Total UK production of natural gas was a record 24.8% lower in the second quarter of 2011 than that of the year before. This was helped by a lower demand for gas through warmer weather and increased Liquified Natural Gas imports, which rose by 68%.
Malcolm Webb of Oil & Gas UK said the statistics released by DECC were a sign the North Sea industries needed investment to maintain supply.
The Chief Executive said: “On the face of it, a production decline of this magnitude is extremely worrying and we need to investigate and fully understand what has happened here. For the sake of the UK’s economy and its energy security, we should be doing everything we can to encourage sustained investment in our nation’s oil and gas resource to slow the decline and prolong the producing life of fields.”
The drop in production has led to increased speculation over what stake shale gas could play in the future for the UK energy sector, following this month’s news by Cuadrilla of a potentially game-changing find of 200 trillion cubic feet of shale gas.