Norwegian-UK Gas Pipeline Laid In the North Sea

All oil and gas fields face natural decline rates as reservoir pressure decreases and continually declining production must be addressed by drilling more wells and injecting substances like natural gas, carbon dioxide or steam into the formation to maintain pressure and coax the remaining hydrocarbons toward production wells. This process is known in the industry as enhanced oil recovery.

This is why “incremental” production is the operative term when discussing the impact a new field has on a company or country’s total output. Not only do new sources need to keep pace with consumption increases, but they must account for natural declines from existing fields as well.

With much of the easy-to-produce onshore discoveries already made, producers are increasingly forced into hostile environments like the Arctic, ultra-deep water and other so-called unconventional sources.

The following infographic produced by solenoid valve supplier Zoedale illustrates this phenomenon using the North Sea as an example.

Oil Supplies - The Problem of Field Decline