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During 2003 there was concern over industry confidence and forward investments and a wide range of opinions existed regarding what was required to maximise the contribution of Britainís offshore oil & gas industry. This provided a backdrop to the 2004 Brownfields Studies which worked from the widely accepted view that there was significant value still to be derived from the basin. Realising this value was going to require a change of mindset across the industry as the opportunities become more focused on economic exploitation of existing hydrocarbon reserves rather than in discovering new accumulations.

Under PILOT, several Brownfields Workgroups were constituted to progress the opportunities offered to maximise economic hydrocarbon recovery in and around existing North Sea fields, for the UK. The Brownfields Challenge therefore, isÖto implement actions which will increase the current rate at which reserves are developed over the next 10 years and beyond, to help realise the PILOT vision of 3 million barrels of oil equivalent production per day in 2010.

Specifically, the opportunity can be defined as:

  • Increase the overall proven UKCS resource base,
  • Maximise recovery through a reduction in stranded reserves,
  • Extend the life of existing infrastructure and hence the scope for reserves realisation.

Several key insights have been identified during the Brownfields studies:

  • Decommissioning uncertainties are negatively impacting market forces and need to be addressed.
  • Stewardship of UKCS reserves requires a mechanism that determines whether field owners are fully identifying opportunities and providing a means to realise them.
  • There is evidence that new cross-industry partnerships & business models are delivering incremental value and extending collaboration in the supply chain could unlock more.

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