North Sea collapse fears “over the top” says Sir Ian Wood

Billionaire oil businessman Sir Ian Wood believes claims the North Sea oil industry is close to collapse are “over the top”. Earlier this week the chairman of independent oil explorers association […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Billionaire oil businessman Sir Ian Wood believes claims the North Sea oil industry is close to collapse are “over the top”.

Earlier this week the chairman of independent oil explorers association Brindex, Robin Allan, told the BBC the industry was “in crisis” because of low oil prices.

Sir Ian Wood who led a government investigation into how to make the most of the North Sea’s reserves admitted “tough times” are ahead.

That could mean job losses of up to 15,000, said the Scottish businessman. However he argued for a “balanced perspective”.

Sir Ian Wood said: “There are structural reasons to believe that the price of oil should recover, probably late 2015 early 2016 and there are reasons to believe that the industry should be in better shape to attract even more investment then because of initiatives currently underway.”

He pointed to a recent tax cut of 2% by the Treasury and the new regulator’s charter to encourage new oil projects, plus moves to be more efficient should enable the UK Continental Shelf “to resume its role as one of the better mature investment regions globally as the oil price recovers”.