DrillOrDrop’s review of the latest UK onshore oil data for May 2022: daily production at 30+ year low
Daily production: 13,235 barrels per day (bopd)
Weight: 53,746 tonnes
Volume of onshore as a proportion of UK total oil production: 1.76%
Volume of flared gas at UK onshore oilfields: 591m3
Volume of vented gas at UK onshore oilfields: 120m3
Headline of the month
Daily UK oil production falls to the lowest level for more than 30 years – despite energy crisis
The data in this post was compiled and published by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) yesterday (30 August 2022) 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 (bopd) fell to the lowest level seen since September 1989.
- Daily production was down to 13,235bopd.
- This was down 4% on April 2022 and 8% lower than May 2021
- This is the third consecutive all in daily oil production onshore, despite high oil prices
Volume and weight
- Volume and weight dropped in May 2022 – to 65,226m3 and 53,746 tonnes
- Both measures saw the second monthly consecutive fall
- They fell 1% compared with April 2022, and 5% on March 2022
Contribution to total UK oil production volume
- The onshore contribution to the UK total oil production fell slightly from April 2022, down from 1.77% to 1.76%
- Onshore production had the second highest contribution to the UK total in May 2022 in the past year
- But it was down from the 1.98% recorded in May 2021
Flaring and venting
- The volume of gas flared on UK onshore oilfields was down 12%
- But the volume of vented gas was up 12% on April 2022
- The monthly volume of vented gas was the highest for nine months
Top 20 fields
The top four producing UK onshore oil fields (Wytch Farm, Welton, Singleton and Stockbridge) all retained their leading positions in the top 20. But one saw a 30% fall in production, while another rose 25%.
The UK’s largest onshore producer, Wytch Farm, in Dorset, reported a slight drop in production in May 2022 (0.45% or 204.6 tonnes), despite the longer month. Its contribution to UK onshore production rose to 84.45%, from 83.86% in April 2022. This was the second consecutive monthly fall. May 2022 saw the third lowest total production from the field in the past two years. Daily production fell for the third consecutive month, down 4% on April.
After a stable few months, third placed Singleton, in West Sussex, saw its production fall by 30% and nearly 500 tonnes. Weight at this IGas site fell to 1,075 tonnes in May 2022, compared with 1,534 tonnes in April 2022. This was the second consecutive fall in production at Singleton and the second lowest volume in the previous 12 months.
Another IGas site saw production rise 25% between April and May 2022. Oil in tonnes at Stockbridge in Hampshire rose from 770 in April to 961 in May. The rise took production back to above levels last seen in February 2022.
Production at Horse Hill, in Surrey, continued to fall in the rankings and in volume. The site, once described as the Gatwick Gusher, ranked fourth in April 2020 but now stands at 14. Production was down 4% from 260 tonnes in April 2022 to 249 tonnes in May 2022. The highest monthly weight reported by site so far was 1,160 tonnes in April 2020. Water production also fell between April and May 2022.
There were notable falls at Palmers Wood in Surrey (-42%), Whisby (-25%) and Crosby Warren (-12%) in Lincolnshire, and Humbly Grove in Hampshire (-48%) .
There was no production at 13 oilfields: Avington, Bothamsall, Brockham, Duke’s Wood, Egmanton, Fiskerton Airfield, Kirklington, Lidsey, Nettleham, Newton-on-Trent, Scampton, South Leverton and Waddock Cross.
Egdon Resources’ Wressle site in North Lincolnshire got formal approval for production in May 2022 but it was not included in the month’s data. There was also no data for the Angus Energy site at Brockham in Surrey, where the company reported that production had resumed.
The UK’s biggest onshore oil producer, Perenco, saw its total production fall slightly in May 2022 (45,757 tonnes, down from 45,954 tonnes in April 2022). But the company saw its share of UK onshore oil production rise back above 85% for the first time since October 2021.
Production at fields operated by second-placed IGas was also down slightly (7,023 tonnes in May 2022, compared with 7,254 tonnes in April 2022). The company’s share of UK onshore oil production also fell, down from 13.34% in April to 13.07% in May.
Production fell at fields operated by BritNRG (Whisby), UK Oil & Gas plc (Horse Hill), and Egdon Resources (Keddington).
Production rose at fields operated by Europa Oil & Gas (Crosby Warren and West Firsby) and was almost unchanged at fields operated by Onshore Oilfield Services Limited.
Updated 19/9/22 to correct production data for Europa Oil & Gas