OGA releases guidance to assist new field developments in UK

The UK Oil and Gas Authority has released an updated guidance on UK oil and gas field developments, focusing on early project planning and collaboration with the supply chain.

According to the OGA, fifteen new field developments are currently underway across the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), worth approximately £15 billion in capital expenditure and estimated to deliver approx. 1.5 billion boe over the life of the fields.

In addition, around 50 projects are under consideration by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) which may lead to future development opportunities.

The OGA said that its new guidance titled “Requirements for the planning of and consent to UKCS field developments” has been created with industry’s input “to help achieve consistent delivery of successful high quality, high-value projects.”

“The guidance puts a strong emphasis on the benefits of early project planning and supply chain collaboration, including the use of Supply Chain Action Plans (SCAPs),” the OGA said.

According to the guidance, when considering whether to consent to an Field Development plan, the OGA will amongst other things, assess whether the proposed project accords with the obligations set out in the strategy for enabling the principal objective of maximising the economic recovery of UK petroleum (MER UK Strategy), and whether the development methods
proposed comply with good oilfield practice.

Successful projects don’t happen by chance


“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,” said Gunther Newcombe, director of operations at the Oil and Gas Authority.

“The new guidance puts a stronger focus on front-end planning, early engagement with the supply chain and making the right choice at the concept select stage. Successful projects don’t happen by chance. They need careful planning, proactive management and strong collaboration,” he added.

Jon Graham, Apache, region vice president North Sea and co-chair of 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.”

Chris Claydon, chief executive of the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) added: “We know the industry must improve how it delivers projects and this latest guidance from the OGA is welcome. The OGA’s guidance complements the ECITB’s work to boost project management competence and drive collaboration. Our Project Collaboration toolkit is designed to help project leaders create the right environment to drive innovation and efficiency in project delivery, helping to reduce unit development costs in the UK Continental Shelf.”

In developing the new guidance, the OGA has incorporated principles established from current stewardship expectations and the “Lessons Learned from UKCS Oil and Gas Projects 2011-2016” report. Again, in consultation with industry through the Asset Stewardship Taskforce, the content has been comprehensively revised to help industry navigate through the process of developing a new field; from discovery to production.


Download the OGA Guidance here