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North Sea Downtime Cut by 19 Percent  | Rigzone

North Sea Downtime Cut by 19 Percent  | Rigzone

North Sea oilfield operators have reduced the frequency of downtime by 19.2 per cent in the year to September 2019, according to the Glacier Production Index (GPI).

The GPI shows that, in 2018, North Sea oilfields recorded 307 individual months of no production in the year to September. In the same period last year, that figure had reduced to 248, according to the GPI.

“Planned shutdowns are still the largest source of downtime in the North Sea. Broadly speaking, the less frequently downtime occurs, the more efficient production is likely to be,” Scott Martin, executive chairman of Glacier Energy Services (GES), said in a company statement.

“Increasing efficiency has attracted fresh investment in the North Sea, as the industry looks to continually reduce its cost base while extending the lifecycle of its assets. Downtime frequency is just one barometer of how successfully this is being achieved,” he added.

“The industry is consistently reducing downtime but in modest degrees. That consistent, moderate progress could face a major challenge this summer, as many North Sea assets will have to survive without the most important pipeline system [Forties Pipeline System] in the basin,” he continued.

Ineos is scheduled to shut down the Forties Pipeline System for three weeks in June. The shutdown is required to carry out essential maintenance and upgrades to the system and is part of a co-ordinated plan by Ineos to invest $651 million (GBP 500 million) on the system so it remains safe and reliable to 2040 and beyond, according to the company.

The GPI uses open sourced data from the Oil & Gas Authority to calculate the proportion of oilfields in the North Sea reporting incidences of zero production compared to those exporting oil into pipelines in any given month. GSE delivers specialized services to the oil and gas, renewables, power generation and industrial sectors in the UK and internationally, according to its website.

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