The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has drawn up a new strategy for recovering ‘tight gas’ from the southern North Sea.
The OGA said 3.8trillion cubic feet of gas is up for grabs in the basin, in undeveloped discoveries and prospects.
But tight gas reservoirs have been viewed by operators as too costly and risky to exploit, and have been left untapped.
The OGA said its strategy would help remove some of the barriers by promoting greater use of technology and collaboration.
Eric Marston, OGA’s manager for the southern North Sea area, said: “Maximising recovery of tight gas represents a real opportunity to extend the life of the southern North Sea’s existing infrastructure, including the development of marginal fields and potentially the redevelopment of existing fields.
“In addition we can expect an upturn in activity to benefit the supply chain by building their capability and expertise in tight gas.
“There’s a lot of energy in the southern sector right now with operators collaborating on some great projects to bring new developments to market.
“We’ve also been working closely with industry via the East of England Energy Group’s SNS rejuvenation special interest group, which in turn has been actively supporting the tight gas agenda.”
Major oil and gas projects in the southern North Sea include Cygnus, which achieved first oil in December 2016 and is operated by Engie.
Centrica, a partner in Cygnus, said earlier this year that it was working with other operators to unlock small pools in the southern North Sea.
And earlier this month, Centrica said it hoped to make an decision on its Pegasus West project in the SNS in the near future.
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