Benchmarking and Analysis


Benchmarking industry performance continues to play a significant role in driving industry improvements, and the OGA has, from 2020, introduced benchmarking of performance to track progress towards net zero.

Net zero metrics, are being used to establish performance with regard to emissions reductions, from the level of an individual asset level to the UKCS as a whole, similar to existing indicators Production Efficiency  and Unit Operating Costs. The net zero metrics focus on flaring and venting activity, overall emissions, and emissions intensity.

UKCS carbon emissions intensity analysis

In 2018, the most recent year for which figures are available, carbon emissions intensity dropped to 21.4 kg CO2/boe produced, down from 23.0 the previous year. This represented a 13% total reduction since 2014; achieved at the same time as production efficiency rose by 15 percentage points. More efficient production often corresponds to lower emissions intensity on production facilities.

UKCS natural gas carbon footprint analysis

The OGA published analysis in May 2020, comparing the carbon intensity of United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) gas with imported liquified natural gas (LNG) and pipelined gas.

This analysis shows that gas extracted from the UKCS has an average emission intensity of 22 kgCO2e/boe; whereas imported LNG has a significantly higher average intensity of 59 kgCO2e/boe. The process of liquefaction, combined with the emissions produced by the transportation and regasification of the LNG once in the UK, are responsible for the considerably higher emissions intensity.

Importing gas via by pipeline, particularly from Norway, produces an even lower average of 18 kgCO2e/boe, which suggests there is still potential for the UKCS to continue to improve its operations and lower emissions further.

The results of the analysis are shown below.