‘Step change needed to maximise benefits of North Sea oil and gas’

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
20 November 2013

A review of the UK’s oil and gas industry warns of the need to “strengthen the capacity and capability of our stewardship regime” of the North Sea in order to maximise future economic benefits.

In an interim report Sir Ian Wood calls for a “cohesive tripartite accord” between the Treasury, industry and a new regulatory body to drive a new strategy.

He believes “full and rapid” implementation of his recommendations will deliver three to four billion barrels of oil more over the next 20 years than would otherwise be the case, bringing an extra £200 billion to the economy.

Sir Ian was commissioned by the government in June to conduct an independent review of UK offshore oil and gas recovery and regulation, called the UK Continental Shelf Maximising Recovery Review, and his full report is due to be published early next year.

His interim report described how an “increasingly diverse range of operators are currently investing at record levels in new developments, yet where exploration and production rates are falling and activity is fragmenting into a patchwork of smaller fields”.

Sir Ian called for a “step change in North Sea stewardship and collaboration”.

“We need to strengthen the capacity and capability of our stewardship regime to enhance collaboration significantly across the North Sea if we are to meet the challenging demands of maturity and diversity and maximise the economic benefits for both country and the industry,” he said.

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