North Sea oil production up despite weak price

Oil and gas production on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) appears to be up, despite unfavourable conditions created by the depressed oil price.

North sea oil platform
Oil & Gas UK, the trade association representing the British sector, says that figures seem to suggest production in the North Sea over the first six months of 2015 has risen 2.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.The oil price has fallen from around $110 per barrel a year ago to a low of just under $50 on Monday.Oil & Gas UK's chief executive, Deirdre Michie, said the figures were "provisional", however. "It’s still early days, but initial indications suggest that production could increase this year for the first time in fifteen years," she said.The increase is believed to be thanks in large part to Nexen's Golden Eagle field, which only began producing in November last year."Provisional data for the first six months of 2015 show liquids production to be up around three per cent and net gas production to be up around 2.5 per cent this year, compared to the first six months of last year. Production in the second quarter of the year looks particularly encouraging and early figures suggest that May saw the most oil and gas produced on the UKCS since March 2012," said Ms Michie.She said that Oil & Gas UK will be able to talk about the figures in more concrete terms at the end of the summer maintenance season, as figures for July and August are typically the most uncertain. Oil & Gas UK’s Economic Report 2015 is expected some time around the end of the month."Clearly the oil price – which has more than halved since this time last year – continues to really challenge the industry. However, this positive news can indeed be attributed to the effort and investment industry has put into improving the integrity and performance of UKCS assets – something we’ll look to explore in further detail in our Economic Report 2015," added Ms Michie."At our Annual Conference earlier this summer, I opened the discussion around how the oil and gas industry must become sustainable in a world with a considerably lower oil price. As demand for our products remains strong, critical for our transport and heating our homes and giving us a whole host of everyday products, it is imperative we continue on this journey if we are to continue to ensure the UK remains a commercially attractive and predictable place in which to invest," she said.For more news and articles like this, see Re:locate's Enterprise section.