Most of the oil and gas produced in the North Sea is sent onshore to be processed. It is transported through a network of more than 45,000 kilometres of pipeline to terminals onshore.1

The oil then enters the globally traded crude market and some of it comes back to the UK as refined products. These include the petrol we put in our cars; aviation and marine fuel; lubricants such as engine oils; a whole range of chemicals and plastics; and bitumen for road surfaces.

Processing gas

Gas is either processed on the platforms offshore or transported through pipelines to one of our three plants. Together Shell’s gas plants at St Fergus, Mossmoran and Bacton can process up to 35% of UK gas demand.

There are a large number of pipeline networks across the North Sea. One of the most important is the SEGAL (Shell Esso Gas and Associated Liquids) system that was built in 1982. This was originally built to handle gas production from the Brent field and is now used by a range of operators. This gas is piped to the St. Fergus gas terminal.

The gas we produce comes in two forms, wet and dry gas. Dry gas does not need much processing but wet gas contains a range of other liquids which can be processed and used in a range of chemicals. Much of this wet gas comes through another important pipeline system known as FLAGS (Far North Liquids and Associated Gas system). The liquids are extracted from the gas at the St Fergus terminal and then transported to our plant at Mossmorran, where they are then processed further so they can be used in chemical products.

Discover the many uses of petrochemicals

Engineers on the Ormen Lange field which will meet around 20% of the UK’s gas needs

Our third plant is at Bacton on the Norfolk coast where gas from fields in the southern North Sea is processed prior to export to the national grid.

Reducing environmental impact

All our gas plants are important employers in the community. We work hard to reduce their impact on the environment. In 2013 Shell completed a £450 million investment in the St Fergus plant as part of the ongoing modernisation of its operations. One result has been a significant decrease in waste sent to landfill and an increase in waste recycling. We have also recently completed a £350m rejuvenation project at the Bacton Gas Plant.

Securing the UK’s gas supply 

As well as producing our own oil and gas from UK platforms, Shell has helped to diversify the UK’s gas supply. We bring Norwegian gas into the market from the Ormen Lange field into St Fergus and this meets around 20% of the UK’s gas needs.

Also in this section

Finding oil and gas

See how we have pioneered new technologies in the North Sea that are now used elsewhere in the world.

Boosting oil production

We have been able to develop and apply new technology to fields that has made it possible to recover more precious resources. 

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