An expected drop in oil and gas production in the North Sea within the next couple of years has prompted “serious concerns” from trade body Oil and Gas UK.
Its Economics Report 2013 published today found production last year declined by 14.5% to 567 million barrels of oil equivalent or 1.54 million boe per day (boepd).
The fall is set to continue next year. Although three existing fields are coming back online – the Banff, Gryphon and Elgin fields – as well as 15 new fields which are likely to open, production is now forecast to fall to a range of 1.2 to 1.4 million boepd in 2013.
Malcolm Webb, chief executive of Oil and Gas UK said: “Despite impressive investment in new developments, the production efficiency of existing assets remains in worrying decline. DECC and the industry are working to tackle this serious concern through a joint task group.
“The Wood Review, which is currently examining how to maximise UKCS recovery, is also very timely and we very much look forward to seeing the recommendations early in 2014,” he added.
Despite this worry the group came across as generally upbeat in its annual report, praising the “renewed commitment” from the Government and industry which has attracted investment to an all-time record of £13.5 billion this year.
The UK remained the third largest producer of natural gas and the second largest for oil in Europe.