The latest figures for the UK’s gas and oil industry reveal that production has risen for the first time in 15 years. Oil & Gas UK said that although the sector will continue to see challenges throughout 2016, the government data suggests production gains of over 7%. The report will be welcomed by the oil and gas sector, which has worked hard to find ways to boost performance and productivity.
Newly-released figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that the total gas and oil volumes produced between January and October 2015 were 8.6% higher than the same period in 2014. Deirdre Michie, chief executive of the organisation, said: “Output in November and December tends historically to be more stable, but even so, Oil & Gas UK now expects year end production for the full year of 2015 to be 7% to 8% higher than last year.” She added this was welcome news for an industry that still faces severe difficulties in the modern business climate.
“The upturn underlines the industry’s commitment to the UKCS – which still holds great promise for the future and is vital for the country’s security of supply,” Ms Michie explained. “For example, only last week, oil company Taqa announced first production from the Cladhan field north-east of Shetland, estimated to produce 10,000 barrels of oil a day from the UK’s waters.” The industry is experiencing tough times; however, Ms Michie believes that focus and resilience will lay a strong foundation for the UK’s globally renowned oil and gas supply chain – a sector that creates tens of billions of pounds in exports and domestic sales.
Elsewhere, Callum McCaig, the energy spokesman for the Scottish National Party (SNP), explained that the latest figures were extremely encouraging for both the gas industry and North Sea oil operations. Mr McCaig said that many industry-led initiatives have helped to boost production but warned that fracturing within the British government is still a concern, particularly when it comes to the exploration and development of new areas.
Although the months ahead are set to remain difficult for oil and gas companies in the UK, news of the production boost will bolster many people’s confidence. The energy sector is a top priority for the British government and the latest figures should help to shape the way in which future legislation and schemes are laid out to benefit the industry.
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