Related Articles
Outlook 2017
Forward article link
Share PDF with colleagues

North Sea - comeback basin?

Thanks to the innovation of independent producers, predictions of the UK North Sea's death may be premature

From time to time over the past two years - with oil prices in freefall and the majors taking a hatchet to capital spending - it looked like things might finally be over for the UK's North Sea. But independents stepped in to pick up the slack, leaving the big players to refocus on the largest remaining plays. That pattern will continue in 2017. Independents - emboldened by rising production and falling costs - will continue to pick up assets sloughed off by the majors. Production costs have fallen from around $35 a barrel in recent years to around $15/b, with services companies and their workers - predictably enough - taking the most pain, as operators mine their contracts for cost savings.

Also in this section
UK licensing round goes back in time
25 July 2017
Mature UK acreage is up for grabs on improved terms, but attracting the explorers could still prove difficult
Latest licensing rounds
25 July 2017
The industry's most comprehensive list of current and recent rounds for onshore and offshore licenses
Greece's time for another look
19 July 2017
The country's offshore has been ignored for years, but discoveries in surrounding regions have piqued interest