Oil output in the North Sea was in decline for a decade until 2015, when the trend began to reverse (source: macpixxel for GIS)

Assessing the future of North Sea oil and gas

The North Sea is a mature oil and gas province. Output from the two main producers – Norway and the United Kingdom – has peaked and the remaining reserves to be exploited are smaller and/or more technically challenging than those developed in the past, thereby shrinking potential returns. As several fields approach the end of their commercial lives, the decommissioning of offshore platforms and the accompanying bills are looming on a scale not seen before anywhere in the world.

The fall in oil prices since 2014 has exacerbated concerns about the future of North Sea production. Its demise has been predicted on several occasions before, including during the last decade, when the area w...

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Dr. Carole Nakhle
One of the problems that high oil prices created was cost inflation. In 2014, according to Oil & Gas UK, unit operating costs were 60 percent higher than in 2011
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