The North Sea fields to be developed in the next decade will be small compared to the megafields that have been developed to date. Many of these small fields will require a light mobile production unit.

This paper presents the TPG 500 drilling/production jack-up. This platform has been designed not only to be relocatable and reduce the costs on marginal fields development, but also to meet the latest safety regulations and requirements.


Megafields, which require a long development life, are becoming few and far between. The future appears to be for small dispersed fields requiring a light, cost effective, mobile unit. Small fields, for which platform removal will be a reality within three or five years, will dominate development activity.

Some data about potential North Sea fields is given in a paper by the French institute of Petroleum which was presented at EUROPEC 1990 in the HAGUE.

According to the IFP data bank, there are 447 undeveloped hydrocarbon accumulations in the North Sea, of which 224 contain oil, the balance being gas or gas/condensate fields.

  • Distribution by country A distribution by country reveals the preponderant position of the United Kingdom (245 discoveries or 55%) compared with other countries (Fig 1). The weight of the U.K. is even more importantin terms of oil discoveries since 64% of these are located in the British zone (Figure 2);

  • Distribution of reserves :The distribution of the estimated reserves of the oil accumulationsis similar for the U.K. and Norway, whereas Norway is in the lead for gas (Figure 4 and 5).

  • Distribution by water depth The distribution of the 447 discoveries by water depth (Figure 6)shows that 30% are located between 20 and 50 m water depth (Dutch and southern part of the British sector).

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