Solution Centres

Marginal Developments

New technology and approaches to field development are needed to unlock the big prize in UKCS marginal developments.

There are approximately 363 marginal developments or small pools, distributed across the UKCS, each holding between 3 and 50 million barrels of oil and gas, and worth an estimated £135 billion to the UK economy.

These fields do not currently meet the economic requirements to progress to investment. Our role is to identify and help develop innovative technologies that lower the life-cycle costs of marginal developments and unlock this huge potential.

We have three key aspirations:

  • Develop rapid tie-backs – reduce the time taken to design and develop subsea tie-backs
  • 50% cost reduction – half the overall life-cycle unit cost of marginal developments
  • No stranded assets – have no marginal development left stranded due to an associated technology gap

A number of initiatives are underway to develop new technology and methods to unlock small pools:

‘Tie-back of the Future’

Our Tie-back of the Future initiative aims to both half the cost and half the time to unlock marginal developments. This would make an additional 400 million barrels economic.

The initiative brings together operators, supply chain firms and technology developers to transform the approach to developing marginal fields. Creating a circular economy, whereby subsea equipment is designed for disassembly and reuse, is at the heart of the initiative.

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‘Facility of The Future’

Our Facility of the Future initiative aims to revolutionise the way offshore installations are designed and developed in the UKCS. The initiative brings together several key themes:

  • Circular economy
  • Remote operations and automation
  • Reduced offshore manning
  • Compact processing and utilities

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Integration with marine renewables

We have identified a potential economic prize in integrating the oil and gas industry with marine renewables, such as offshore wind, current (tidal) and wave. Utilising this technology could allow topside and subsea assets to be powered remotely, without the need for expensive generators or long power cables.