DrillOrDrop’s review of the latest UK onshore oil data for March 2022: daily production down below 14,000 barrels
Daily production: 13,906 barrels per day (bopd)
Weight: 56,456 tonnes
Volume of onshore as a proportion of UK total oil production: 1.68%
Volume of flared gas at UK onshore oilfields: 556 ksm3
Volume of vented gas at UK onshore oilfields: 109 ksm3
Headline of the month
Despite record Brent crude prices, daily UK onshore production in March 2022 was down 2%. The total volume and weight were up on February but not as much as would have been expected by the longer month in March.
The data in this post was compiled and published by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) from reports by oil companies. It is published about three months in arrears. All the charts are based on the NSTA data.
- Barrels of oil per day fell to 13,906 in March 2022
- Bopd was down 2% on both February 2022 and March 2021
- This was the third time in the past year that daily production dropped below 14,000 bopd
Volume and weight
- In March 2022, volume rose to 68,535m3 and weight to 56,456 tonnes
- Both measures increased 9% compared with February 2022, but this was less than the 11% that would have been expected given the extra three days in March
- March 2022 ranked the sixth highest for volume and weight in the previous 12 months
Contribution to UK oil production volume
- Onshore oil’s contribution to the UK total dropped back to 1.68% in March 2022, compared with the month before
- This was onshore’s lowest proportion of the UK total for 12 consecutive months
Flaring and venting
- The volume of gas flared on UK onshore fields, at 556 ksm3, fell for the fourth consecutive month in March 2022
- The volume was 3% down on February 2022
- But the falling trend seems to have flattened out. The fall between January and February 2022 was 16%
- The volume of gas vented at onshore fields rose slightly in March to 109 ksm3
- This was the second consecutive monthly rise and equal to the volume in June 2021
Top 20 fields
All but three of the top 20 fields in March 2022 saw an increase in production in tonnes compared with February 2022
The largest UK onshore producer, Wytch Farm, in Dorset saw production rise to 47,481 tonnes and 58,010m3 in March 2022. This was up 9% on February 2022, slightly below what would be expected because of the longer month. Daily production was 11,770bopd, down 2% on February 2022. The field’s contribution to total UK onshore production, at 84.10%, was down slightly on February 2022 (84.28%).
Kimmeridge, Wytch Farm’s sister field in Dorset, saw a 10% drop in production in March 2022, compared with the month before.
The IGas site at Scampton North in Lincolnshire saw a 63% increase in March 2022, compared with February 2022 (486m3 up from 299m3). This puts the field almost back to the level reached in August 2021 and saw it rise two places in the top 20 rankings.
But IGas’s Stockbridge field in Hampshire saw falling production in March 2022. The month’s volume dropped 10% to 943m3, compared with 1051m3 in February 2022.
UKOG’s Horse Hill site in Surrey rose one place in the rankings with a 14% increase in production on February 2022. Volume rose to 299m, up from 262m in February 2022. Daily production rose slightly, from 59 bopd in February 2022, to 61 bopd in March 2022. Compared with March 2020 and 2021, volumes and daily production were both down.
UKOG also has interests in the Horndean field in Hampshire. This saw its fourth consecutive monthly fall in oil volumes, down to 475m3. The field fell from sixth place in February 2022 to ninth in March 2022.
There were also big increases at IGas fields at Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, up 112%, and Goodworth in Hampshire, up 29%.
As in February 2022, there was no production at 13 UK onshore oil fields: Avington, Brockham, Beckingham West, Duke’s Wood, Egmanton, Kirklington, Lidsey, Nettleham, Newton-on-Trent, Palmers Wood, Scampton, South Leverton and Waddock Cross.
In May 2022, Brockham resumed production and Wressle got formal approval for production so figures for both sites are expected in early September 2022.
The second-placed operator, IGas, saw production rise from 6,547 tonnes to 7,197 tonnes, up 10%, in March 2022. The company’s contribution to UK onshore oil production rose slightly to 12.75%.
Egdon Resource’s contribution remained unchanged at 0.18% and Europa Oil & Gas plc fell from 0.18% to 0.15%. The contribution from UKOG rose slightly to 0.45%.
The Daily Mail has suggested that the ban on fracking will be reversed this week so onshore production of oil but especially gas will be increased within a couple of years.
“Russia’s actions have made security of supply a bigger issue. And… gas produced here will have a lower carbon footprint than gas we are importing.?”