The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has urged operators and service companies to help safeguard the UK’s energy supply by getting together earlier to plan field developments.
OGA operations director Gunther Newcombe said new guidance issued by the regulator put a stronger focus on front-end planning and “making the right choice at the concept select stage”.
Mr Newcombe said: “Successful projects don’t happen by chance. They need careful planning, proactive management and strong collaboration.”
Fifteen new field developments are currently under way across the UK continental shelf (UKCS), according to the OGA.
Those developments are worth about £15billion in capital expenditure and are estimated to deliver 1.5billion barrels of oil.
And about 50 projects are under consideration by the OGA.
The OGA’s new “Requirements for the planning of and consent to UKCS field developments” guidance has been created to help deliver high quality projects consistently.
Mr Newcombe said: “The development of new oil and gas fields is a vital part of ensuring the maximum economic recovery from UKCS resources which also brings considerable benefits to the economy, supporting skilled jobs and safeguarding the UK’s energy supply.”
Apache’s North Sea vice president Jon Graham, who co-chairs the MER UK Asset Stewardship Taskforce, said: “This comprehensive updated new field development guidance reflects the sea change in asset stewardship that’s been happening in the UKCS since the OGA came into existence.
“The regulatory and operating environments have evolved considerably and this guidance provides a clear roadmap for any operator to navigate their way through, and maximise economic recovery from new field developments.”