Report reveals drilling activity soars in North Sea
A report by financial consultants Deloitte has revealed exploration activity in parts of the North Sea has risen significantly in the last three months.
According to the report, drilling on the UK’s continental shelf surged ahead by 86% in the second quarter of the year, against the same period in 2009, as confidence returns to the market.
The Deloitte report came just a day after Oil & Gas UK, the body which represents the industry’s interests in Britain, showed that members were preparing to invest up to £6 billion new developments this year.
Furthermore, capital expenditure could reach £60 billion in the next 10 years as companies look to explore 70 new oilfields.
Graham Sadler, managing director for petroleum services at Deloitte and author of the report comments: “The North Sea is not by any means the easiest place for exploration firms to operate.
“But the market has stabilised in recent months and strong demand from places like China and the other BRIC countries has continued.
“The figures in the report have certainly been boosted by last year being so weak and we will need some more figures before we can really say that the market is booming, but so far it looks promising.”
The current difficulties BP is facing in the Gulf of Mexico has highlighted the risks of deep-water exploration so the North Sea is fast becoming an attractive region for drilling, according to the report.
Furthermore, the risks associated with drilling in the North Sea have gradually fallen, according to Peter Bassett, an analyst at Westhouse Securities.
The stability in the oil price appears to be giving firms the confidence to invest in new projects, concluded Bassett.
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