OFFSHORE operators have been given new guidelines to help them make the most of their existing North Sea assets while new projects are deferred.

Industry body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) published the strategy yesterday to enable companies to unlock opportunities in brownfield resources, areas which have reached a production plateau.

It said they aimed to help firms understand good practice in how to identify, rank, approve and carry out opportunities to optimise production in areas including well, reservoir and facilities reviews and reservoir surveillance, along with methods to set targets, measure progress and assign budgets.

Katy Heidenreich, OGUK’s operations director, said: “Looking after UK assets is crucial to the long-term future of the basin, especially at a time when a significant number of North Sea projects are put on hold.

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“These guidelines help companies develop, maintain and operate existing assets, finding the most efficient way

to recover reserves from existing sites.

“They help asset owners promote a culture focused on optimising production, enabling them to consistently do the right things to identify and then exploit opportunities as well as promoting the collective will, behaviours and capabilities to achieve this.”

Brenda Wyllie, the Oil and Gas Authority’s northern North Sea area manager, added: “When we look at the data from the OGA’s UKCS stewardship survey, it’s clear that there’s considerable additional value held in brownfield resources.

“Oil and gas will remain an important part of our energy mix for the foreseeable future as we transition to net zero, so increasing recovery and maturing these resources should remain a priority, despite the associated challenges.”