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North Sea oil output to rise by a third over five years

North Sea oil output to rise by a third over five years

The North Sea is set to end its seemingly terminal decline over the next few years, with new entrants and better technology set to push production up by about a third to 2 million barrels a day by 2017.

Britain’s oil and gas output is set to dip again this year, putting it between 3 and 6 per cent lower than 2012’s figure of 1.55 million barrels, according to the industry body Oil & Gas UK. However, tax breaks, improving extraction techniques and the sustained high price of oil have made production from the North Sea’s dwindling oil and gas fields more viable. This has prompted record levels of investment, with £40bn set to be ploughed into North Sea production over the next three years by companies such as BP, Total of France and China’s Sinopec.

In October the Department of Energy and Climate Change awarded a record 167 new licences on 330 North Sea blocks, implying that production will continue to increase beyond 2017.

Independent

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