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Editorial Dept

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What Does Brexit Mean For UK Oil & Gas?

The London stock market, the British pound and the European populace, in general, were buoyed by rumors emerging about London and Brussels closing in on a comprehensive Brexit deal that would allow the UK to leave the European Union on October 31, one hour before midnight. Brexit’s impact on the oil sector is yet to be assessed properly, but so far it seems that the ramifications would only be relatively minor – some trading companies might want to relocate to Geneva, following the footsteps of several investment banks which have downsized their London presence. Yet the British oil industry might indirectly suffer, too, leaving the UK with terminally decreasing oil and gas production volumes.

Let’s assume that Boris Johnson clinches a deal with the European Commission, has the Brexit deal approved by the Parliament and the Conservative Party remains in power. This presupposes no drastic policy changes and no tinkering with the oil tax code. If so, Britain’s oil industry has a relatively stable decade ahead of it, having bounced back in 2018 to an average production of 1MMbpd, a level unseen since 2011. Having peaked at 2.9MMbpd in 1999, the UK oil production was assumed to enter a period of precipitated decline, especially so when its annual output started to plummet by some 0.2MMbpd per year in 2009-2011. It bottomed out in 2014 at 0.85MMbpd and thanks to a general oil price recovery and a rather successful cost-efficiency drive managed to get…




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