OGA Releases Technology Strategy In Bid to Maximize UKCS Economic Recovery

The OGA released its Technology Strategy Tuesday in a bid to maximize economic recovery from the UK Continental Shelf by revitalizing exploration, enabling the development of marginal discoveries and reducing the cost of field developments, operations and decommissioning.

In recent years, UK oil and gas technology research and development spend has accounted for less than 0.5 percent of turnover, which is low in comparison to other leading producing countries like Norway, which is at 4 percent. Furthermore, the government funding invested in oil and gas technology, between $13 million (GBP 10 million) and $26 million (GBP 20 million) per year, has been lower than in other sectors, according to the OGA, relative to the contribution by the oil and gas industry to the UK economy.

This comparatively low technology focus and R&D funding in the oil and gas industry has resulted in long timelines to develop, demonstrate and deploy new technologies, says the OGA. The slow technology uptake by operators is also having an adverse impact on the service sector, which is finding it more difficult to introduce transformative, efficient technologies, with a risk of further loss of skills and capability.

As part of the new strategy, the newly developed Oil and Gas Technology Center, working alongside the industry and established research and development institutions, will work to improve the effectiveness of technology R&D on the UKCS, and will be critical to achieving swift and sustainable uptake and implementation of technology, says the OGA.

The near term goals of the Technology Strategy are as follows:

  • Establish widespread adoption of best practices and technologies across companies and international basins to reduce operating costs and extend the life of the UKCS producing fields.
  •  Introduce technologies and techniques to reduce field development costs, improve recovery, reduce the cost of decommissioning and unlock existing hydrocarbon discoveries which are not currently being pursued.
  • Stimulate R&D activity, to progress technology programs more effectively and efficiently with industry’s early commitment to deploy in field developments and operations.

If the strategic objectives of the new Technology Strategy are met, the OGA estimates that gross revenues from UKCS oil and gas production can increase to $496 billion (GBP 381 billion) by 2035, compared to a baseline gross production revenue of $320 billion (GBP 246 billion).

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