North Sea Oil Facing ‘Biggest Crisis In 50 Years’

  • Date: 26/02/14
  • Frank Urquhart, The Scotsman

Oil exploration in the North Sea has fallen to its lowest level in 50 years, leaving the industry facing its biggest challenge since drilling began in UK waters.

The annual Oil and Gas UK activity survey, published yesterday, said the past three years have seen the lowest rate of exploration activity in the UK continental shelf’s history and the “clock is ticking” for Britain’s most important industry.

Malcolm Webb, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, the representative organisation for the industry, said that, with only 15 exploration wells drilled last year, compared with 44 six years ago, the future of the industry was “now at risk”.

“Even if currently planned wells proceed, the rate of drilling is still too low to recover even a fraction of the estimated six to nine billion barrels yet to be found,” Mr Webb said.

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