North Sea oil: That sinking feeling
Additional comment by Alexander Temerko not included in the original article:
Today many key producers of oil and gas in the North Sea have frozen their multimillion investment programmes in this area. This is due to:
1. The falling oil price
2. Uncertainty concerning government incentives towards maintaining production level
3. Devolutionary talks with Scotland and the EU that add to the uncertainties regarding the fiscal and regulatory regime around production, transportation and trading of hydrocarbons.
These funds may be redirected to other regions with more stable state policies and an attractive investment climate.
As a result, the North Sea will cease to be a priority area for oil majors. Very soon this will lead to stagnation of oil production in the region. It would take 5–7 years to return to the current level of investment by which time production would be lower and in turn this could lead to job losses in the sector.