Oil and gas
production in the North
Sea is now
expected to be about 10 per cent lower over the next few years than previously
thought, according to the annual
survey from the UK Offshore Operators’ Association.
The main reason
is described as “poor reservoir performance”: in other words, wells not
yielding as much oil and gas as had been hoped.
The faster than
expected decline in production is bad news for Britain’s energy security, increasing the
country’s dependence on imported oil and gas, and also for Gordon Brown, the
Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Although there is
still an estimated 16bn-25bn barrels of oil equivalent in oil and gas left to
be extracted, old wells are running dry and new wells are generally small. The
glory days seem over.
We presume Gordon
Brown is going to look to the British Taxpayer to make up the shortfall.