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Brexit casts dark cloud over UK's North Sea industry

The UK's oil and gas sector has been the focus of some sizeable asset acquisitions recently, but uncertainty over the terms of the country's withdrawal from the EU is confusing the outlook

Chrysaor's $3.8bn acquisition of Shell-owned North Sea assets, completed in November, and Total's impending $7.45bn purchase of Maersk Oil both indicate a vote of confidence in the UK continental shelf. But these could prove to be part of the basin's last hurrah, if Brexit negotiations leave the industry high and dry. After six months of to-and-fro between the UK and the European Commission in Brussels, the industry is still in the dark over where it will stand in March 2019, when a Brexit deal is supposed to be in place. As it waits for clarity, the industry may keep its wallet firmly closed. "Up to $40bn worth of potential investment opportunities currently sit in company business plans,"

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