The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) said yesterday that the 2016 target for production efficiency on the UK continental shelf (UKCS) was “unlikely” to be met.
The OGA said it had been working closely with industry to hit a shared target of 80% by the end of this year.
And while steady progress is being made, the OGA said the UKCS oil and gas industry would probably fall short of the mark.
The OGA said in its report: “Although the rewards of production efficiency improvement efforts are being realised, the target of 80% at year-end 2016 is unlikely to be achieved.”
The regulator, which became an independent government company with a wide ranging suite of powers a month ago, said production efficiency was a key element of its asset stewardship framework.
It also warned that increased levels of North Sea production were unlikely to be sustained in the medium to long term, making it “more important than ever to maximise the returns on production efforts”.
The new report was drawn up using data returned for 91 producing hubs.
It said UKCS production efficiency increased to 71% in 2015, an increase of six percentage points on 2014, and of 11 percentage points compared to its 2012 low.
It said each percentage point increase equated to 8.43million barrels of extra production.
It means an additional 50.6million barrels of oil were produced in 2015 for the same levels of input seen in 2014.
In a nutshell, the UKCS is getting more oil and gas for its buck.
The report also said production losses for 2015 totalled 243million barrels, down on the previous year by 39million.
It said 28 of the 91 hubs surpassed the 80% target with most of the high fliers located in the northern and central areas of the North Sea.
Ten of the 24 oil and gas companies which took part in the survey passed the same target with the top performer managing to hit 90.9%.
The worst performing company was on 50.3%.
The report’s authors welcomed the 2015 figures, saying they pointed to a “sustained improvement” in comparison to figures from 2012.
However, they said further focus on efficiency, continuous improvement and collaboration across the industry would be required for the UKCS to “come close to achieving the shared industry and OGA target of 80% by the end of 2016”.