In an attempt to squeeze out as much economic benefit as possible from the region’s oil and gas, today the Government set up a review of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
It’s the first time for more than 20 years the Government has commissioned such a review. Led by Scottish businessman Sir Ian Wood – reportedly Scotland’s second richest man who recently hung up the reins at North Sea exploration firm Wood Group – it will look at how to keep momentum in the sector.
So far around 41 billion barrels of oil and gas have been produced from the UKCS.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “Our offshore infrastructure is getting older and we are seeing a decline in the rate of exploration and in the amount of oil and gas that is being recovered. All these issues need to be addressed if we are to stimulate innovation in this sector”.
Sir Ian Wood said he will have an eye out for what will “make a real difference to improving our economic recovery including optimising use of and extending life of infrastructure, production efficiency and maximising the use of key technologies.”
He went on: “The values involved in UK oil and gas are so large that even modest increases in key production metrics over time will deliver significant economic benefits.”
The initial conclusions from the review will be published in the autumn.