North Sea oil back on agenda?

There are welcome signs, as we enter the last week before the election, that some in the political arena have started to acknowledge the continuing significance to this country of the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Maybe they remember, as they turn on the lights, where the energy that creates the electricity actually comes from?

North Sea oil
It’s not a sunset, there’s still many more dawns for North Sea Oil

The suggestion of airbrushing North Sea Oil out of UK history, in Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain, certainly seems valid. UK PLC appears to have been only too happy to pretend that North Sea oil was “insignificant” and to project it as part of our history, rather than our future.

The reality is that new fields are still being discovered in both the UK sector and the Norwegian sector. Currently in the news is BP’s acquisition of two major North Sea fields, underlining their commitment to the next phase of North Sea development.

Even the Prime Minister, on the election hustings, has made mention of North Sea oil and gas.

The facts speak for themselves.

  • There are up to 25,000,000,000 barrels of oil still to be produced from the UK sector of the North Sea.
  • The North Sea currently meets three quarters of the United Kingdom’s total prime energy requirements.
  • By 2020 the UK sector of the North Sea should still be producing sufficient oil and gas to supply almost two-thirds of our demand.
  • By 2020, at the North Sea should still be supplying enough gas to satisfy the entire UK domestic requirement.
  • In 2008-090 and gas production companies paid £13 billion to the Exchequer -- that’s the equivalent of around 30% of UK corporation tax receipts.
  • The UK oil and gas industry sustains almost half 1 million highly valued, highly skilled UK jobs.
  • In the UK oil and gas industry contributes a £35 billion per annum to the UK balance of trade.

Those who try to belittle the achievements and significance of the North Sea oil and gas industry not only do a disservice to Aberdeen, as the pre-eminent centre for the industry. They also risk the future development that will sustain the economic viability of the industry and the security of supply for this country.

More than that they belittle the human aspect of the industry. The sheer skill and ingenuity that made Britain a world leader in the oil and gas industry and, indeed, the human cost, so tragically brought to mind in the recent news from the Gulf of Mexico.

Energy facts page
blog comments powered by Disqus
© 2007-15 Contact us