Oil and Gas Facts and Figures

The Significance of North Sea Oil and Gas


"Without oil the great squeeze and shake out of the economy might very well have broken the back of the government. So what was achieved by all the roustabouts, engineers, divers, pilots and the financiers was epic and central."

"And yet, barely a word about it appears in Margaret Thatcher's memoirs or those of most other ministers. It's as if an attempt was made to airbrush this industry out of Britain's national story. Which would be shameful."
Andrew Marr in 'Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain', BBC TV
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Contribution to UK Economy


Oil and gas extraction has provided the Exchequer with more than £300 billion (2012 money) in production tax over the past 45 years. (2013 figure)

UK oil and gas contributed £32 billion to the UK economy. (2015 figure)

The UK oil and gas supply chain generates sales of £27 billion a year, including £7 billion in exports of technology and expertise. (2013 figures)

Production of oil and gas boosted the balance of payments by £27 billion in 2009 and the supply chain added more than £5 billion in the export of goods and services. (Oil & Gas UK, 2010)

40 billion barrels of oil have been extracted from the North Sea (2014 figure)

It is estimated that 450,000 people across the UK are employed in the UK oil and gas industry.

In 2012-13 the industry paid £6.5 billion in taxes.

UK oil and gas production satisfied 67% of UK oil demand and 53% of gas demand in 2012. The UKCS has the potential to satisfy half the UK’s oil and gas demand in 2020. (Oil & Gas UK, 2010)

The UKCS remained the largest investor among the industrial sectors of the economy; capital investment was £4.7 billion in 2009. (Oil & Gas UK, 2010)

Oil and Gas Sector Exports


Direct exports £3.7 billion

Sales via overseas subsidiaries £6.3 billion

Total International sales: £10.0 billion
Source SE/AGCC 2012/13

The UK oil and gas supply chain is estimated to have between 5% and 8% of the world market in equipment and services.

North Sea Oil and gas future


Estimates are that as much as 24 billion barrels of oil could remain. But it will be more challenging to extract.

The biggest issue facing the industry is the cy
clical oil price. In an era of low oil prices, the difficulty is to stimulate exploration to sustain the industry for the future.

Oil and Gas industry in Aberdeen City and Shire


It is estimated that there are 900 companies serving the energy sector in Aberdeen.

Around 40% of the turnover of the 300+ international oil companies based in Aberdeen is estimated to be overseas.

There are more than a hundred developed oil and gas fields in the Northern and Central North Sea.

The UK is currently the world’s 13th largest producer of oil and gas overall, with daily production of around 2.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

UK ranking in oil and gas world


In 2014, the UK ranked as the world’s 23rd largest producer of oil and gas overall, with daily production of around 801,000 barrels of oil equivalent (bol).
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