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Ed Davey, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, has announced that the UK’s oil rigs in the North Sea face challenges if they are to continue producing at a decent rate, which he believes possible. On Monday he said that “although we have produced a lot of barrels in the North Sea, there is an awful lot there still to be produced as well.”
He has commissioned a review into how oil production in the North Sea can be maximised. According to the Guardian, the report, due in early 2014, will consider the falling exploration and production rates, ageing infrastructure, declining efficiency, and the risk of premature decommissioning, “all these challenges need to be addressed if we are going to get the maximum economic benefit from the UK,” stated Davey.
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Sir Ian Wood, a 45 year veteran oilman from Aberdeen, who retired last year from his position at the Wood Group oil and gas services company his grandfather founded, will lead the review. He will use his expertise to advise how to; extend the life of existing infrastructure, improve efficiency, and use alternative and enhanced techniques to extract tighter oil.
Malcolm Webb, the CEO of Oil & gas UK, warned that the North Sea will never return to its prime, when it was producing 4 million barrels of oil equivalent (BoE) a day in 2000, but he has faith that production could rise from the current 1.5 million to 2 million BoE by 2017. “Too many people have decided because we are now mature … that we are somehow over the hill and nothing could be further from the truth.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com