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North Sea under pressure

The industry still thinks the mature province offers opportunities, but the good times may not have long to roll

While the short-term outlook for the North Sea is bright, it's still hard to see how the sector can maintain momentum beyond the early 2020s without more big finds—and they have largely proved elusive in recent years. The oil and gas production outlook for Norway, the UK and the Netherlands is largely flat or one of gentle decline up to 2025, with a handful of sizeable discoveries now coming into production helping to ameliorate the impact of output declines in existing fields. Rystad Energy, a consultancy, forecasts that West European operators—mainly active in those three countries—will produce just over 7m barrels of oil equivalent in 2017, falling to around 6.2m boe/d in 2025. Producti

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