It is estimated that there are more than 300 so-called “small pools” on the UKCS containing up to a combined 3.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent. These are already discovered oil and gas fields that are too small to develop economically with conventional solutions and are a combination of licenced and unlicenced discoveries. Often, they are too far from existing infrastructure and limited in volume, so that the costs associated with installing a power connection to run any local facilities is prohibitive.

Integrated Energy System

RADMAPP renewable resource mapping supports optimising UKCS small pools to support the energy transition

Offshore renewable energy could unlock these small pools by providing local power. These technologies have advanced significantly in recent years and could provide a cost-effective source of energy for small pools that are otherwise currently uneconomic to develop. In addition, using renewable energy to power small pool developments would also help to reduce their carbon intensity. OGTC wanted to screen the known small pools for their potential to be developed using renewable energy.

Aquatera developed a bespoke analytical tool to assess the feasibility of using renewable energy at the UKCS' known small pools. Available information about the UKCS' known small pools was used in Aquatera's existing RADMAPP mapping system. RADMAPP contains geographical data, such as tidal flows, wave and wind patterns, so that it's possible to assess the location of undeveloped discoveries in relation to the renewable energy available at those sites. The study identified where there was potential across a range of energy solutions. This was expanded to consider subsurface characteristics, logistics and overall field development economics.