The number of exploration wells being drilled in the North Sea has collapsed by 78% in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the same period last year, according to the most recent industry data from Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm.
The worsening exploration climate could knock 10-15 years of the North Sea’s expected lifespan of 20-30 years, meaning almost half of all its infrastructure could be decommissioned within the next 11 years, UK Oil and Gas estimates.
Instead of satisfying 45% of the UK’s oil and gas needs in 2020, at the current investment pace, the North Sea would only be able to meet 12% of its demand. Consequently, the UK and Europe will increasingly have to rely on Russia for natural gas and the Middle East for oil.
Read more: Financial Times