Recovery Factor Benchmarking

Oil & Gas Division
,
11 Sep 2017

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has estimated that an additional 900 million barrels of oil could be extracted from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) by increasing the recovery factor (RF) of a prioritised selection of large oil fields.

Recovery factor is the overall proportion of oil expected to be extracted from the UKCS. The OGA’s Recovery Factor Benchmarking report, published 7 September 2017, presents an estimate of the current expected recovery factor for UKCS oil fields and highlights the ongoing work the OGA is undertaking with industry to identify how economic recovery can be increased.

The current forecast recovery factor of the UKCS is around 43 per cent, which means that over half of the oil that has been discovered is left within the reservoir. Over time, average benchmarked RF performance has increased; but with field complexity also increasing over time, the result is that the overall RF has not significantly changed. Small improvements to these rates could make a major difference to overall reserves, fully aligned with Maximising Economic Recovery UK.

By looking at the potential of a number of prioritised fields, the OGA estimates that an additional 900 million barrels of oil could potentially be produced through increases to RF as a result of improved asset stewardship.

OGA chief executive Andy Samuel said: “This new benchmarking analysis further underlines the significant prize remaining across the UKCS, in this case across a number of producing fields. The OGA will be sharing our results with operators to highlight and quantify opportunities where increasing recovery factor should lead to increased value in line with MER UK. These data help us understand RF performance across the basin, prioritise our asset stewardship reviews with operators and identify new opportunities for improvement and sharing good practices.”

Dave Lynch, BP’s vice president reservoir development, said: “The recovery factor benchmarking analysis produced by the OGA will be of huge value to highlight and develop the potential in existing, producing fields. We will be using this benchmarking work within BP to maximise economic recovery from our assets.”

The report can be downloaded by clicking here (PDF 1258K)