Energy analyst Hannon Westwood said yesterday there was significant potential on the UK continental shelf (UKCS) still to be realised.
It said in advance of the opening of the next UKCS licensing round, expected in January, that the round provided an excellent opportunity to access both undeveloped discoveries and undrilled prospects.
Hannon Westwood said in its 26th round screening study that analysis of its databases showed that on currently unlicensed acreage there were 57 undeveloped discoveries with unrisked potential reserves of 513million barrels of oil equivalent.
It said that in addition there were six abandoned fields with redevelopment potential, and 518 undrilled prospects, with 22.65billion barrels of oil equivalent of unrisked resource.
The firm added that, as the area of unlicensed acreage increased through further voluntary and statutory relinquishments, the volume of reserves and resources available for licensing in the 26th round would also increase.
during the past decade, Hannon Westwood has been developing several databases to help it to understand the resource remaining on the UKCS.
Chris Bulley, executive director at Hannon Westwood, said: “This will be the first licensing round for two years and is the first since the oil price collapse and credit crunch, so it will be interesting to see the level of activity, applications and participation that is generated.
“There is significant potential on the UKCS still to be de-risked and realised and this round provides an excellent opportunity to access both undeveloped discoveries and undrilled prospects. The recent drop in exploration and appraisal drilling activity must be viewed as a temporary reduction if the full potential of the UKCS is to be realised before infrastructure abandonment conspires to reduce the areas where incremental reserves can be developed.”