The general trend shows an elevated emissions intensity during production of the first 10% of reserves. This reduces as production ramps up and is flat throughout mid-life (10-50%). From 50% of production onward, the intensity of field emissions rises steadily to an average five times our baseline in the final 5% of production.
However, at the individual field level, there can be wide deviations from this trend. This is commonly due to delays in the ramp up of production, increased intensity in mid-life (with field re-development for example) or extreme intensity spikes when more than 95% of reserves are produced when production can be particularly erratic.
Mature oil and gas fields pose a number of unique challenges for operators. One potential unintended consequence of the implementation of a carbon price on upstream operations is the risk of triggering early cessation of production on already marginal mature fields.
Consequently, any carbon policy implemented on the upstream sector by governments will need to carefully balance the desire to reduce carbon emissions while avoiding the negative economic consequence associated with early shut-ins of mature oil and gas infrastructure.
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