started up production at the giant Clair Ridge project in the West of Shetland region offshore UK. The project is targeting 640 million barrels of oil reserves and is expected to have peak production of 120,000 bpd.

The UK’s petroleum reserves remain at a significant level, with overall remaining recoverable reserves and resources ranging from 10 to 20 billion barrels plus of oil equivalent, according to the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA). Currently proven and probable reserves on the UKCS can sustain production for another 20 years.

The UKCS yielded 20 percent more oil and gas in the last five years after 14 consecutive years of production declines, the industry’s association, Oil & Gas UK, said in its latest annual Business Outlook earlier this year.

Exploration in the UK’s North Sea is definitely picking up and this year could see the drilling of up to 15 new wells, the association added. This is momentum that needs to be maintained, the association noted, as expectations were for another decline in production to begin after 2020.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilrpice.com

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