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North Sea back to life, 13 fields expected to be sanctioned in 2018

Shell makes investment decision on Penguin
Shell makes investment decision on Penguin

The UK oil and gas industry is stirring back to life, with 13 fields expected to be sanctioned in 2018.

That compares to just four gaining approval during the previous two years, according to research from Rystad Energy,

The latest example is Shell’s recent announcement of a final investment decision (FID) on the Penguins redevelopment project, with recoverable reserves of just under 100 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Rystad says another project that appears to have received FID is Decipher Energy’s Orlando field, where Diamond Offshore has been selected to drill a development well this year.

The remaining 11 predicted projects will be steered by a range of operators.

Readul Islam, Rystad Energy research analyst, said: “Floaters, subsea tiebacks and platforms to serve projects large and small means there will be something for everyone.”

The analysts do warn however, that the timeline for some of these FIDs could change.

One example is BP which is expected to start up its Clair Ridge field early this year, but may not be in a hurry to move ahead with the Clair South extension project after kicking off such a large scheme.

Meanwhile others scheduled for 2019 could slide forward into this year – Siccar Point Energy starting up a few months earlier than expected would mean another FPSO for its Cambo early production scheme.

Rystad says that while the exact number of projects being sanctioned remains to be seen, there’s no denying a “positive trajectory” for the sector.

Mr Islam added: “The trend is unambiguous, the UK industry has reason to smile after a couple gloomy years.”

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