New North Sea discoveries make UK net oil producer for first time since 2004


The UK stands set on the brink of becoming a net oil producer for the first time in 14 years by the end of 2108, as a handful of new North Sea projects due to come on stream and lift  the nation’s crude output volumes above 1 million barrels a day, according to the Vienna-based forecaster JBC Energy. 
The start of operations at a number of new developments – including BP’s Quad204 (130,000 bpd) and Premier Oil Plc’s Catcher (60,000 pbd) fields – have already boosted North Sea production in recent months. According to JCB, the Clair Ridge (BP) and ASA Mariner (Statoil) projects could add a a further 155,000 bpd to the total when they start production by the end of the summer and could increase least year’s total by 10%, from 914,000 to over 1m bpd.
At the end of January, BP also announced that it had made two furthersignificant oil discoveries, the 
 Capercaillie field in the central North Sea, and Achmelvich west of Shetland, brande. Both wells were initially drilled last summer, but the size of their resources have not disclosed, although at the time BP said that it hoped to double North Sea oil production to 200,000 bpd by the end of the decade. “These are exciting times for BP in the North Sea as we lay the foundations of a refreshed and revitalised business,” its North Sea regional president Mark Thomas said. 
Yarudeskoye field, Yamal PeninsulaFollowing last year’s enforced closure of the Forties Pipeline integrated oil and gas terminal, transportation and processing system (FPS), however, one of the major challenges now facing BP and the other oil majors operating in the North Sea is guaranteeing delivery to land. The discovery of hairline cracks in FPS – which currently transports around 500,000 pbd – led to a three-week closure and forced the UK to import liquefied natural gas from Russia’s giant new LNG terminal on the Yamal peninsular in the Arctic circle to cover increased winter demand. 
Just as the EU stepped up its attempts to reduce member states’ dependence on energy supplies from its giant eastern neighbour.

Source: Bloomberg