New opportunity in UK North Sea with Greater Buchan Area round

Commenting on the UK’s Oil and Gas Authority’s (OGA) decision to launch the 31st  supplementary offshore licensing round, focusing on the Greater Buchan Area, Ross Cassidy, senior research manager, North Sea upstream at Wood Mackenzie, said: “The OGA has released a vast amount of data and information in this supplementary round, which should be welcomed.

"This can only help the long-term goal of maximising economic recovery in the UKCS.

“The Greater Buchan Area holds 300 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) – this is a material opportunity. To put this in context, the last discovery made in the UK of this scale was Rosebank in 2004 and is larger than the recent Glengorm discovery. Of course, the Greater Buchan Area volumes are a mix of redevelopment, undeveloped and yet-to-find volumes.”

He added: “The Greater Buchan Area is surrounded with infrastructure at Golden Eagle, Buzzard, Scott, Forties and Kittiwake, making a tie-back to existing infrastructure possible.

"Or, if further volumes are discovered or appraised, a standalone development could be possible. A minimum of 75 million boe is likely to be required to be commercially viable.”

The operators of surrounding infrastructure are CNOOC, ConocoPhillips, Apache and Enquest, while Equinor is operator of the nearby Verbier discovery. There is one appraisal well planned for the area – Equinor’s Verbier appraisal well, which is due to be spud in Q3 or Q4 2019.