The UK is on the verge of a new era of onshore drilling with the biggest expansion in oil and gas output since the 1970s heyday of the North Sea, according to a trade group.
With the Government about to open a new department devoted to unconventional gas catering for the rise of shale gas and coal bed methane, the UK Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG) expects onshore projects to be of “increased importance” to the nation’s economy.
The trade group points to the fact the UK already has Western Europe’s biggest onshore oil and gas field in Wytch Farm in Dorset. It has today appointed its first chief executive in anticipation of the extra activity.
Ken Cronin, new head of UKOOG said: “This is a critical time for the future development of the onshore oil and gas industry in the UK with production set to grow significantly for the first time since the North Sea oil boom of the 1970s. The industry has come together to ensure that the most stringent standards are in place for safety, environmental management, exploration and production.”
The former communications adviser who has worked with IGas, Gazprom and British Energy said he thought the industry would create “jobs, skills… and energy that will help British business and households while at the same time working in partnership with the communities it operates in.”
More than 50 different firms hold licences to explore for oil and gas in the UK, the UKOOG added.