U.K. offshore operators have earmarked a total of 35 oil and gas projects, which account for 38 fields, for development over the next 2-5 years.
Wood Mackenzie Consultants Ltd., Edinburgh, said that this represents a 22% decrease from the 45 fields U.K.'s operators were considering for development in the near term a year ago.
Since then, said the analyst, nine fields with combined reserves estimated at 253 million boe have gained development approval, while only two developments, covering four fields, have been added to the portfolio. The two new projects are the Goldeneye field development, operated by Shell U.K. Exploration & Production, and the Easington Catchment Area Phase II fields, operated by BG plc.
The analyst said that the 38 fields being considered for development have combined reserves estimated at 860 million bbl of oil and 4.8 tcf of gas, which represents a 32% decrease from the 2.5 billion boe of reserves being pushed for development this time last year.
"Peak liquids output from the 1999 'probables' portolfio is not anticipated until 2004," said Wood Mackenzie, "and will account for 286,000 b/d, some 14% of total (U.K.) liquids production at that time.
"Peak gas output from the portfolio is anticipated also to peak in 2004 at some 1.6 bcfd of gas, representing some 16% of the total gas production forecast for that year."
The analyst said that, of the 35 proposed near-term projects, 17 are expected to utilize subsea technology tied back to existing infrastructure. For the first time in 5 years, no near-term projects are likely to use floating production technology.
Wood Mackenzie estimates the capital expenditure required to develop the 38 fields amounts to £4.1 billion, which compares with the £6.7 billion anticipated cost of developing last year's probable developments list.