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40% cost cuts needed in North Sea oil and gas industry

Unlocking the North Sea’s remaining potential oil and gas reserves in the current low price energy environment will require a 40% cut in industry costs.

The UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) reserves have been a valuable contributor to the economy for decades. But the industry has suffered rising costs, low oil prices and a plateau in production. Still, reserves of up to 23 billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent are thought to remain.

Changes are urgently needed: to remain competitive, cost and efficiency improvements equivalent to a 40% reduction in the industry’s cost base will be needed to unlock the North Sea’s remaining potential, said Oil & Gas UK’s operations director Oonagh Werngren.

Encouragingly, progress is being made through coordinated efforts to improve cost efficiency, the 450 strong audience heard at a recent Oil & Gas UK breakfast briefing. Efficiency improvement, logistics collaboration, simplification and standardisation and late life asset management are all hoped to make the difference to UK oil and gas.

“There is also now a concerted effort to work together to tackle the fundamental behaviours that have driven cost escalation on the UKCS. The goal is to achieve a more internationally competitive oil and gas province and attract the fresh investment needed.”

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