Oil production is falling in North Sea

Dec 21, 2004 01:00 AM

The North Sea contains Western Europe's largest oil and natural gas reserves and is one of the world's key non-OPEC producing regions, but faces declining production after peaking in 1999.
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) North Sea offshore crude oil production peaked in 1999, averaging 5.94 mm bpd. Since then, production has declined at an annual rate of 2.8 % between 1999 and 2003.

Norway and the United Kingdom hold the majority of the North Sea's reserves and production accounting for 54.4 % and 38.2 % of total output, respectively, in 2003. These two countries also experienced the largest year-on-year declines in crude oil production, while only Germany experienced marginal year-on-year growth. Denmark, The Netherlands, and Germany have smaller North Sea oil and natural gas reserves.
Total offshore oil production in 2003 (including crude oil, condensate, and natural gas liquids) was 5.98 mm bpd, according to the EIA. In 2003, North Sea offshore crude oil averaged 5.33 mm bpd, a year-on-year decline of 5.9 %. In the first-half 2004, production continued to fall, averaging 5.2 mm bpd.

According to EIA forecasts, the region will continue to be a sizable producer, although crude oil output from its largest producers -- the UK and Norway -- has essentially plateaued and is projected to begin a long term decline.
"In the near term, improved oil recovery technologies, continued high oil prices and new projects coming online could temporarily delay declines in North Sea crude oil output. Nonetheless, only new discoveries of sizable volumes could reverse the current downward trend of oil production from the North Sea," the EIA said in a brief.

Source: Singapore Press
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