Economic Report 2016 - Oil & Gas UK

9. Comparisons and Contrasts

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– the UK and Norwegian Continental Shelves The performances of the UK and Norwegian Continental Shelves are often compared due to the geographical proximity and perceived similarities of these two North Sea regions. Exploration drilling commenced just two years apart, in 1964 on the UKCS and 1966 on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). This soon led to the first commercial discoveries in 1965 and 1967, respectively. The two regions initially experienced similar production trajectories following first production from the West Sole Gas field in the SNS area of the UKCS and the Ekofisk oil field in the Norwegian North Sea. Output grew across both sides of the North Sea during the 1970s and early 1980s, as shown by Figure 51. However, the two basins have since developed very differently. In the ten-year period following peak production on the UKCS in 2000, production fell by 53 per cent. On the NCS, the equivalent figure was less than 10 per cent. The regions now experience a mixture of comparable and contrasting issues that are outlined in this section and have led to more stable production volumes on the NCS.

2

3

4

5

Figure 51: Production

5.0

6

4.5

UKCS

4.0

NCS

)dpeob noilliM( noitcudorP

3.5

7

3.0

2.5

2.0

8

1.5

1.0

9

0.5

0. 0

1967 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 2007 2012

Source: OGA, Oil & Gas UK, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate

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9.1 Scale Production on the NCS is characterised by fewer fields with larger output per field, although smaller fields are now becoming more common. From 1976 to 2007, Norwegian fields each produced, on average, 35 million boe per year. This has declined somewhat in recent years with each of the 81 fields in 2015 producing just under 18 million boe on average.

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