UKOOA issues progress report on sustainable development strategy

Dec 15, 2004 01:00 AM

UKOOA has issued an interim report outlining the progress being made by the UK offshore oil and gas industry in its strategy towards sustainable development.
"Striking a Balance 2004" examines the sectors environmental, economic and social performance to the end of 2003 and updates a more detailed strategy document published last year.

Malcolm Webb, UKOOAs CEO, said: "The UK oil and gas industry has a long, positive future ahead of it, both in terms of the 30 to 40 years that it might take to deplete our economic reserves and in developing the North East of Scotland, in particular, into a key hub for the worldwide industry and future generations."
"The industry is very aware of the responsibilities it carries when it supports some 260,000 jobs across the UK, provides over 12 % of the country's corporation tax revenues and will supply the majority of our energy well into the next decade. These responsibilities must also be balanced by sound environmental stewardship. The sectors sustainable development strategy sets out the framework addressing these issues, allowing debate and informed decision-making so that the needs of society as a whole can be realised."

The report finds that in the environmental field, the industry continues to improve performance despite the advancing maturity of many UK oil and gas fields which challenges the industry to manage its emissions and discharges more efficiently.
The average oil content in produced water, atmospherics released, flaring and chemical discharges are all continuing to decline, due to the industry's continued focus on reducing its environmental impacts.

Under the social heading, commitment to safety continues to show improved performance over time, although more could still be achieved. Employment levels are holding up better than expected in this mature phase of the industry's life. Work across the employment field is designed to support and provide a skilled workforce well into the future.
Investment in the UK continental shelf (UKCS) is holding up well, despite ever-tightening basin economics. Operating costs are projected to remain constant over the short term but, as production declines, the cost per barrel will increase.

UKOOA will carry out a full review its strategy next year in consultation with industry stakeholders.
Striking a Balance 2004 is available on the UKOOA web site http://www.oilandgas.org.uk.

Source: United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association
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